Saturday, September 24, 2005

Courageous Democrats

An excellent Washington Post editorial today discussed the need for Democrats to do the right thing and vote for the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice. As I discussed in Yes on Roberts, this would go a long way toward restoring a much-needed sense of integrity and seriousness in the Senate. The Washington Post said:

Supporting overwhelmingly qualified members of the opposite party for the Supreme Court used to be the norm, not an act of courage. Yet, set against the general opposition from Democrats to the nomination, and truly intense pressure from interest groups, the votes cast by ranking Democrat Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.) and Wisconsin's Herb Kohl and Russell Feingold took guts. Their votes ensure that Judge Roberts will not take the helm of the judiciary perceived as the representative of only one party, and they guarantee that at least some Democrats -- albeit sadly few -- will have the moral authority to demand Republican support for qualified liberal nominees in the future.

The larger Democratic opposition to Judge Roberts represents a disturbing departure from longtime Senate practice. ... In refusing to support an indisputably qualified conservative, Democrats send a message that there is a strongly partisan component of the task of judging -- something those who believe in independent, apolitical courts must reject.

The three senators who voted yes are taking a beating from liberal groups for it. ... The liberal groups have made clear that they will oppose any nominee from this administration, regardless of qualifications.... Never mind waiting to find out who the nominee is or what he or she happens to believe.... In opposing Judge Roberts, some Democrats are following these groups off a cliff. The Judiciary Committee Democrats who refused to jump deserve credit for showing backbone.


No doubt there are diehard partisans in the Senate who can't bring themselves to act in the best interests of the country. For them, ideology is the absolute first priority. But I don't think many of them are that extreme. If Roberts is confirmed by at least 80 votes, it will mean that the majority of Democrats in the Senate had the courage to do the right thing, despite intense pressure from the far left. We'll see.

35 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin said...

In the comment thread of your previous post on this issue you said:

You'll note that for Ginsburg and Breyer (97-3 and 87-9), both Clinton nominees, Republicans suspended their partisan hackery long enough to show some class.

The Breyer confirmation was the most recent Senate confirmation of a USSC nomination. Of the 44 GOP Senators eligible to vote in the affirmative 9 voted against confirmation and 2 declined to vote at all (as did 2 Democrats). That's a full 25% of Senate GOPers who declined to "show some class" or "do the right thing" as the Post's editorial puts it.

Just to put that into perspective... In the Breyer case, the most recent presidential election revealed that more than 62% of Americans had declined to put a GOPer into the White House where he could nominate USSC Justices. Yet fully 25% of Senate GOPers declined to rubberstamp Clinton's nominee.

So where is the "moral authority" to demand opposition support of which the Post's editorial staff speaks?

Given the history and the relevant numbers, isn't it stunningly self-evident that the Post's editorial is itself partisan?

5:43 PM, September 24, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

Regardless of who is in oval office, who is in the Senate... if a person is extremely qualified, didn't that used to matter? How frustrating.

12:11 AM, September 25, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Kevin, there's something stunningly self-evident here, but it isn't the Post's editorial.

1:11 AM, September 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, what is self evident is the fuzzy logic and hypocrisy of the right. You can't get as partisan as the GOP.

11:24 PM, September 25, 2005  
Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

You talk about partisans. Good golly, Ted Kennedy, Joseph Binden, and Chuck Shummer will always be my personal favorites when it comes to being fair minded and without bias.

Yes indeed, the ultra liberal ACLU crazed wing (UL-ACLU-CW) of the Democratic Party really showed the world what being objective was all about.

I guess the the UL-ACLU-CW would rather have selected another ACLU attorney like Ruth Badar Ginsgurg.

When the New York Times and the UL-ACLU-CW were unable to unseal the records of Roberts' adopted children, they figured that he deserved a good public grilling.

This is the way I see it. Take care.

5:48 AM, September 27, 2005  
Anonymous Adam said...

I agree with the blog. They did their job as the opposition party by grilling the nominee. Now its time to be realistic and vote for the most mainstream candidate Bush is ever going to submit.

6:08 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger T.L. Stanley said...

I have another thought. Maybe Bush should nominate another ACLU attorney like Ruth Badar Ginsburg. Then, she could be given a good grilling. This would mean dragging out every liberal bias ever mentioned.

Then, the Republicans being the opposition, could reject her because she did not talk enough about the kind of wife and mother she was. This is the reason that one Democrat gave for rejecting Roberts. Gosh, this would be interesting to watch.

7:04 PM, September 27, 2005  
Blogger Silent Bob said...

I personally don’t care if someone’s a leftie or righty when it comes to politics I only care that the most qualified person for the job gets nominated.
How can anyone argue with a straight face that the two Bush nominees with a combined 2 years experience as a judge are the most qualified judges in the country?

These are life-time appointments folks.
I greatly admire Roberts as a litigator. I’d have no qualms about him advocating for me. In 2023 after he’s had 20 years experience and a clear record I’d love to support his nomination for this position.

As for the current nominee I’m surprised that blatant cronyism is being accepted by anyone especially after hurricane Katrina.
Why can’t this administration learn from a mistake?

Nominate a conservative, nominate a republican. I honestly don’t care. But nominate someone with 20 years experience as an appeals court judge.

This isn’t about partisanship, it’s about competence.

12:25 PM, October 03, 2005  
Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Hey Tom, I hope you are all right.

I've been missing your posts.

1:17 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

MOM, thanks for asking! I've been in Texas for a few weeks dealing with some time-consuming problems. I'll be back soon!

11:59 PM, October 05, 2005  
Blogger R said...

Good grief. You left wing nut jobs are so holding out hope for some unqualified lacky to come along and reverse Roe V Wade. Four words...Never Going To Happen.

6:09 PM, October 17, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrates could you get an MBNA investigation for deceptive advertising. And why is it that the companies that are governed by agenencies to address and stop thier unethical behaviors and practices the same companies those agencise are controled by?????????

9:20 AM, October 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why should a democrate vote to confirm if he doesn't think he will be a good judge? why do you want the senators to just stop thinking and vote yes to confirm on whom ever is in front of them?

9:52 PM, October 20, 2005  
Blogger Graham said...

I agree, as a Democrat, that voting for Roberts was the right thing to do. Miers I'm not so sure about.

8:19 PM, October 21, 2005  
Blogger Junebugg said...

I just had to tell you. My sister Donna's got a NEW ASS!

4:04 AM, October 25, 2005  
Anonymous Craig said...

It's sure been quiet here lately. What would you think about having Larry Wilkerson join the Supremes?

8:36 PM, October 26, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

Tom, hope those problems clear up soon. Miss your posts.

10:30 PM, October 30, 2005  
Blogger Junebugg said...

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving.

12:43 AM, November 24, 2005  
Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Tom, I hope everything's okay with you and that you had a good Thanksgiving.

9:34 AM, November 27, 2005  
Blogger Doctor Life said...

There is no such thing as a courageous Democrat. Unless you consider their love of killing babies....

4:10 AM, December 07, 2005  
Blogger Jay said...

Oh yasss....nothing beats killing a half dozen babies before breakfast. You see, it's part of a satanic ritual that puts a curse on rightwingnuts and makes their brains turn into tapioca.

Seems to be working just great.

8:22 AM, December 12, 2005  
Blogger Junebugg said...

Where are you? Hope you're OK.

10:00 AM, December 18, 2005  
Blogger Travel Italy said...

It seems to me that the "confirmation process" makes it impossible for anyone to do the right thing. A really good candidate would never make it through the process or more likely would tell all politicians to take a long walk off of a short pier within the first two hours.

If we want to better America we need to limit government and politicians.

5:24 PM, December 20, 2005  
Blogger Junebugg said...

Happy Holidays, Tom. Hope everything is OK and we miss you.

1:18 PM, December 23, 2005  
Blogger Ms. Lori said...

Hope you and Cat are okay, Tom.

Miss reading your wonderful posts (even if I don't agree with all of them ;-))

3:17 PM, January 24, 2006  
Blogger Junebugg said...

Just wanted to drop in and say Hi

4:21 AM, March 05, 2006  
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