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.