n 1850, America was consumed with the question of slavery. The awkward Missouri Compromise and similar plans created a perilous national balancing act, attempting to both condemn and retain slavery at the same time.
These were also the waning days of the tall ships, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow chose this metaphor to represent the nation in his poem, The Building of the Ship. Initially, it painted a dire outcome for the slavery struggle; but at the last minute, he replaced it with more hopeful words…
Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
When he read it, Abraham Lincoln was moved to tears. To him, the burden of slavery was crushing: how do you steer a nation torn by racial incarceration in a way that it can still represent a beacon of equality for the rest of the world?
Today, the current “captain” of our ship doesn’t care.
aft was first appointed a judge in his 20’s. By all indications, it’s really all he wanted to do. (His wife was the big proponent of his presidency.) On the high court, he helped overturn a law that would have regulated child labor; but voted with the minority in favor of a law that would have granted women equal pay. His record was a mixed bag, but no one argued that he wasn’t qualified to sit on the court.
Which will definitely not be the case for Obama. He has never been a judge, and certainly zealots on the right would oppose his candidacy on those grounds. He did graduate with high honors from Harvard Law, and taughtconstitutional law at the University of Chicago for a dozen years. But you know what the haters will say: “never a judge!”
Accordingly, you might want to put this stat in the back of your mind: over a third of all people appointed to the Supreme Court were never judges. That includes the first ever Chief Justice, John Jay, as well as notable Chiefs John Marshall and Earl Warren. There is absolutely no pre-condition of judgeship to be placed on the Supreme Court.
he prospects of a “Justice Obama” are absolutely delectable. He will rule for the people, not against them. He will immediately become the de facto leader of the liberal wing of the court. The opinions he eventually writes, for or against, should be among the most read in U.S. legal history. And maybe most importantly, he would become the intellectual counterweight to that drunken frat boy douchebag dullard called Brett Kavanaugh.
Of course, a few things need to happen first. Obviously, a Democrat must become President. Then Senate Republicans must be (properly) branded racists for even threatening a filibuster on his nomination. (They would do so at their own peril; in the last survey, three in five Americans favorably approved of Obama, despite eight years of manufactured hatred from the right.)
And finally, that glorious day would come when Barack Hussein Obama dons his robes for the first time, and stands for his group photo as a member of the highest court in the land.
At which point, Sean Hannity’s head would explode.
So, all good.
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