Pam Karlan Panel: Nostalgia for Traditional Marxism, Prosecute OLC Lawyers, How to Battle Conservatives

October 4th, 2009

(this is a repost of Liveblog of Panel 8)

There were a few choice discussions on Panel 8 today. I am likely taking most of these statements after context, and without a doubt these statements were made largely tongue-in-cheek, but as probably the only conservative in the room, I still got a chuckle.

On Marxism

Robert Gordon

“I miss traditional Marxism.” I feel like breaking out and signing “Those were the Days” from All in the Family or maybe Back in the USSR. Gordon does oes not miss hectoring domineering, but he misses the fitting of points into overall structure, global capitalism. Miss importance of political inequality translates into political oligarchy, and political oligarchy dominates political decisions, e.g., organization of the Senate. Gives oligarchy extra advantages. Affects structures of the careers.

Pam Karlan

Pam Karlan interjected, “A kindler, Gentler marxism.” LOL.

On Prosecuting OLC Lawyers

Nan Aron

Over last 8 years we saw constitution shredded to bits. Lawyers at OLC wrote memos’s that authorize torture. Obama does not want to touch it. Cheney and Bush, government in exile, doing everything they can to campaign against investigation. People died from torture. We need to press Obama and Holder to expand investigation into not just CIA operatives that carried torture outside Jurisdiction, but “hold lawyers accountable.” Amazing that a group that doesn’t mention the text of the Constitution at any point in this 3 day conference is so afraid of it being “shredded.”


Primary role of court to defend weak against the strong. Empathy to Republicans is awful thing, but torture is a wonderful thing, and anyone who tortured should get immunity.

Karlan- “It is bad to be empathetic and in favor of torture, because then you will hurt yourself.” Karlan FTW! She is snappy.

Battling Conservatives


How to divide and conquer the consevatives?


How to divide conservatives? Get people to see that they have a common interest against conservatives. Health care debate, promise of hope of universality by appeal to people who feel that something will be taken and redistributed to less worthy groups. E.g., “blacks, latinos, and immigrants.” Use divide and conquer movement against those using divide and conquer.