Friday, July 06, 2012

The Education of Judge Richard Posner

Back in 2009 we alerted you to the fact that one of the "intellectual giants" of the conservative movement, federal circuit court judge Richard Posner, had become a Keynsian.

It's taken three years, but Posner kept thinking:
Posner expressed admiration for President Ronald Reagan and the economist Milton Friedman, two pillars of conservatism. [Give him time; give him time.] But over the past 10 years, Posner said, "there's been a real deterioration in conservative thinking. And that has to lead people to re-examine and modify their thinking."
"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy," he said. [Editorial note: That was 32 years ago.]
Posner, who was appointed to the appeals court by Reagan, speculated that the leaks about the deliberations over the national health care law — which are apparently designed to discredit Chief Justice John Roberts' opinion upholding the law — would backfire. "I think these right-wingers who are blasting Roberts are making a very serious mistake," he said.
"Because if you put [yourself] in his position ... what's he supposed to think? That he finds his allies to be a bunch of crackpots? Does that help the conservative movement? I mean, what would you do if you were Roberts? All the sudden you find out that the people you thought were your friends have turned against you, they despise you, they mistreat you, they leak to the press. What do you do? Do you become more conservative? Or do you say, 'What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics?' Right? Maybe you have to re-examine your position."

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