The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 September 2005

Chafing the Chief

A good summation of the Senate vote on John Roberts, by way of Chase McInerney:

The five Democratic Senators who voted "no" — Dianne Feinstein, Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin and Joe Biden — should be ashamed of such craven partisanship.

While they thankfully did not scuttle Roberts' opportunity to serve as the 17th chief justice to the Supreme Court, they had the chutzpah to vote against him for one breathlessly boorish reason. Not because he is some wild-eyed conservative activist, because he's not one of those — well, not a wild-eyed activist, at an rate. And they didn't vote against because he isn't qualified or up to the demands of the job, because he clearly is those things.

No, they voted against John Roberts because he is a conservative Republican nominated for the post by a President they hate.

And so what will be their reaction if, as is likely, Dumbya now moves forward and replaces swing-vote Sandra Day O'Connor with another extremist Bork wannabe? What credibility will the Senate Democrats have when the White House really tries to cram an ideologue down their wizened throats and they start pouting like a child who doesn't get to ride the pretty pony on her birthday? George W. Bush is on a major losing streak these days, and rightly so. But Congressional Democrats have never understood the merits of not overplaying their hand.

I, of course, am looking forward to the nomination of an ideologue — in fact, I think I could probably live with a choice as seemingly wacky as Ann Coulter — but Mr McInerney, I think, has this exactly right: the Democrats have pissed away whatever leverage they had. The only way they can come out of this without free-range egg on their faces is if Senate Republicans do something spectacularly stupid next time — which, judging by past performance, is well within the realm of possibility — or if the President comes up with a nominee coughGonzalescough who is satisfactory to no one.

Posted at 9:11 AM to Political Science Fiction

I wasn't surprised at all by their decision to vote "no". I suppose I've become used to them being partisan for the sole reason that George W. Bush is the President of the U.S.A.

Posted by: Tina at 11:21 AM on 23 September 2005

If you don't think the guy should have the job, you vote "no." I don't see any other point.

Then again, I don't see any point in a President who signs bills he doesn't like because he can't survive a veto override. Let them override the damn thing. You vote your conscience and they vote theirs and that's how it's supposed to work. The rest is crap.

Posted by: Matt at 7:28 PM on 23 September 2005

Careful, Matt, you're starting to sound principled.

(And that will kill any political ambitions you might have, so....)

Posted by: CGHill at 7:41 PM on 23 September 2005

I have no political ambitions, now or in the future. Most days I prefer not even thinking about it.


Posted by: Matt at 10:12 PM on 23 September 2005

If you don't think the guy should have the job, you vote "no." I don't see any other point.

True enough -- but they're opening up a can of worms with the reasons they don't think he should have the job. And in the increasingly unlikely event one of their own is ever in a position to nominate a Supreme Court justice, karma will be an even bigger bitch than usual.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:37 AM on 24 September 2005