September 30, 2005

Lots Of Blogging To Do

Ok, lots of posts to get out in not much time. First let's hit this post over on Pandagon by Amanda. You know, I am sympathetic to the arguments against voting for Roberts, and I certainly don't like him as a Justice (just look at my initial thoughts to his nomination), but I can't help but get a little annoyed when people on the left jump all over Democrats for choosing an actual strategy and sticking to it when they haven't offered a real alternative strategy. Here's the current Democratic strategy as I see it:
1)Roberts was going to get confirmed anyway. He's good telegenic, has a really great looking resume, and no matter what the Republicans have the votes not matter what.

2) Rehnquist was a really conservative justice and even if Roberts is super conservative his votes probably won't switch the makeup of the court on many, if any, major decisions. Plus, there was no way in Hell Bush could nominate a moderate for Rehnquist's seat even if he wanted to.

3) Most Americans agree with things like Roe or Brown v. Board, but they hate politics. It will be far easier to make people interested in fighting off a real conservative for O'Connor's seat than Rehnquist's seat.

4) If the Democrats made it clear during confirmation that they didn't like Roberts at all, but voted for him anyway, they can fairly easily deflect charges of being obstructionists and can more effectively fight against a distasteful nominee for O'Connor's seat.

Yeah, it would have been nice to not have Roberts as Chief, and voting for a nominee you don't like is never an easy thing to swallow, but just saying that anyone that voted for him is on your shit list seems awefully short sighted to me. What good would it have done to the big picture if all the Democrats had voted no? The strategy as I see it has lots of value in the long term, what is the long term value here?

" 'Pictures at an Exhibition' played as he stood in his trance / Staring at his inhibitions / All the time believing / That it call came down to nothing but this chance."


Jason said...

Savatage-The Best and The Rest

MosBen said...

Right group, wrong song.

MosBen said...

Methinks you did a google search and didn't click through the link...

So this one's still up for grabs...

Noumena said...

I don't understand how 3) and 4) are supposed to combine together into some kind of anti-Scalia mk.2 argument, nor exactly who this argument would be directed at.

Maybe I'm getting you wrong (I'm a little hung over), but it sounds like you want to get something like the following: in the (highly likely) event that Republicans slur a Dem filibuster of the first nominee for Day-O'Connor's seat as obstructionists, Dems can respond publicly with the argument that they're mostly pragmatic -- witness what they did with the Roberts nomination -- but they have to draw the line somewhere.

I don't buy this. A 'yea' vote is not being nonobstructionist; it's expressing *support* for Roberts. The Democrats who voted this way weren't saying 'I don't like him, but I'm not going to bring the Senate to a halt over it'; that's what the ones who voted 'noe' without threatening to filibuster did. Instead, the 'yea' voters said 'I want this man to be the next Chief Justice'.

Indeed, 1) seems to drive this home even harder. If Roberts didn't need any Dem support, how is it an unpleasant but ultimately good thing to offer him that support? The only pragmatism I can see here is the thoroughly discredited Republican-Lite strategy.