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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Reid announces he is a dope

As I explained in this post: Roberts, the ultimate rope-a-dope?, opposition to someone as highly qualified as Roberts is a foolish political strategy. FOXNews:

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday that he intends to oppose confirmation of John Roberts (search) as chief justice of the Supreme Court. 'I intend to cast my vote against the nomination when the Senate meets here next week,' Reid said on the Senate floor. 'For me, Mr. President, this is a very close question. But I must resolve my doubts in favor of the American people, whose rights would be in jeopardy if John Roberts turns out to be the wrong person for this job,' he said.
Democrats can go on all day about how they are voting 'no' because they are 'unsure'. Politically, they cannot prevent this nomination so all they have is the court of public opinion to rely on. People won't remember the reason you gave, they will simply remember whether you voted 'no' or voted 'yes'. So if we get Janice Roberts Brown nominated next, and the Democrats vote against her as well (which I could certainly understand, even if I disagree) then the perception in the American mind will be not that Brown was bad, but that she was pretty much like Roberts. The perception will also be that the Democrats were simply obstructionist. The only thing that could be better, if Bush really does want to appoint a very conservative person to the bench, is if the Democrats filibustered Roberts. It doesn't look like they will be that dopey however.


Blogger Gib said...

Knock yourself out, Harry. Spread the word far and wide. Democrats oppose Roberts for reasons unrelated to his qualifications, ethics, or testimony before the Senate.

Also, since Reid is allegedly pro-life - presumably Roberts voting to overturn Roe wouldn't be a huge bug up Reid's butt. What other rulings is he afraid Roberts is going to make?

9/21/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger honestpartisan said...

Reid's reasoning was concern over Roberts' views on issues of concern about civil rights and equal rights for women, animated by various memos he had written while working for the Reagan administration.

I'm unsure what the politics of a "no" vote will be. This is clearly not going to be filibustered, so Roberts' confirmation is a foregone conclusion and the votes of Democrats are only symbolic.

Byron York at National Review recently tried to make an issue of the fact that Democrats voted to confirm Michael Brown as FEMA director, the implication being that Democrats were complicit in Brown's incompetence. Voting to confirm someone has some political effect, then -- it can be seen as an endorsement. And if you have an honest philosophical difference with someone, why not vote against them?

The argument for voting for Roberts is that he's not as conservative as other nominees could be (Michael Luttig or Janice Rogers Brown), and maybe Bush should be rewarded for not going with an extremist.

It's unclear to me, though, that Bush responds at all to any hints of compromise from Democrats. He's nothing if not ideologically aggressive. If anything, Democrats who try to cooperate with Bush have nothing to show for it (politically). In my view, Bush is politically weaker now than he's ever been throughout the course of his presidency. His approval ratings before Katrina were very low, and Katrina just strengthened his negatives. He's not in much of a position to make Senators take a difficult vote on an extreme nominee, so it may not matter politically anyway.

9/21/2005 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

You are fighting the last war HP.

Bush will never be elected for anything again. He is on his last term.

Democrats desparately need to define themselves. They need to show what they stand for, not what they are against.

A good portion, probably a majority, of the country is pretty close to Roberts politically.

Voting 'No' on Roberts will backfire strongly against the democrats in the Electorate and solidify the perception, already forming, that Democrats are simply obstructionists. I don't know of a quicker way to marginalize the party than that.

9/21/2005 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger honestpartisan said...

Really? And what does Roberts stand for exactly? He pretty much refused to say.

9/21/2005 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Actually he said very clearly what he stands for.

Roberts stands for the rule of law as an end unto itself. He clearly loves the law for the structure and certainty it gives to society.

I think this is a pretty good stance for a judge.

While it is uncontrovertable that bad laws can cause injustice, and I would hope that our legislatures would fix them when that becomes apparent, without rule of law their can be no justice.

Read up on the French Fry case and you can see this very clearly.

9/21/2005 01:13:00 PM  

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