Commentary Magazine


Supremely Qualified

This week, President Obama is reportedly considering potential nominees to succeed Justice David Souter on the United States Supreme Court. He’s discussed the qualities he’s looking for — considerations such as “empathy” and experience outside the judicial world.

Well, I think we might have discovered Obama’s ideal candidate: Bruce Marks.

Marks, like Obama, is a community organizer. He is the head of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Americans threatened with foreclosure to keep their homes. Marks and his group help these folks with some truly innovative and remarkably effective tactics — such as shouting, threatening mass protests, and — in Marks’s own words — “terrorizing” bankers.

The tactics NACA uses should be familiar to anyone who has been observing how the Obama campaign and administration treats its detractors. When it comes across a banker who doesn’t show proper obeisance to their demands, that banker can expect to have his name, address, and photos of himself and his home plastered all over NACA’s website — and mass protests at that home, bused in by NACA. Senators who might voice in opposition to Mr. Marks’s nomination can expect to be treated much the same.

Mr. Marks is also unlikely to run afoul of tax issues, as have so many of Obama’s other nominees. Even though NACA is a registered non-profit that receives millions of dollars each year from the federal government, it keeps its books tightly closed. How much do they take in? How much do they pay their employees? What is their success rate? Nobody’s talking.

And Mr. Marks’s philosophy on the rule of law fits in quite nicely with that of the Obama administration. He has about as much respect for signed mortgage contracts as Obama has for the rules of bankruptcy courts and the validity of other contracts that conflict with his grand economic vision.

The only question is whether or not Mr. Marks would be willing to take a likely pay cut in exchange for lifetime job security.