This Week’s Menu
Substitution: Pinto beans for borlotti beans
Italian Sausages and Lentils from Nigella Bites
Substitution: Chicken sausage for pork sausage
Spaghetti with Spinach, Pancetta, and Egg from Pasta Harvest
Chili Pie from Real Simple Food (Fall 2006)
Substitutions: Mexican chorizo for Italian sausage, black beans for kidney beans
Leftovers or Carryout
Slow-Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos from Everyday Food (October 2008)
Fried Green Tomato BLTs
Frozen French fries
Change We Can Believe In
It will come as a surprise to no one that The New Yorker has endorsed Barack Obama. Nevertheless, the editorial announcing the magazine’s choice of presidential candidate is a worthwhile read, particularly for anyone who is still undecided. In a clear and organized fashion, the editors spell out the real and substantive differences between Obama and John McCain—differences in temperament, differences in character, and differences in political philosophy. They suggest how an Obama presidency would look, and they compare that to what we might expect from McCain. I have chosen this extended quotation, because I feel that it’s so important:
McCain cites Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, two reliable conservatives, as models for his own prospective appointments. If he means what he says, and if he replaces even one moderate on the current Supreme Court, then Roe v. Wade will be reversed, and states will again be allowed to impose absolute bans on abortion. McCain’s views have hardened on this issue. In 1999, he said he opposed overturning Roe; by 2006, he was saying that its demise “wouldn’t bother me any”; by 2008, he no longer supported adding rape and incest as exceptions to his party’s platform opposing abortion.
But scrapping Roe—which, after all, would leave states as free to permit abortion as to criminalize it—would be just the beginning. Given the ideological agenda that the existing conservative bloc has pursued, it’s safe to predict that affirmative action of all kinds would likely be outlawed by a McCain Court. Efforts to expand executive power, which, in recent years, certain Justices have nobly tried to resist, would likely increase. Barriers between church and state would fall; executions would soar; legal checks on corporate power would wither—all with just one new conservative nominee on the Court. And the next President is likely to make three appointments.
Obama, who taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, voted against confirming not only Roberts and Alito but also several unqualified lower-court nominees. As an Illinois state senator, he won the support of prosecutors and police organizations for new protections against convicting the innocent in capital cases. While McCain voted to continue to deny habeas-corpus rights to detainees, perpetuating the Bush Administration’s regime of state-sponsored extra-legal detention, Obama took the opposite side, pushing to restore the right of all U.S.-held prisoners to a hearing. The judicial future would be safe in his care.
Back in 2000, liberals dissatisfied with Gore’s centrism liked to say that there was no real difference between the two major-party candidates. In conversations with Ralph Nader’s supporters, the disparity between the type of judge George Bush was likely to appoint and the type of judge Al Gore was likely to appoint was, I argued, a real difference. The same holds true today. I sympathize with the disappointment of Hillary Clinton’s supporters, I understand the frustration of lefties who feel that Barack Obama is insufficiently radical. I would, however, ask these constituencies to take a look at the last eight years, consider the challenges that lie ahead, and ask themselves whether or not the country—and the world—might not be at least a little bit better off if Obama is our next president.