Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Congress Needs Law Professors

So say my former Rutgers-Camden colleague Michael Livingston (R) and (possibly) Stanford Law Prof Larry Lessig (D?). Michael emailed me directly to promote his candidacy and I found out about the Lessig possibility from the Volokh Conspiracy, which has an entry that would be suspiciously like this one, were it not for the fact that it was posted first. So who's Deval Patrick and who's Barack Obama in this relationship?

BTW, this post is not an endorsement of either the Livingston candidacy or the potential Lessig candidacy. That coveted prize will require more lobbying and promises from the candidates.

Posted by Mike Dorf

14 comments:

Sobek said...

I know a lot of you are Obama supporters, and so I ask this question with the utmost respect and circumspection I can muster. Today Michelle Obama said:

"Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

My question is: what the holy hell?

Michael C. Dorf said...

Nice question, sobek. Here are three possibilities:

1) She was addressing Obama supporters, saying, in effect, don't expect the candidate to do the work himself. A leader needs followers. This is a campaign about us, not me, etc.

2) This is her version of JFK's "Ask not what your country can do for you," albeit a bit carried away with the alliteration.

3) Senator Obama has a secret plan to reinstate the draft and to turn us all into soylent green. It's PEOPLE. SOYLENT GREEN IS PEEEEEEOPLE!

I'm betting on number 2.

Sobek said...

I don't remember JFK threatening to force people to work. Or insulting the masses by calling them uneducated introverts. Maybe I'm just too young.

Carl said...

Sounds like she's coming out in favor of "workfare, not welfare." Any chance of that? Didn't think so.

Charles Thomas said...

I am somewhat uniquely qualified to comment on Mike Livingston's campaign- I live in his district, and he was my Business Organizations professor in the Fall 2000 semester (full disclosure- I barely know him, and he gave me a B, but I do criminal defense, so what do I know about business?).

However, there are two things that would prevent me from voting for him. First, Prof. Livingston recently ran for the school board and lost. His campaign literature amounted to a polemic against the Democratic majority in Cheltenham Township. Second, the day after election day 2000, he railed against the sheer stupidity of the Florida voters who were confused by the butterfly ballot and loudly proclaimed his affinity for Bush. Between these two incidents, he revealed himself to be essentially a party hack with little substance to offer to the truly important issues of the day.

On the other hand, he understands the tax code. My understanding of the tax code begins and ends with "I have to pay them."

Sobek said...

"Barack Obama, interviewed on WOAI radio in San Antonio, Texas, expressed frustration that his wife's comments became political fodder."

He isn't really surprised that when his wife gives political stump speeches during a political election, some of her words become political fodder, is he?

And his explanation of her words -- that when she said she's never been proud of America she really means she's never been proud of the political system -- seems a bit of a stretch.

I wonder if Michelle Obama is going to get a Theresa Kerry-esque "maybe you shouldn't talk for a while, honey" instruction.

Sorry for the off-topic, but in my defense, this is a post about elections, right? Yeah, I know that was weak.

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