The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. - Wm. Blake

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Obligatory Roberts Post

It's hard to gauge just how bad this guy is. I mean, he's clearly a lifelong partisan hack, and, unlike the rumoured Clement, doesn't seem to have a moderate bone in his body. Yet.... He doesn't seem to be a Scalia-esque ideologue, either.

Basically, I'm of two minds on this: fight this guy tooth and nail, hope that the public gets the impression that W has gotten a real right winger in there, and hopefully he'll be in worse position to nominate a real ideologue next time; OR, save the powder, get Rove back in the headlines, and talk about our positions and plans as much as possible.

Actually, Amanda at Pandagon makes a strong point, one I've seen echoed elsewhere: this is a great opportunity for the Dems to take a smart loss. Marshal your arguments, explain why this guy's trouble (with specifics, not generalized "he's too conservative" - that's a dealbreaker for us, but not for most Americans), and show Americans what we believe in.

Why am I so defeatist on this? Is it that I think we have to quit on every issue from here til '08? Is it because it's not my body, not my choice, and therefore not my fight? No and no. Unacceptable as his views are, this guy's not Bolton at the UN (Tom Delay to SCOTUS would be Bolton to the UN, and we'd win that one, too). The press is all ready to paint Dems as nihilistically obstructionist on this one, which is OK if you can win anyway. But we don't have the votes. Thanks to the Gang of 14 Idiots, we've given up the filibuster for all but the most outrageous nominees (if even for them). No way do any of the 7 Republicans in that Confederacy of Dunces consider Roberts "extraordinary circumstances." I doubt more than a couple of the Dems do, either. So - barring skeletons, of course - we can't win. Like the Pirates, we're mathematically eliminated in Spring Training. But, also like the Pirates, we can try to go out there, make a strong effort, and win over the public regardless.

Which I guess sounds like I'm on the side of fighting it out, with a clear vision of the goal - hearts and minds. I still know Dems who blame Dems for Anita Hill - think it shouldn't have been brought up. Right or wrong, we can't risk that kind of self-inflicted wound in a battle we'll likely lose regardless. Let's have people talk about the Roberts battle as one between Principled Opposition and Partisan Hacks. That would be a win.


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