Sunday, September 23, 2007

Today, would Gerald Ford be to the left of Hillary Clinton?

In a NYT Magazine article John Paul Stevens, the 87 yo "liberal" justice, reminds us he was appointed by Ford and is a "moderate republican"...
Justice John Paul Stevens - Supreme Court - Law - Washington - New York Times

Stevens, however, is an improbable liberal icon. “I don’t think of myself as a liberal at all,” he told me during a recent interview in his chambers, laughing and shaking his head. “I think as part of my general politics, I’m pretty darn conservative.” Stevens said that his views haven’t changed since 1975, when as a moderate Republican he was appointed by President Gerald Ford to the Supreme Court. Stevens’s judicial hero is Potter Stewart, the Republican centrist, whom Stevens has said he admires more than all of the other justices with whom he has served. He considers himself a “judicial conservative,” he said, and only appears liberal today because he has been surrounded by increasingly conservative colleagues. “Including myself,” he said, “every judge who’s been appointed to the court since Lewis Powell” — nominated by Richard Nixon in 1971 — “has been more conservative than his or her predecessor. Except maybe Justice Ginsburg. That’s bound to have an effect on the court.”
I usually think that the GOP has moved to an extreme position, so much so that a Ford Republican is a liberal today. On the other hand, is it correct to say that Gerald Ford would be to the left of Hillary?

It's a tricky question. These days even commies like me respect the power of markets, even as we fear the answers markets give the weak. Ford-era price controls aren't "liberal" today, they're dumb. On another paw, Ford @1970 would be far less tolerant of non-heterosexual gender relationships than most of today's GOP (ignoring their theater for a moment).

Bottom line, I don't think Gerald Ford @ 1970 would map onto any part of today's political spectrum. Probably not the Democrats, and certainly not today's GOP. Stevens and the few Republicans like him have been left adrift as the GOP has moved to some weird political dimension ...

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