I find this mind-boggling:
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has told associates he intends to oppose confirmation of John Roberts as chief justice, Senate sources said Tuesday as rank and file Democrats began staking out positions on the man named to succeed the late William H. Rehnquist.
Reid scheduled a speech on the Senate floor for mid-afternoon, at which he was expected to make his announcement public.
Roberts has strong Republican support and appears headed for easy confirmation.
As party leader, Reid had urged fellow Democrats not to announce their positions until the conclusion of last week’s confirmation hearings for Roberts.
By stating his own position first, Reid likely would set the stage for strong Democratic opposition to the 50-year-old appeals court judge and former Reagan administration lawyer.
For months I have heard Harry Reid fashioned as a moderate or centrist Democrat, so it simply makes no sense to me why he would be opposing John Roberts. For that matter, I don’t understand why the majority of Democrats are not relieved John Roberts was the pick, and begging/hoping/praying (in a secular way, of course) that the next pick will be as thoughtful and sane as Judge Roberts.
Judge Roberts is no fire-breathing ideologue, and if the Democrats do everything they can to block his nomination, and mount a strident and contentious opposition, they are sealing their own fates. If someone like Roberts is going to get 30-40 votes against from Democrats, I see no reason why Bush doesn’t appoint a fire-breathing ideologue. Let ’em filibuster.
If Roberts is unacceptable, the simple fact is Democrats can’t deal with a Republican appointee. Period.
I must have missed something. Did Roberts answer questions to John’s satisfaction? If so, Harpo Marx must be on the Cole short list.
Or perhaps Cratylus the Pre-Socratic who said, “one can never step in the same river once.” He renounced speech altogether, going Heraclitus one better.
Here we go with the latest DNC talking points. “He didn’t answer questions!!! Wahhhh!! He didn’t say whether or not he’d overturn Roe v. Wade!! Wahhhh!!”
Cripes. Enough already. The man answered questions he should have answered and refused to answer questions that had no business being asked in the first place.
Kinda depends on what reasons he gives for voting no, doesn’t it?
I don’t doubt Roberts will be confirmed with a straight up and down vote. Isn’t that what conservatives said they wanted? Do they now want a unanimous confirmation?
Apparently, there’s just no pleasing some people.
He spoke. Answered? Debatable.
J. Michael Neal
I don’t get why this is so puzzling. No, we Democrats aren’t going to like any judge that Bush appoints. I don’t think that we should reduce our standards to the level that,if the nomination could be worse, then we should vote for it. No filibuster, but there is nothing wrong with registering disapproval of any nominee that Bush sends forth. The Republicans will get Roberts on the bench, but they can do it with only the votes of those who prefer his jurisprudence.
Would it be nice if the entire judicial selection process were non-political? Maybe, though I’d have to think about it hard. It’s not. A president chooses who to nominate for very political reasons. Expecting the opposition to eschew politics when the nomination is sent to the Senate is just dumb.
I don’t expect a particularly strident opposition, just a bunch of nays. The latter is required for the Democrats to be doing their jobs.
Roberts is going to get in no matter what. He’s got all the Republican votes he needs and there’s not going to be a fillibuster. While I’m sort of of the opinion that Dems might as well support Roberts, Reid’s got to worry about the Democratic base which is divided on a number of issues. More to the point, if fundamental liberties which most voters take for granted now start getting rolled back (and I’m not talking about abortion here), I think Reid wants to be in the position of saying, “see, I told you so.” Of course, his opposition could have to do with personal politics between the president and himself, stuff we are not aware of also.
Bruce from Missouri
John, do you REALLY think that Bush would nominate someone who isn’t a wingnut? All Roberts has proven is that they were smart enough to nominate someone who can act like a sane human being in public.
Just because he’s a smooth talker, and excellent evader of questions doesn’t mean they should vote for him.
The Christian Right is lined up behind this nomination, and that’s all you really need to know.
I’m just waiting for someone to say that it is precedent that no one criticize a nominee for the Supreme Court nor vote against him/her.
All the hardcore conservatives are reassuring the rank-and-file “Don’t worry, this is the guy we want.” Meanwhile, the Democrats are supposed to breathe a sigh of relief that the guy is such a reasonable choice. Someone is being bullshitted here.
The only thing “tone deaf” around here is that someone still believes Democrats will be rewarded by the GOP if they demonstrate good faith and bipartisanship. Let’s review how that worked out with respect to the war.
I see that Jay is all over the GOP talking points himself. But I wonder, did Reid say what Jsy’s talking points suggest, and only that?
Gee, I guess not. But then the New Republicans seem to believe that the Senate’s job is to rubber stamp whatever President Bush puts in front of them. And anyone who chooses to go against that is just flat out wrong.
And i’m not sure why you are so upset John. I have seen it, or heard it, reported that Reid specifically said that this would not reach the “extraordinary” level agreed to for a fillibuster. But it is setting a bad precident for future administrations as far as disclosure, something this admin has shown they are more than willing to do. I look forward to the reactions of the right when Hillary with holds information regarding her SC noms.
Blahworldwheretalkingpointsareverything: Blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahbla
Myworld: Confirm Roberts, and move on.
A filibuster of Roberts would be strategically stupid, but I don’t see Reid threatening one here. To me all this looks like is an attempt to go on the record and stand up and be counted against the secrecy and heavy-handed methods of this administration. And… what’s wrong with that? Reid’s expected actions (expected, threatened, whatever) don’t show a belief that Roberts is evil or incompetent, just that Roberts is not up to his standards.
Historically it seems to me that %90 of the emphasis has been on the “advice” part of “advice and consent.” Maybe in a perfect world people would stick to that precedent but this isn’t a perfect world. If the Democrats want to try to increase the importance of the “consent” to be anywhere close to the importance of “advice,” and in doing so try to act like a genuine opposition party, even if only symbolically, so what?
I’m sure quite a few people would go even farther than you, John, and say this is more evidence, were any needed, that the Democrats are all raving shrill, extremist, etc. from the top down. But let’s be honest – Darrell, TallDave and DefenseGuy weren’t going to vote Democratic any time soon anyway. For the rest of us, at least we won’t have to make excuses for stuff like “I voted for Roberts before I voted against him” in the 2008 campaign.
Roberts answered everything he needed to?
OK, so what’s his position on Executive Power? Does the President have the authority to override the Constitution? If so, under what circumstances? Do those circumstances have to be defined; are they subject to time limit or review?
May a citizen challenge a law under which that citizen was arrested and/or imprisoned? Under what circumstances may a law, or a law enforcement method, be thrown out by a Court – or is the only recourse legislative?
The SCOTUS has, on numerous occasions, reversed its own previous decisions. That conflicts with stare decisis. Would Roberts always defer to stare decisis? If not, under what circumstances, and in view of what judicial philosophy? If so, does he believe that only legislative action may reverse a previous decision?
I presume, because Roberts is a conservative, that he supports the idea of Congress excluding entire areas of law or policy from SCOTUS review. Does he believe there are any limits to what Congress may exclude from SCOTUS review? Taken to a logical conclusion, Congress could exclude all laws and policies from review. How does Roberts regard Congressional acts that, taken to their logical conclusion, would render the SCOTUS superfluous?
How dare the Democrats take a stand that’s not 100% supportive of the president. It’s almost like they think they’re an opposition party or something, and would be well served by drawing differences between themselves and a highly unpopular president.
What a bunch of morons.
The Dems ought to vote against but not filibuster. Yes, Roberts is not as bad as what could have been. No, he didn’t answer a damn question he was answered, and no, the Senate’s prerogatives were not upheld. So, sure, bow to the inevitable, but don’t put your stamp of approval on it.
Well, given that Rehnquist went to the court on a 68-26 vote and became Chief Justice on a 65–33 vote, I don’t really see anything wrong with having a few Dem votes going against Roberts. He’s sure to get some Dem votes, after all. Honestly, doesn’t seem very extremist to me.
Did you expect him to? I would think thats the purpose of ducking questions and not releasing all his memos. To not ‘appear’ extremist.
Jg, sorry about my construction there. By
I meant that the Dems who vote against Roberts won’t be committing an earth-shattering, precendent breaking act.
When extreme right wing people are frantic over Roberts, and some even posit that he is gay, you know the guy can’t be all that bad.
But it is definitely a CYA maneuver for the opposition party.
Gee, I guess not. But then the New Republicans seem to believe that the Senate’s job is to rubber stamp whatever President Bush puts in front of them.
Rubber stamp? I guess the three days of hearings, meetings with Senators, and the review of his record is now considered a “rubber stamp.”
“The failure of the White House to produce relevant documents is reason enough for any senator to oppose this nomination. The administration cannot treat the Senate with such disrespect without some consequences,” Reid said.
Reid is so full of crap, it’s coming out of his ears. 7 former Solicitor Generals, including three who served for President Clinton and one for John F. Kennedy sent a letter to Leahy and co. when they requested the same documents with regard to Miguel Estrada. This is no different. The Senate is showing a callous disrespect for the office of the Presidency by asking them to release confidential internal correspondence. This is what those SG’s said:
Reid got his marching orders from Ralph Neas and others and he’s making sure he stays in their good graces.
Yeah? And your point would be what?
Oh please. You fools lost that one when you had the impeachment hearings. But being part of the New Republican Party means that you don’t have to comply with the very things you demanded that your opposition comply with.
Hypocricy know’s no bounds with the New GOP.
Well, I guess “I’m not going to answer that question” is technically an answer to a question, sure.
Roberts is going to be confirmed, obviously, and while he’s certainly not worth a filibuster, he is rather worrisome. If you spend an entire conversation with me keeping one hand behind your back and pointedly not letting me see that hand, I’m going to assume you’ve got something in your hand you don’t want me to see. That’s what we’re getting with Roberts. He’s going to be shoehorned in, but it seems rather scary that A) we’re barely allowed to know anything about him, and B) the only thing he has to recommend him is that Bush nominated him (and we see how proper, honorable, effective, and capable past Bush political nominees/appointees are, which is to say not very).
Roberts is the devil we don’t know. Better to save the big guns for future devils we do know.
Judge Roberts is no fire-breathing ideologue, and if the Democrats do everything they can to block his nomination, and mount a strident and contentious opposition, they are sealing their own fates. If someone like Roberts is going to get 30-40 votes against from Democrats, I see no reason why Bush doesn’t appoint a fire-breathing ideologue. Let ‘em filibuster.
There is a difference between opposing and filibustering, y’know. Just because the President nominates someone, that doesn’t mean every Senator has to consent.
Jesus’ General is a satirist that is likely a liberal, but definitely not an extreme righty.
As an Independent Liberal who is tired of both parties and the ignorance of most earthlings, I don’t give a shit if Roberts is confirmed or not and if so, immediately wipes his ass with a copy of the Constitution. Sometimes you get what you ask for. Reid and most Dems should vote no if they feel that is the prudent decision; the issue is not whether or not he said anything to make you vote no, it is whether or not he said anything to make you vote yes. I understand that the Republican Party has made politics a race to the bottom and that Democrats are making the mistake of the French leader in following the people instead of trying to lead, but that doesn’t mean they can’t occasionally consult the roadmap.
M. Scott Eiland
Nice going, pal. The check’s in the mail–drinks are on you the next time I’m in Vegas.
Yours In Darkness,
Yes they do. Unless they hate America. And freedom. And puppies.
Roberts is clearly qualified. This is a farce. This isn’t supposed to be about him answering all of Joe Biden’s stupid questions, this is about if he is qualified for the job or not. He is. End of story.
Too lazy to read the comments. I hope that at least some Democrats (like me) can see that Reid is being dumb. The nominee could have been much worse. Roberts appears to be very intelligent and truly applies a rigid set of rules — quite a bit different than say, Rehnquist or Thomas, who have both reversed their guidelines for judgement when the circumstances benefited a right-tilted policy.
It’s people like you that help us get the Michale Brown’s confirmed.
Define qualified. Fuck, Roy Moore is theoretically qualified; he has a law degree and even served as a judge. But that doesn’t mean he should be on the SCOTUS.
Com Con, how about submitting that as an amendment to the Constitution?
Because until then, I’ll stick with “advice and consent,” if you don’t mind. Call me a strict constructionist.
Just stop it. This is a garbage statement. Various people, groups or what have you always ask for these so-called “private” correspondence and, usually, there is some invocation of executive privilege and then some threats of legal action.
It was no disrespect for the office of the President then and it isn’t now.
My guess is that in a couple of years EVERYONE will be standing as far away from Bush and Company as possible. This group of crooks and inatuse ideologues is beyond rescue. Right now there is a majority in the Senate, so nothing will stop his appointment beyond that video of him cavorting with a sheep in a barn at Crawford and his signed confession to the murder of Vincent Foster. But everything that Bush has given the American Public has turned to that brown stuff floating around in the water in New Orleans, and this Republican operative won’t be any different.
I think this may be the first of Democrats developing vestigial testicles.
That’s stupid. If Reid doesn’t like the nomination, he should vote against it. If the people of Nevada don’t like Reid’s reasons for voting against it, they can vote against him. If anyone doesn’t like any nomination, they should vote against it; the idea that it could be worse is a shit-ass reason for voting to confirm Roberts. People that are really pissed that Reid votes against the confirmation would also be pissed about whatever Reid has for breakfast, drives to work, wears to church and anything else as long as there is a D between parentheses after his name when they show him on teevee.
Actually, Reid has helped another piece of the Roberts Confirmation Script I wrote a few weeks back fall into place:
Republicans do their best to sneak Roberts in while everybody else is (justly) concerned with NOLA
Democrats ask to actually, ya know, learn something about the guy Bush is trying to sneak in as chief justice of the fucking Supreme Court.
Republicans howl how “obstructionist” Democrats are.
Democrats meekly shrug and look at their feet, muttering, “I’m just askin’ is all. But if it’s gonna be such a big deal….”
Justice Sunday 3 in 3-D! James Dobson claims anybody opposing Roberts is a hom’sek-shul. Pat Robertson calls for the posthumous assassination of Liberace. Zell Miller blames the lack of mandatory prayer in schools for all deaths in Iraq and blames the extreme deviance of the porno he just watched backstage on non-Biblical science. A giant shark bursts through the temple’s crystal roof and eats Lou Gosset Jr.
Good-hearted Americans across the country say, “Fuck it, with all the death and destruction we’ve seen, we just can’t muster up the energy to be outraged over some douchebag in a suit. You all suck. Argue amongst yourselves while we try to scrounge up $6.50 for a gallon of gas and try to figure out a way to help Katrina victims.”
Meanwhile, hardline Republicans are outraged that Bush only gets to appoint two Supreme Court Justices–if you don’t think he should get to nominate an entire new Court, then you are unpatriotic! And by the way, what is it you unpatriotic assholes who oppose Bush hate the most about America? Is it the freedom?
Karl Rove’s new push poll question: “If you found out that if John Roberts isn’t confirmed within 72 hours, Ted Kennedy will personally give you cancer, AIDS, lupus, and gingivitis, would that make you more likely or less likely to mindlessly parrot the phrase ‘up or down vote?'”
Confirmation hearing time! John Roberts hires Koko the Monkey Who Knows Sign Language to sign the words, “I choose not to answer that question because I don’t think I should be subjected to a litmus test” in response to every question. Roberts himself kicks his feet up on the desk and browses strictconstructionistbabes.com on his laptop.
Harry Reid gives a fiery speech on the steps of the Capitol building announcing this travesty must not be allowed to continue as it makes a mockery of the entire confirmation process, not to mention your more intelligent apes.
As soon as Reid shouts his last syllable, Roberts gets confirmed.
Scary harry reed is braindead i mean its just typical of a dumb two legged jackass like him to be sush a jerk why dont he just take a leap
Sorry. You’ll never equal Dougj’s prowess at making comments like this.
Too bad the first link I posted was some Freeper zagnut.
Chris almighty, portsiders. What part of “can’t answer questions that are likely to come before the court” don’t you understand? How can you overlook the ever-popular Senator Biden, who told Ruth Bader Ginzburg
So what ambiguous, non-specific question didn’t he answer that you wanted to hear?
Face it. Very few of you are being honest – Bush (a Republican) put the candidate forth, therefore he should be opposed. Please don’t accuse Republicans of being ruthlessly partisan.
Yes, to accuse them of ruthless partisanship implies that is merely an allegation rather than ipso facto.
Republicans are ruthless partisans. But then again, Democrats are partisan, too. It’s the nature of the political party and the very thing George Washington warned us against.
I didn’t oppose Thomas, and only tepidly oppose Roberts. But I guess since I don’t bow before the almighty, I am “ruthlessly partisan.”
Sorry for the mis-read.
Those labels are actually supposed to mean something? Anyway, Reid is not one of the 14, right? And, face it, Robert’s is really not what the opposition wants. So, why should they vote yes? Oh, yeah, I forgot. Corporations pay the opposition leadership to bend over and grab ankles.
Anyway, I like CaseyL’s line of questioning. I didn’t hear it during the portion of the hearings that I saw. I wish I had. The Padilla case worries me.
The opposition didn’t seem to be prepared for Robert’s despite their obvious preparation. Roberts didn’t want to answer any direct questions but seemed to be willing to give a master class on case history. Unfortunatly the Senators didn’t really take him up on the offer as well as they could have.
Robert’s was being “sheparded” by his actor friend who’s in Law and Order, IIRC. An actor “sheparding” a nominee, suspicious no?
Feinstein asked if anybody had advised Roberts during the break to not answer questions. He said no. I wasn’t convinced.
Feingold grilled him about being interviewed for SCOTUS while being on a case where Worst-POTUS-Ever was a party, and he seemed a little shaken and forgetfull.
There are 3, maybe more, sides to this situation. Robert’s is either a reasonable person or a corporatist looney. I don’t think he’s a fundy.
I’m still hoping that The Brain goofed.
P.S. ABE FORTAS
Yeah, the Republicans are ruthlessly partisan. Only an extremely partisan party could muster a whopping seven votes against Ruth Bader Ginzburg.
If anyone here has the audacity to suggest that Ginzburg is anywhere nearer the center than Roberts, you should just tie yourself in a burlap sack and drown yourself, because you are an oxygen thief.
MikeS, 93-7 for Ginzburg. I scanned your comments for any semblance of a rational argument, and found none. Just standard boilerplate Republicans-have-it-coming.
If it hasn’t be stated numerous times before, we can say it again. John Roberts failed to answer the questions put forward by the Senate in an honest and legitamite fashion. I don’t care if he’s a Rode’s Scholar, a legal genius, and a living saint. If every question put to him is returned with a, “I can’t answer that” or a “It’s the law of the land by starie desicise” he’s failed to uphold his obligation to be questioned.
If the judge speaking won’t, get the vote he don’t.
P.P.S DougJ = Jesus’s General. God told me so.
Do you really blame the Democrats for not trusting anything that Bush puts forward? I think a lot of them thinks that Roberts looks fine on the surface, but worry that it might be just that — surface.
And as many, many people have already said on this thread – it’s reasonable of them to oppose, if they have misgivings about the candidate. They’re not going to filibuster…that’s pretty much a given right now.
I’ve been checking out that Jesus General site. Pretty good stuff there. Almost as good as Alan Keyes site, which gets my highest recommendation for satire.
I’ve got to give the Keyes site the edge for two reasons: (1) the fact they don’t proorfread all of the articles and (2) that ridiculous picture of Jim Kouri.
John, why don’t you talk about the Keyes site more? The thing is a goldmine.
I wonder what adjective we could use to describe a political party whose 55 members of the Senate all managed to vote against forming an independent commission to investigate Katrina (54 voted no – 1 didn’t bother).
Partisan certainly wouldn’t apply…
Oh come on. Even you must know that Orin Hatch recommended Ginsburg for the SC. Duh.
If Bush had nominated a candidate recommended by Leahy you can be damn sure that nominee would have received almost unanimous support from the Dems.
Of course, Bush didn’t do that. And Roberts’ hearing was one of the most disappointing ones I’ve watched. The man may be very smart but he sure didn’t have much to say. What a waste of time.
Of course, the real story with Roberts is that the real secret he wants to keep is that he won’t overrule Roe v. Wade. The Democrats have to pretend to oppose him to keep from alerting the Christian right.
Well, maybe I don’t really believe that, but I think it is certainly possible. I do believe he won’t nix Roe v. Wade.
It’s that soft bigotry of low expectations again.
Because the “independent” committee will be as worthless as the 9/11 Commission was. Filled with political hacks like Gorelick, spinning wildly and covering tracks. There is no such thing as an independent committee that could possibly come out of DC. Now, pick ten Iowa farmers and you’d get to the bottom of it.
Patrick, then there should be no investigation. The only chance for a good one is an outside investigation. You may not like the 9/11 Commission (personally, I have no strong opinion about it but I have a ton of respect for Kean), that’s fine. But there’s no way you can claim that a partisan investigation would be better. Unless you’re a shameless liar, which I don’t think you are.
yet another jeff
Ya know, the idea that someone voting against someone they’re not sure they trust seems pretty damned rational.
He’s gonna be confirmed and some people find it necessary to bitch that he won’t be confirmed by a wide enough margin?
What the hell are people actually wanting to happen? I have to think that anyone that bothers complaining about senators that don’t vote for Roberts just isn’t serious.
Neither Justice Ginsburg’s nor Justice Breyer’s nomination to the Court was subjected to the ridiculous standards being proffered by the Democrats this time around (eg., “someone who will unite the country” or someone who will promise not to overturn precedents establishing specific public policy). No, back when Clinton (and, for that matter, every president before Bush) was nominating justices to serve on the Court, all that was important was whether the individual nominated was qualified for the job of serving on the Court. Now because Bush is president, the nominee is required to testify to his support for ideology that suits the minority party. Nobody has offered a remotely compelling argument that Judge Roberts is not qualified to serve on the Court. Instead, the opposition arguments center around the fact that he did not directly respond to questions that no prior nominee has directly answered (or been required to answer) and the fact that the nominating President refused to hand over internal legal documents and memoranda, the release of which would jeopardize the ability of future White House attorneys to effectively do their jobs (so say 5 past Solicitors General). Yes, this is ruthlessly partisan, and all the carping about Katrina and Iraq isn’t going to change that.
Talk about a story that makes your day! My God, can the Democrat leadership keep getting worse? In an ideal GOP world, 40 Democrats would vote no on Roberts (and then when asked why, they’d answer, “because he didn’t openly agree to be a liberal rubber stamp,” but that’s too much to ask).
With every new jack the Democrats roll up to the mike, I keep thinking, “This might be the guy who gets their act together,” but then he turns out to be Terry MacAuliffe’s retarded brother. It’s like one of those English presents-wrapped-in-a-present-wrapped-in-a-present. Every successive layer reveals a delightful cipher with less of a vision.
You’d love to play these guys at chess for money. I’m seriously beginning to wonder, Can the Dems’ leadership not see six inches in front of their faces? Can they not ever predict the next move, as simple as it may be? It certainly would explain a lot.
The fun stuff is behind the scenes now. Will they convince other, smarter Dems to engage in a folly that can only end badly or neutral for them?
My opinion, is that the Republicans are complaining about Democrats not voting for Roberts, because down the road, if Roe v Wade ever gets overturned, or any other bad decisions, they can say, “Blame all those Democrats that voted for Roberts too”.
One of the things that boggles my mind about the Kos crowd is how on one hand, they’re incredibly aware of image as politics. Hardly a day goes by where there’s not a diary or two on “framing”, most everyone there seems to understand this. Yet on the other hand, you have shit like this, something that would be a total PR disaster, not to mention a practical one since now blocking the next nom (if he or she is a real nut) will be that much more difficult, and they seem utterly oblivious.
Ahhh yesss… this is where the Democrats whose balls have yet to descend tuck tail and run whimpering back to mama. I’m no Republican aka pseudo conservative, but I’m sure as f**k no tail tuck-n-run away to mama’s boy.
That said, I do play one on tv.
I dont understand how Reid voting against Roberts is a PR disaster, or how it would be more difficult to block the next nominee. Could you expand your reasoning?
BTW, I think you give Kos too much credit, to think that they have any control over Reid’s vote.
I think it’s PR disaster because the paint on Roberts, mainly because of Democrats own early capitulation, is dry. People (well, the media, so the people) see Roberts as conservative, even very conservative, but more or less fair minded and not extremist. It will take .00959050965096 of a second for The right wing noise machine to make democrats look exactly how John is describing them. The time to make a push against Roberts was the day he was nominated, it’s too late now.
I think it will make it more difficult to block the next nominee because dems will have less credibility, simply because of what I’ve hypothesized above. As far as the public will be concerned it will be the boy who cried wolf.
chadwig, I’m not sure I buy into that. While I think dems are generally pussies on most issues, I don’t think this is one of them. Bush is a conservative president who said he would nominate conservative judges. So by any reasonable expectations, the dude is going to be a conservative. So it IS a plus, especially considering this admins history of seemingly “fuck you” nominations (Bolton), that this guy doesn’t appear to be some whacked out nut.
I see what your saying now, thanks.
I would think fillibustering would be more of a PR disaster, than just not voting for Roberts, for the reasons Reid gave.
It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Dougj, I’m a Dem and I fully admit that Reid’s actions have a political and partisan flavor to them. Part of it, I think, is that Reid does not want to be seen as being taken for a ride by the Dem base. Dems are already split on a number of issues, seeing Reid back down in a fight would make things even worse. Additionally, if Roberts turns out to be a good looking Scalia, Reid won’t look like an idiot. Once rights we take for granted start getting stripped away, he can say, “see, I told you so” and insulate himself and Democrats from the Court’s decisions.
He knows Roberts is going to get in no matter what. He also knows that a lot of folks in the Democratic party are uncomfortable by the lack spine from the party’s leadership. A vote against him is a safe bet for Reid.
“I would think fillibustering would be more of a PR disaster, than just not voting for Roberts, for the reasons Reid gave.”
Oh definitely. Maybe this is contradicting everything I just said, but I don’t think a “no” vote is necessarily doom. I suppose it will depend on the effectiveness of how that vote is articulated to the public, and how sincere that articulation comes off. But with the stranglehold the right has on the media, how likely is that to happen?
Democrats will never escape their initial reaction on this issue. The initial reaction was, “oh, cool, bush didn’t nominate an extremist”, nothing is going to change that.
By the way, I’m leaving logic and fairness at the door with all this shit, I’m speaking from framing and image points of view, all that evil stuff.
KC brings up some great points. LONG TERM, a no vote could very well be a wise political move. My theories apply mostly to short term fall out.
And here’s what I think…
So what if Reid votes nay. So what if every single Democrat in the Senate voes nay. It won’t hurt the GOP if it happens, you know. Hell, I can just see the product of the Noise Machine if it DOES happen.
And for a Democrat, that’s a pretty scary picture.
I think Roberts seems okay, but I am concerned about the confirmation hearings and his ability to dodge questions. Obviously you don’t want a Justice with a firm opinion to the point he can’t have an open mind, but he or she should be required to ANSWER every question. That should be a rule agreed to beforehand. I mean, I have never been on a job interview where I say to the interviewer, ‘yes, well I just don’t want to answer that question now’. Perhaps, he should have been asked more open-ended questions, such as ‘give us the two sides, or the pros and cons of the (fill in the blank) issue’. Also he should have been asked more philosophical questions such as, ‘what do you know about the struggles minorities or women face in the workplace today’, instead of trying to tie his views to legal rulings. I think the whole process should be tightened next time.
“Democrats will never escape their initial reaction on this issue. The initial reaction was, “oh, cool, bush didn’t nominate an extremist”, nothing is going to change that.”
I agree with that, and is basically the reason why a fillibuster would be a PR disaster.
If I were Reid I would have said “I’m waiting to find out more about Roberts before making a judgement on him”.
Democrat votes against right-wing ideologue who will be at the head of the court for 50+ years. Shocking! Dude, if you think the country should just be a one-party state like the USSR just say so and don’t be cute about it.
The thing I love about the use of Ginsberg in every wingnut argument is that you all hide the fact that Clinton actually used the “advise” part of advise and consent. The true mark of the New Republicans is their absolute dishonesty. It’s a friggin illness.
And Patrick. The fact that you seem unable to tell the difference between John S. and Mike S is actually eclipsed by the absurdity of your wanting the GOP to investigate it’s own governmental response to the Katrina aftermath. But it is hardly surprising that you want it since that will help whitewash it. That puts you in perfect company with the other 19-21% of the country that doesn’t want an independant investigation. Cult leaders must be protected by the cultists.
As far as not finding anything you like in my comments, no surprise there either. Anything less than GOP worship is probably a little hard for you to take. Of course you are falling into a distinct minority there as well. Pretty soon the “ditto heads” and the “Hannitized” will be the only people left who you will feel comfortable with.
This really isn’t supportable. 99.5% of America couldn’t tell you who John Roberts is. High-level nominations are one place where Parties can and must play hard to their bases, the folks who are plugged in, because they are (A) extremely important, and (B) obscure.
If Reid et al decide to make a big, public deal about this in the media, then I think it is a PR mistake. If they plan to make a small deal about it that will only be picked up by those who truly care, I think it is smart. No way would I want to have to defend voting for the mystery candidate with almost no judicial experience or record, and a history of advocating positions that my party is firmly against.
Part of the problem is that Reid realizes that his Democratic base wants to do two things:
1. declare jihad.
2. start distributing the videotaped beheadings to Al-Jazeera.
This is of a piece with what Clinton was doing. Pandering to the Sturmabteilungen makes sense as long as Ernst Rohm and the gang have all the money. Which they do. I’d love to see the relative cash flow of the DLC relative to any Soros allied organization such as Move On or the Kos Kiddies. Reid has heard that the base wants to start up the suicide bombings again. Apparently, they weren’t satisfied watching Jack Cafferty pull the detonation cord on TV against Bushitler, and Cindy Sheehan is on her Sixteenth Minute.
The DLC “moderates” suck. They swallow, too. They don’t have any elan like the Kosjugend. The Kiddies and the Move On crowd have themselves so ginned up with anger and hate that they’ll oppose anyone for the sake of opposition. Consider the following set of extremist Bush nominees:
Surak of Vulcan
Now let’s assume that each one of these people gets a decent ABA rating. The Donks will hate Christ because, well, he’s Christian for one thing. Strike one. Too much like Scalia. That leaves out Mother Theresa as well. Christ and Mother Theresa might have huge problems with Schumer when it comes to Roe v. Wade. Maimonedes might get in under the notion of a “Jewish seat”, but Ginsberg has that nailed down, and we’re not quite sure how Reform or Orthodox Maimonedes might be. Best to consult Torah. That leaves Surak, who, as a science fiction character, is obscure enough to be fleshed out by his White House handlers.
Surak just might skate by without a filibuster.
The above exercise points out that Donks are engaged in opposition for the sake of opposition. Now consider the cases of Ginsberg and Breyer. Republicans basically gave them a pass. They gave deference to the Executive. They understood the principle and importance of Comity as it applied to the judiciary. Yes, Ginsberg was a liberal extremist, Breyer less so. However, the Republicans, acting already in 1993 and 1994 as a party that was ready to be a governing party understood the importance of the fact of election results. Clinton won, Clinton got to pick the SCOTUS nominees. It is important to note that while the Republican base was angry, the Republican Senators didn’t let the base’s anger violate that principle. Both Ginsberg and Breyer passed the Senate with votes that were well into the nineties, because Republicans understood that mature, governing parties don’t oppose SCOTUS nominees based on ideology alone! That’s a violation of comity between the parties that is essential to making the Senate run as an institution. Democrats are in the thrall of an angry base that is so filled with hatred of a Republican President that they do not understand the consequences for a Democratic President’s agenda at the hands of a Republican Congress of their present conduct.
Only when the Republicans lost their heads in 1998, over impeachment, did they pay at the polls. They never made that mistake again.
Democrats have lost sight of this. Parties that are doomed to wander in Sinai for many a moon do stupid shit like this. Donks are looking at Bush’s piss-poor poll numbers and are making the assumption that they will always stay that way. That is a mistake. When gas prices go down and troops start pulling out of Iraq next year, Democrats will be left holding their dicks in their hands. Mark my words.
Democrats have stopped acting with any notion of a larger responsibility to the Senate and to the Nation. That’s the story behind Harry Reid. He’s pandering to the Sturmbabteilungen. But why? Well, watching Roberts embarrass two-bit carnival barkers like Schumer and Leahy was akin to watching pearls being cast before swine. Roberts is not a wild-eyed fanatic who wants to send all the liberals to reeducation camp and issue coathangers to every woman. Harry Reid, supposedly a man every bit as crafty as Tom Daschle, came out and jumped the shark last Monday. The Left has the Money. The Center doesn’t. The Democrats are just like the Republicans in the most important respect in politics: they follow the Golden Rule.
Whoever has the Gold, makes the Rules. Bill Clinton figured that out, and so has Harry Reid.
Which is a sad thing for anyone who thought that the Democrats could be entrusted with the nation’s security.
Section9, wasn’t it Sarak of Vulcan? And isn’t he dead after suffering from a Vulcan version of Alzheimer’s which left him unable to control his emotions? Is Sarak an intergalactic fantastical character based on Ronald Reagan? Is that what you’re saying? Otherwise, your commentary is just blather.
KC’s quote about democrats being divided on issues is spot on. Insane, or merely hatred filled idealogues?
Well Joshua, I certainly hope the good people of Nevada vote their consceinces concerning Reid’s vote against Roberts. I have no problem with him doing so, I just think about Tom Daschle. You people say what you want, it ain’t working. Hell don’t stop.
Evidently Tara is not the only Reid with intelligence issues
Earth-shaking scoop from The Onion:
Bush Braces As Cindy Sheehan’s Other Son Drowns In New Orleans
Aside from the title, that Onion piece may be the nicest bit of subtle satire they’ve ever done. It just gets better as it goes.
Reid was just re-elected 61-35, in a state where Bush barely pulled out a 50-48 win in the same election. And needless to say, Bush’s popularity has only tanked since then. He was down to 40% approval at the start of August, and in the wake of Katrina, likely a whole lot lower.
I think the overwrought, hanky-clutching cries about Reid’s political suicide in opposing this miserable failure of an unpopular president are just a wee bit off the mark.
It seems to me if a Senate Democrat votes against Roberts to show solidarity, or whatever, in an effort to keep the total number of Dem votes low, it will be further evidence when the next nominee is introduced and gets no Dem votes that they’re merely obstructionists and absolutely against any nominee GWB puts forth. That should be a big hit with most ordinary Americans, many of whom voted for Dems. It could be a cutting off of the nose to spite the face scenario, so let ’em.
To me, the Dems “didn’t answer questions” issue is weak. How many current SC Justices answered every question to everyone’s satisfaction? Roberts easily handled the Dems on the Committee: they’re still smarting from it.
Unless the nominee is Ginsberg and the man in the office is a Democrat. Other than that, yeah, right on the money. Two sets of rules.
Wrong on both counts. Bush is not a conservative (look it up in the dictionary) and his nominee is not a conservative. Ask yourself where Roberts would have come down on Bush vs. Gore. You’re fooling yourself if you don’t think he would have sided with Scalia, Thomas and the rest who made the purely political decision to throw out the precedent of States Rights in election matters so that “their guy” could stack the court. First redefine your terms, then we’ll talk about who is of what political philosophy. Roberts is an advocate for business interests and seeks to empower the sex police who will monitor all of our personal business to make sure we don’t get “left behind”. You say “This guy doesn’t appear to be some whacked out nut”. How would you know? He didn’t answer any real questions.
It’s simple. As a Senator, do you think the guy is the best choice? If not, you should vote no. Democrats have lost and lost and lost by sticking their fingers in the political winds to get their stance on the issues. As I said before, time for the testicals to descend… or not.
Roberts is not qualified to be on the Supreme Court much less the Chief Justice. He has virtually no track record as a judge and did everything he could to obfuscate his record as an advocate. He is a purely political apointment as is virtually every crony, friend of the family, campaign donor, and election supporter that Bush has so far appointed. His qualification? Loyalty to brand Rupublican. Period.
Substitute ‘Republican appointee’ with ‘Bush SCOTUS nominee’ and you may be on to something. First off the President doesn’t appoint a SCOTUS Justice he can only nominate one with the advice and consent of the Senate. Secondly, so what?
The only thing standing between Bush and a right wing SCOTUS is the Democrats. I hope Reid does everything he can to prevent Bush from changing the SCOTUS to suit his ‘divine design’ loving base.
Bob, Section9 – it’s Sarek of Vulcan. If you’re going to be huge nerds, try to get it right.
Only because it’s almost thoroughly irrelevant. Your genius take that “Hatch recommended Ginsberg” is silly to the extent that if Hatch had recommended Robert Bork, do you think Clinton would’ve said, “You got him — after all, I’m taking your advice?” Hatch gave several names out of a set of Clinton-acceptable candidates (liberals). She wasn’t Hatch’s ideal nominee, she was just someone Hatch could live with, just as Roberts isn’t Ted Kennedy’s ideal nominee, but someone a mature Senator (and I know that’s asking a lot from the Daschle/Dean Dems) should be able to live with.
So enough of this silly “Hatch recommended her” meme — it presupposes that all of us are morons and will buy it.
Not a single Democratic senator gave any input whatsoever about Roberts’s nomination and that is why your comparison is stupid.
When you make a comment like that it’s hard not to presuppose that you are a moron, or terminally dishonest at the least.
Clinton could have gone outside Hatch’s recommendations and most likely would have run into more problems, but he didn’t. I suppose Hatch could have recommended someone along the lines of your idiotic comparrison, but he’s not an idiot.
Try being just a little honest and maybe you’ll have a point. But that comment does nothing to change the underlying fact.
You know, given the President’s track record, maybe a presumption of idiocy and/or blind ideological fervor isn’t a terrible idea.
Slides undernourished conscience
I will admit that the Democrats setting themselves up for another very public loss isn’t entirely a bad thing. Watching them lose once again to the ‘idiot’ is almost worth the fight.
You got that right. They’re going to pay at the polls for this silliness in 2006. Expect a filibuster-proof Senate after that.
I’m sure glad that some guy named Chadwig is up on the actual “qualifications” for the supreme court. Good to know we got actual intellectual giants around like ole Chadwig. Please, let’s have a complete democratic vote against. Then let’s get ole Janice up there and finish this thing.
Bush consulted 70 senators, both Republican and Democrat, but even the absense of that fact wouldn’t make the comparison “stupid,” except to the logic-challenged.
The fact that you don’t see how stupid the comparrison is stupid says that either you are or there isn’t an honest bone in your body.
The fact that you don’t see how stupid the comparrison is
stupidsays that either you are or there isn’t an honest bone in your body.
Seriously, Mike, you realize that none of the witless insults and non sequiters that you posted even approaches the level of an argument, don’t you? That Clinton could’ve ignored Hatch’s rec of Ginsberg but didn’t (duh) makes no point, nor does the fact that Hatch could’ve, but didn’t, recommend Bork (double duh).
The point is, Hatch was not recommending his choice — he was meeting Clinton way more than halfway (which Reid, Kennedy, et. al., are clearly not prepared to do) and suggesting a friend who Clinton would find ideologically compatable. No less a lefty than Tom Oliphant said that Hatch recommended and voted for Breyer and Ginsberg “suspecting with good reason that he would disagree with virtually all their decisions but knowing that they were of first-rate judicial temperament and qualifications…”
Let’s see if the Democratic Leadership can behave like compromising, adult lawmakers like Hatch did. Reid has already indicated that he can’t, and I hope that he can convince about 38 more Democrats to follow in his folly.
Calling someone stupid over and over is not a persuasive argument, but if it’s the best you can do, have at it.
What else is there to say when you hold onto your use of Bork as a comparrison? Am I supposed to admire the brilliance of such a lame argument? My point stands. Hatch recommended Ginsberg and Clinton took the recommendation, there-by making the complaint about Ginsberg getting strong support not germain to the argument that Reid must support Roberts. Had Bush used any of Reid’s recommendations and then voted no, it would have been germain. If you don’t like being called stupid, then don’t make stupid comparrisons.
The Democrats will fight any Bush nominee, no matter his background. I mean, look at Michael Brown and David Safavian.
M. Scott Eiland
Sarek of Vulcan–Spock’s father, Ambassador from Vulcan to the Federation. Died during the fifth season of ST: The Next Generation from an Alzheimer’s-like Vulcan disease. He was portrayed by the late Mark Lenard.
Surak of Vulcan–famous Vulcan who was the founder of modern Vulcan philosophy, transforming the Vulcans from a violent, savage race into the logical, emotionally controlled folks we know and love. He appeared (sort of) in the Classic Trek episode “The Savage Curtain,” and was portrayed by Barry Atwater.
Spork–a plastic thingie that combines the functions of a spoon and a fork. Can most easily be found at your local KFC.
What Dems have been paying for lately is disinterest in working as an opposition Party. We’ve gotten rid of some of the leadership that’s causing troubles, but if we could somehow get Holy Joe to lose a primary, that’d get people paying attention. A man can dream.
Ahhh, I see your problem now. You mistakenly think that Republicans had to support Ginsberg because the GOP Senator from Utah suggested her (as a friend) for the slot? I’m unaware of a single GOP Senator who ever made a statement to that effect. I think that’s a figment of your imagination. Republicans voted for Ginsberg, not because Hatch somehow tied their hands (a ridiculous notion), but because they believe that a President gets to choose judicial nominees, and if that nominee is qualified in experience and temperament, they should get a yes vote, even though you will probably disagree with every ruling they make.
It’s this kind of childish, petulant, “he didn’t nominate who I wanted, so I’m going to vote no” mewling that has the Democrats in the shape they are in. Who did Reid recommend? I’m guessing nobody. Why won’t Reid float a name? Because, to emulate Hatch, he’d have to recommend a moderate-conservative to Bush’s liking, and he’d be getting blasted by the Kossacks and the Deaniacs this whole summer.
And you wonder why I think you’re stupid?
The article says Roberts has enough Republican support. Why does it matter to you if Reid votes for him?
And if it did matter to you, why didn’t you call for President Bush to consult with Reid first?
You’re kind of talking out of both sides of your ass on this one, John.
I must be a moron. That makes twice I’ve been wrong this month!
And Senator Reid’s list was comprised entirely of fellow Senators? Is he kidding? He is aware that it was a Supreme Court nomination, right? Are those the only people he knows? No wonder his list was shite-canned.
Actually, it’s only fairly recently that the vast majority of Supreme Court appointees have been judges. Just looking back through the 20th century:
Assoc. Justice Frankfurter (on Court 1939-1962) was an academic; his previous government position had been as Taft’s Secretary of War
Assoc. Justice Goldberg (on Court 1962-1965) was a labor laywer.
Assoc. Justice Fortas (on Court 1965-1969), Assoc. Justice White (on Court 1962-1993), and many others also had no previous judicial experience.
I could go on and on here–there have been many, many justices with no previous judicial experience. There’s nothing overtly absurd about Reid suggesting a senator for the role.
Dream on Kimmitt, and follow those dreams wherever those dreams may lead you!