Obama and the redistribution of wealth: analepsis [updated]
Seems his Joe the Plumber “slip up” has a more friendly public precursor:
Thus spake O!rathustra:
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t that radical. It didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do to you. Says what the Federal government canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do to you, but doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
In Obama’s America, we’ll finally be able to break free of the “constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution” — and in so doing, achieve “social justice” through “redistributive change.”
Well, then. Fine .
But this is not the America I knew…
update: Entire audio from the show available here.
Many on the left are talking about how the original is actually 41 minutes long, but here’s the show description:
The Court and Civil Rights
Susan Bandes Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Professor of law at DePaul University and the editor of the book, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Passions of LawÃ¢â‚¬Â
Dennis Hutchinson Ã¢â‚¬â€œ The William Rainey Harper professor in the college, senior lecturer in the law school and editor of the Supreme Court Review at the University of Chicago
Barack Obama Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Illinois State Senator from 13th district and a senior lecturer in the law school at the University of Chicago
3 guests. I’ll listen to the whole thing and report back, but I don’t the expanded context will change much, other than we might see this discussion as an “academic exercise” — which means only that it is theoretical and not likely to be put into practice.
Unless, of course, said academic wins the presidency and has both Houses of Congress and perhaps a refigured judiciary at his disposal.
In which case, whoops!