Friday, September 16, 2005

...Or He'll Give You Something To Really Cry About

Ann Althouse has been posting a concise synopsis of the Roberts hearings every day, between teaching her law students at the University of Madison and getting dental work. Today, she tells us why Senate Democrats should say "yes" to Roberts:

Voting against Roberts will make Democrats look as though they think the judiciary is a thoroughly political institution. They would seem as though they are degrading the courts. Bush nominated a man who will appear to ordinary people to be scrupulously judicial, and their complaint about him will seem to be that they don't want a real judge, but a political ideologue. Yet they want their position to be against the ideological judge. How will that make sense to people? They need to vote yes. As someone said in the comments yesterday, if they vote no now and Bush nominates a very ideological conservative to replace O'Connor, no one will believe them when they cry wolf the second time. Roberts should go through, and the Democrats should position themselves to oppose the O'Connor replacement, especially if Bush goes hard right.

The New Republic seconds that emotion (subscription required, which means ha ha I have a subscription and you don't):

But who will President Bush nominate next? The conservative bench is not exactly riddled with Roberts-like reasonableness. So it is too soon for liberals to be disarmed. Confirm Roberts, and prepare for Owen.

And Blog of the Moderate Left reminds us:

Roberts is a conservative. I wish he was a liberal. But unless Bush turns into a hippy by getting bonked on the head in wacky sitcom fashion, none of his nominees will be.

Look, Roberts isn't my cup of tea ideologically--I'm quite sure of that. But he's obviously bright and competent, obviously qualified for the position. Yes, yes, ideologically he's conservative. Guess what? George W. Bush is president. If we Democrats want liberals on the court, we need to win in 2008.

I'll call myself a Democrat for the sake of this argument and say, yeah. There is an argument to be made for standing on principal, but there's also a matter of picking your fights. Even New York's own sensible Chuck Schumer is starting to look like a hee-haw next to Roberts. So pick your battles, and don't worry: there will be plenty of them with this crew.

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