May 4, 2005

The Math of Their Worst Nightmare

2 (Supreme Court Vacancies ) + 3 (Years Left for Bush )= 5.

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Posted by Vanderleun at May 4, 2005 4:02 PM | TrackBack
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Liberal judges have wisdom and broad views.

Conservatives have ...

"Chief Justice Rehnquist was a lucky man, in that the turn of the political wheel sent new justices to the court and provided him with sufficient allies - if barely so - for his most cherished causes."


That's from the second paragraph of the NYT article you linked, Gerard.

The first page could have been cribbed from a C novel about the rise of a crime lord, or dictator, too:

"But his ultimate success was also a testament to his own tenacity and skill. He combined an unfaltering sense of mission with high intelligence, patience, the strategic prowess of a serious poker player, which he was, and the attention to detail of an art-lover and serious amateur painter, which he also was. He had held many of his views since early adulthood, and he took the long view: with seeming nonchalance, he would plant a phrase in an opinion in the expectation that it would take root, blossom, and prove even more useful in some future case. Time proved him right, not always, but often enough."

I've already seen the idea that Bush "must" pick a liberal replacement for political reasons floated in numerous places. What political reasons?

Bush isn't running for any office. He's been pretty involved with long-term solutions to protect democracy, though, and I bet that his MBA (and poker playing skills) make appointing a constitutionalist a certainty.

He can't do much about who people pick to populate the congress. He can do everything in the world about who goes on the bench on his watch.

This is going to be a circus from the other side. Complete with flappy shoes, midgets spilling out of Minis, and rhetoric that will make Mother Sheehan look thoughtful and reserved.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 4, 2005 11:00 AM

Bush isn't running for office, but his mad late-week scramble to make a public response to Katrina shows that he's still running for 2006 and 2008. The Rovians are hoping for a permanent Republican majority, remember?

I think he'll pick another stealth candidate for fear of awakening the majority who support abortion rights. Picking someone with an unequivocal public stance against Roe v. Wade could test whether 40% public approval is really as low as he can go.

But who knows? I'm just one of the liberal Democrats who is stuck on the ride. We're not manning the controls, so all we can do is guess where it's going to go.

Posted by: Rogers Cadenhead at September 4, 2005 2:15 PM

Oh, Roger, you are usually a dependably sane if liberal Democrat (to use your term). Surely you can't buy into the current meme on the hurricane response. Please step back and do a little chained thinking about what sort of supply chain has to get in place and get moving to respond to one of these disasters on this scale. Put the politics aside for one brief shining moment and just think about the logistics that needed to be implemented since last Monday.

Here's a summary hidden within this DOD briefing:

Please believe me when I tell you that the way to a REAL permanent Republican Majority lies directly through sloppy thinking and jerking knees from the opposition. You've really got to get that in check if you ever want to prevail again.

And strange as it may seem to you, I am not against that happening at all. Just not under the current anti-intellectual notions that prevail among the Democrats and the Left.

Posted by: Gerard Van Der Leun at September 4, 2005 2:44 PM

The Rovians are hoping for a permanent Republican majority, remember?

There is no permanence in elective politics. Of all people, Karl Rove certainly understands that. Would that the opposition might twig to that reality as well; they are a few decades into denial now and it's only going to get worse for the foreseeable future. As far as Rove goes, well, he's an exception to the rule that a man should be measured by the enemies he makes.

I'm all for a strong two party system; the vitality and resiliance inherent in principled debate and compromise that is then translated into workable policy within constitutional limits is the process that has made our nation the great place that it is.

"Principled", "workable", and "constitutional" are the important words in that last graph.

On first read, I misunderstood your point about being "stuck on the ride". I thought you were talking about being in Lieberman's or Miller's shoes, but after reconsidering I believe you mean instead that you are somehow disenfranchised - beyond not having seen your choices for certain offices elected.

Somebody up there accused Gerard of "taking his ball and going home"; have you ever considered what perception the non-politically-immersed polity of this country gets regarding what is left of the progressive movement when they bother or are compelled to pay attention to media coverage of current events? There's more of that type of voter than all the activists of either side combined - and they continue to move in a direction generally regarded as right.

It's not enough to bitch. And that's all there is, or has been, for literally decades, from the left. And the noise is just getting louder as each sun comes up.

Great job, Wretchard. If you ever run out of sticks with which to poke the cages, I'll cut you a bundle up in the hills and FedEx them to you.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 4, 2005 3:20 PM

I should have noted that the "take your ball and go home" reference referred back to the previous thread.

My apologies.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 4, 2005 3:22 PM


"Wretchard"? I think you're on the wrong blog. :)

Posted by: rickl at September 4, 2005 11:10 PM

John Paul Stevens, the eldest Associate Justice, is 85 years old. His imminent departure from the Court is odds-on. (To the best of my knowledge, no nonagenarian has ever served on the Court.) That would give Dubya three nominations, and the political Left a case of the twitches that would shake the rafters in Beijing.

Of course, the Left will deploy all the slanderous and obstructive tactics imaginable. It's all they have left at this time. But we of the Right shouldn't be too confident of major improvements in constitutional interpretation; Richard Nixon appointed four Justices, and that Court was only slightly less expansive, activist, and liberal than the one that preceded it.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at September 5, 2005 4:14 AM

Gerard, with all respect, I think we're talking about division, not addition, but then again, the right formula might actually involve differential equations and spectral theory in infinite dimensional Banach spaces.

Posted by: Attila (Pillage Idiot) at September 5, 2005 7:49 AM

rickl -

I am on the right blog. Just suffering a wee case of information/opinion overload, though.

Off to crouch in a stream for a bit; nothing like a little panning to distance myself from all the information in the world for a few hours.

My apologies, Gerard. Note, however, that nobody visiting my little place on the web will EVER make the mistake I did...

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 5, 2005 9:00 AM
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