Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Roberts Needs a Good Borking

I don't know if it's ironic or just sad that the must exciting time Todd and I had covering the 2004 election was where, in retrospect, it was ultimately lost - the DNC Convention. As much as the convention was a waste for John Kerry, it was putatively more than a nominating infommercial. The leading members of the party, not just on the Fleet Center dais, but in event after event Todd and I attended, promised its members in the next four years to fight against the extreme values on the other side that (after 4 years of Bush) we now understood the Republicans were all about. If the test of that oath does not come when George W. Bush replaces a court moderate with a 50-year-old arch-conservative whose position on the most important pending legal issue of our time is all but crystal clear - when is it?

It's true, it's most likely too early to tell whether or not it is politically expedient or convenient or even winnable to fight the nomination, though all may seem dubious at the moment. That is besides the point. We know enough about Bush's candidate to know that he strongly resents our core values, and will almost surely do so for 20 years on the court. The writ he signed decrying Roe v Wade is a smoking gun. Right there he should be discarded by all Senators who consider themselves allies to women's rights and personal freedoms. His record is staunchly pro-corporate, anti-worker, anti-environment, anti-woman. He has a long history of strong political allegiances with the right wing of the party, if not the ultra-batty tip in which the Ashcrofts of the world reside.

It is not difficult to extrapolate the Rovian machinations behind this nomination: Bush lusted for a hard-core conservative white Christian male, but in his tremulous current standing needed one without a provocative mouth or a history long in memorandum. This is a cynical power play. Make no mistake Bush did not make this choice without getting the promise (whether it came in the form a wink or a nudge or signed promise made on confidential, stolen CIA stationary) from Roberts, or his people, that he would be a hard-right stooge. I'm sure Bush the First counseled the scion on sussing out the ideological bones of his man, after that disastrous experience he had nominating the free-thinking, moderate Justice Souter.

This president could not be trusted with a water gun, nevermind a supreme court nomination. He deserves no benefit of the doubt, this master of the most misbegotten, misleading foreign and domestic policy (embracing all in rhetoric, but anti-everyone who's not exceedingly rich nor a Halliburton-like entity in practice). A candidate with a clear paper trail of moderation, this is the only offering we should abide at this moment.

If the first 48 hours in opposing a nominee are the most important as experience and experts seem inclined to tell us, we must work with the facts we have now and vociferously hold the leaders of our party to the promise made to us last summer: to, if nothing less, protect the liberties the other side seeks to retract.

Todd, you don't have to give any money to Kerry, or sign MoveOn's petition. Just call Dianne Feinstein and tell her you won't stomach the confirmation of any judge who would clearly vote to overturn Roe V Wade. It's the truth, isn't it?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Three words:

Bring. It. On.

You all will never learn, will you? Automatic, hatefilled, kneejerk opposition to this President will do for Bush exactly what the automatic, hatefilled, kneejerk opposition to Clinton did for that president ...

I mean, do you REALLY believe that the kind of rhetoric/hyperbole being spewed by MoveOn and Howard Dean pulls people into your cause at a greater rate than people are driven away?

Here's a clue for you (especially since Todd is so enamoured of polls) ... Karl Rove has BETTER polling numbers than Howard Dean does:

Poll here

About the only thing that you all may have going for you right now is that with the exception of Harry "this is just a distraction from the Karl Rove scandal" Reid, Democratic Senators are actually being smart by being circumspect and restrained in what they are taking to the press.

7:18 PM  
Blogger TWB said...

Who's "you all" exactly? Two of the three points of view about Roberts on this site have called on liberals to get over the Roberts pick since he's eminently confirmable absent any unknown skeletons and it might hurt us to be obstructionist for the sake of it. I certainly understand and respect Dave's point, but you need to open your eyes if you think it represents all liberals' or Democrats' opinion, as you seem to imply.

9:59 AM  

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