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View Diary: SCOTUS: Actually, We've Already Won (350 comments)

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  •  tips, recs, etc. (3.95)
    I know I've said previously on dKos that, basically, "hey -- this is what we get for losing elections."  That doesn't mean we lay down and make this easy.

    "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

    by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:13:29 AM PDT

    •  I agree with (none)
      you 93%.
      •  Your seven percent... (none)
        ...is swirling around in my coffee.  I can't decide how I feel about this.

        "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

        by The Termite on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:02:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with (4.00)
          the headline and every mention of Democrats and victory in the same sentence.It could've been worse but this isn't how my dictionary defines victory. Rest I fully agree with.
          •  disagree... (none)
            wasn't all the talk about W not "dividing" the country?  so he picks a blank slate who appears to have smooth sailing through confirmation so far... and at best we hope he "souterizes" even though he clerked for rehnquist and just might be a clone.  a very young one at that.

            You take this pick and spin it as a "win" for us because it shows "weakness" on W's part.  The GOP is going to spin it and say W could have severely divided the country, but "wisely" chose to keep the country together!!

            Now when Rehnquist finally does retire, he can pick some crazy winger, and say that he put unity first before replacing O'connor with a "uniting" pick, but for Rehnquist, he can go ahead and go with his convictions.  Once Roberts gets redefined as a "centrist" who can be easily confirmed, W can pick someone right of Roberts, and redefine that person as just "right" of center!!!

            this is not a sign of "weakness" on W's part.  We must fight so that Roberts is not defined as the new center.  If he is confirmed, it MUST not be an easy process!!  If his confirmation is unanimous or close to it, then he will indeed be defined as the new center.  That more than anything will be a huge loss for us come the next nomination to SCOTUS.

      •  I agree and disagree. (4.00)
        You seem to imply that ultimately he should be confirmed. I am not so sure about that.

        But I completely agree with your Bill Sher-like strategy to use the hearings to educate the public about why voting for Democrats is the smartest thing to do. So, win or lose, people know that Democrats favor a Court that protects worker' rights, the environment, privacy, etc. and Republicans do not. What will probably end up as a big setback for the court can and should result in gains at the polls in 2006 and 2008.

      •  "One final note:" (none)
        "John Roberts is getting a lot of bad-mouthing, from MoveOn and others, for being a "corporate lawyer". Guess what? I'm a corporate lawyer too -- I've represented (and continue to represent) major pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and the like. So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site. Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills. So don't knock him for his clients" - quote from acbonin

        What are you talking about! One cannot stand-up for and be the mouthpiece of corporations because the money is good and then claim that in his heart he is for the little guy.

        That is why I quit law school. Yes I wanted big money for my family but I WOULD NOT COMPROMISE MY VALUES and try to play both sides with some type of muddied self-justification. There are other ways to make big money without prostituting ones values.

        Better that you would have left the above out of your post. Move-On is right. You are wrong. Sorry that is the way it is.

        •  Being a lawyer (none)
          is NOT prostituting your values, any more than an ER doc chooses who he will treat, based on their politics.  

          I've represented big corporations, small companies, rapists, murderers, and others accused of crimes. That doesn't mean I am a rapist or a murderer.  I always found it annoying when other lawyers asked me how I could defend rapists. Well, they are entitled to a defense as much as the mentally ill housewife who goes on a shoplifting spree.

          By the way,during Roberts' nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 152 members of the D.C. Bar wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee to support Judge Roberts, saying Roberts is "one of the very best and most highly respected appellate lawyers in the nation, with a deserved reputation as a brilliant writer and oral advocate." The diverse group of lawyers signed, ranged from Democratic lawyers like Lloyd Cutler and Seth Waxman to former President George H.W. Bush's White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray. These lawyers emphasized his "unquestioned integrity and fair-mindedness.

          I've appeared many times before conservative judges.  Once they put on the robe, most leave their politics aside. They are fair, for the most part.

          So forgive me if I don't join the chorus singing "the sky is falling".  Roberts has one hell of a resume, so he is eminently qualified. And if Lloyd Cutler supports him, it's because although conservative, he will be a fair minded judge.  He's ten times as smart as Thomas (a real moron) and we will find out during the hearings if he is another Scalia. My guess so far is that he is not Scalia.  If he's anything like Souter, I'm satisfied.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 12:17:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh come on Mary! (none)
            Comparing a lawyer to an ER Doc is a big stretch isn't it? An Er Doc or any Doc for that matter isn't interested in a patients politics nor can they gain professionally from their patients politics. The reverse is true for a lawyer.

            Lawyers have many more choices as to who they serve than a doctor does. Some of the posts below evidence that.

        •  You might want to reconsider... (none)
          I am an attorney who had the same reluctance to compromise my principles for a lucrative big-firm job.  (That, and it was too hard to get hired as anything but a contract lawyer.)

          I hung a shingle and currently do debtor-side bankruptcy work.  Sure, I don't rake in the big bucks and have an army of paralegals and secretaries helping me, but I'm able to make a living, have a life, and keep my self-respect.  

          I also helped settle a case against the Portland Police for attacking anti-Bush and anti-war protesters in August 2002 and March 2003.  That gives me deep satisfaction (as well as giving me a bag of money)>

          •  Thanks (none)
            and good for you. You are doing reputable work and have reason to be proud.

            For myself it is to late to reconsider. Law school was too many years ago. Besides I am happy running a successful business now. I must admit though that my schooling has contributed many times to my success and kept me out of a lot of jams.

            Portland Police huh? Now that is a honorable way to make a nice check while serving the community and society in general. Keep up the good work.

        •  You got that right! (3.50)
          Each time a lawyer for the pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc. win a case for them, they just help provide more empowerment to the Corporatocracy in this country, and it just widens the divide between the rich and the poor even more. Corporations have more rights and privledges in this country than Joe Citzen. For that, I blame the politicans -- Republican or Democrat -- who take the bribes from the corporations large coffers and the lawyers who represent them. Period.

          So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site.

          Then this site will (if not already) slowly graft into the "status quo" of, for, and by the lawyers who get paid handsomely to keep propping up the Corporatocracy or pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc. (e.g. BIG BID'NESS!)

          Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills.

          And why some of the readers have to work 2 or more jobs to pay their bills. But hey, it's all fun and games until someone loses a no-bid multi-million dollar government contract, eh?

          I'm a giving a big "NO" on Roberts for three reasons:

          1. Rightwing theocrats like him!
          2. He's too green (and I'm not talking about the wallet)
          3. His carreer suggests to me that he is by, of, and for the Corporations much like Biden is by, of, and for the bankers. His master is Mammon.
        •  Lawyers and Clients (none)
          My wife and I are attorneys working for state government and I am struggling with the issue of what an attorney's client list says about that attorney.   Certainly there are other paths that can pay the bills besides working for a large firm defending corporate clients.   My sister, for example, is a county public defender.   My recently deceased father-in-law did work for a firm in Ohio but fought fiercely for funding of legal aid programs at the state and national level and was a leader in developing pro bono programs, both for the broader legal community and as an individual attorney.

            After thirty years in private practice he moved on to helped to found Civil Justice Inc.
          - "a Maryland not-for-profit corporation formed for the purpose of increasing the delivery of legal services to clients of low and moderate income while promoting a statewide network of solo, small firm and community based lawyers who share a common commitment to increasing access to justice through traditional and non-traditional means." (from their Mission Statement).   So I do think we can tell a lot about Roberts by who he has represented.   This includes the Judges for whom he clerked and his work for the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations (especially the latter).

          "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it The Present."
          -- Babatunde Olatunji

    •  very good analysis, ac (none)
      [and I'm still not sure how dangerous, or how independent minded he might turn out to be in the end.  Hopefully, he will not be a Scalia clone.]
    •  86% cocoa content n/t (none)
    •  In this Orwellian vision of America (4.00)
      where a chimp is president, war in Iraq repairs the damage of 9/11, and the burgeoning deficit builds an economically sound America, why shouldn't we Democrats celebrate to have John G. Roberts as a Supreme Court justice?  

      The world has gone mad.

      First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

      by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:59:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes yes yes (none)

        Bush denies presidential timber.

        by Lumiere on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:10:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes, it's like (4.00)
        how you change your view of health after being diagnosed with a disease.  When the scan shows it hasn't spread to the next vital organ, you now call that 'good news'.  

        I see this as an expected disaster.  Being expected doesn't make it less disastrous; being disastrous doesn't shock me.  

        This guy's views need to be exploited and dissected to the nth degree, and Democrats need to paint a very clear picture of what a perfect world looks like to people like him, Scalia, Bush, etc., and ask, 'Is this the world you want your kids to live in?  A world with no workers rights or environmental protections, a world where what benefits the few the most prevails?"

        I don't think he deserves confirmation because his views are bad for America.  But that didn't stop Congress in the past from handing Bush whatever he wanted and I can't imagine why it will now.  But I am not going to pretend it's anything less than another horrendous step towards a far worse America.

      •  Indeed (4.00)
        How can this:

        This is also not to say that Roberts' actions on the bench won't be indistinguishable from that of Justices Scalia, Thomas or Rehnquist.

        be reconciled with this:

        SCOTUS: Actually, We've Already Won

        I think Rove has just managed to pull a last rabbit out his execrable hat.  In fact, I just wrote this diary, because I'm dismayed by the lack of any real enthusiasm for a fight this morning from most Kossacks.  I also am extremely frustrated that so many people seem to have forgotten the lessons of the past year.

        Lesson 1: Fights are won and lost quickly.  First impressions matter, and if you're going to fight, you have to be resolute -- and fast!

        Lesson 2: Rove is a master of misdirection.  Roberts is a stealth candidate.  What's happened to our radar?

        Lesson 3: Divided fights are diluted fights and diluted fights don't win.  Argument can be made that Kerry lost because his message was unfocused; we won on Social Security because we stay focused and got out of the box early and stayed on message.  We also did a great focused job on Bolton and on the nuclear option.  Where's that laser-like focus now?

        Sigh.

        •  Roberts is a stealth candidate. (none)
          What's happened to our radar?

          Indeed.

          First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

          by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:16:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We Fight, And We Fight Hard (none)
          But the fact that Bush gave us such a small target gives us a big opening to define the terms of the debate -- if Senate Democrats are smart enough to use this as an educational opportunity.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:19:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What frustrates me (none)
            is that I believe that if this nominee had been announced before Rove was fingered as Cooper's source, the reaction at dKos would have been Rove is trying to screw us with this stealth candidate, so let's fight back.

            Instead, everyone is framing this choice as a sign of Karl Rove's weakness and need for diversion.

            Excuse me?

            If this is a sign of weakness, then why is the talk around here all about how we just have to suck it up because there's no way to fight Roberts unless we maybe think up some magic question that we'll shoot at him come September?

            Rove is using his troubles to give Roberts cover, not vice versa.  What does that tell us about what we should be doing in response?

    •  who is this guy?!?!? (4.00)
      somebody have the numbers, stats & weight of this guy???

      what i've heard i'm not happy with.  pretty conservative.  entrenched in GOP politics.  hopefully he's independent & takes his position seriously.  (speaking of which, have we given up on fighting this??)

      i don't like that he's very young.  your war is a failure & a lie, you used up your 9/11 trump card, history will remember you as a lying, spoiled brat who almost (hopefully there's a recovery) ruined the country. is THIS how you decided to leave your legacy, george?

      thanks for the analysis, acb.  i'm still wary.

      •  There may be an advantage in youth (none)
        he may grow up.

        Then again, he could catapult us back into the dark ages...

      •  not sure, but...... (none)
        -http://www.nathannewman.org/laborblog/archive/003236.shtml

        and

        (highly questionable but fun in a way):

        Rising Sign is in 22 Degrees Taurus
        Calm and deliberate, you hate to move quickly or act hastily. Very practical, every effort must count or you can't be bothered. Patient, persistent and steady, but very stubborn -- you can't be pushed or pressured into anything. You seem outwardly self-assured because you tend to repress your inner tension and turmoil. You exude an earthy warmth, friendliness and charm. You demand comfortable surroundings and appreciate the good life. Be careful of a tendency to be overly self-indulgent. At times, you are lazy and difficult to motivate. Overcoming inertia is a problem for you and, because you are not by nature a self-starter, it is often necessary for you to receive stimuli from others in order to get moving.

        Sun is in 07 Degrees Aquarius.
        You get bored with the status quo and are generally open to new things and ideas. An individualist and a free spirit, your friends are quite important to you as long as they do not try to tie you down by making too many emotional demands on you. Your thoughts are offbeat and you're a bit eccentric, but not always very changeable. As a matter of fact, you can be quite stubborn at times. Very fair-minded when dealing with large groups or broad issues, you are not always emotionally sensitive to the needs of individuals. Extremely objective, with good powers of observation, you would be qualified to study technical and complicated subjects, like science, computers or maybe even astrology.

        Moon is in 21 Degrees Pisces.
        You have strong feelings and are extremely sensitive. It would help if you had a thicker skin -- you tend to react emotionally to every situation you come across. Kind, gentle and considerate of the feelings of others, you are good at taking care of the sick, wounded and helpless. But you tend to absorb the energy of others -- so avoid those who are always negative. You have a rich, creative and lively imagination, but you should be careful not to spend all your time daydreaming. Very intuitive, you have good ESP and may be quite clairvoyant or psychic. Remember that you too have the right to get what you want from life. If you are always defensive and kowtowing to others, people will take advantage of you and exploit you.

        Mercury is in 25 Degrees Aquarius.
        You tend to be very opinionated -- you have strongly felt notions about things and are quite vocal about expressing and defending them. Yet you are also an original thinker -- you enjoy shocking others with your offbeat, original thoughts. You appreciate and need mental and intellectual stimulation. Your judgment is usually fair and impartial -- you can be a good critic because you can remain objective and unemotional about most things.

        Venus is in 20 Degrees Sagittarius.
        You are very aware of the need to maintain a high sense of morality in a relationship. Your loyalty and interest will remain constant in any relationship (either friendly, personal or business) that is based on fairness, honesty and justice. But you will become greatly hurt and disappointed if the other person takes any but the high road with you. Also, you cannot tolerate anyone being overly emotionally possessive of you. You are known for your friendly, outspoken manner.

        Mars is in 08 Degrees Aries.
        You are very independent and self-assertive, and you have lots of physical energy. You are not satisfied unless you can be the first to do something. As such, you are more comfortable in leadership positions than you are as an underling. When you are challenged by anyone for anything, you delight in the competitive process and will fight long and hard for your beliefs. You are bold and courageous and often act without thinking. At times, in your zeal to get ahead, you are tactless and offensive -- learn that cooperation with others can often bring you nearer to your goals quicker because of the support you will get.

        Jupiter is in 23 Degrees Cancer.
        You must be emotionally secure in order to grow and develop. You are happiest when your family and community support and nourish you and boost your morale. Whether your childhood experiences of love and emotional dependability were positive or negative will set the tone for your emotional growth and stability as an adult. When you feel at ease with yourself, you are able to offer assistance to those who need a helping hand.

        Saturn is in 20 Degrees Scorpio.
        You tend to release emotional energies only very reluctantly. This is partly due to your fear of what horrible calamity might occur should they be released -- your emotions are terribly complicated and intense. Try not to repress these energies entirely, however, or you will succumb to negative and destructive forms of compulsive behavior. Give yourself the freedom to look awkward or silly once in a while. The relief you feel will be quite therapeutic and the embarrassment (whether it is real or imagined) will pass quickly.

        Uranus is in 25 Degrees Cancer.
        For you, and for your peers as well, the demand to be free from entangling emotional bonds is of paramount importance. You have a unique and unfettered view of family life and will be attracted to experimenting with freeform styles of relationship commitments. This may lead to a rootless, unsettled lifestyle.

        Neptune is in 28 Degrees Libra.
        You, and your entire generation, idealize all of the various experimental approaches to relationships -- including "living together", the formation of communes and collectives and the whole concept of "open" marriages. There is a stress on weakened commitments on an emotional and contractual level, but there are heightened expectations of the level of commitment and mutual support on the spiritual and metaphysical level.

        Pluto is in 26 Degrees Leo.
        For your entire generation, this is a time when the relationship of the individual to society as a whole is being thoroughly re-examined. Major attempts will be made to find a balance between the need to be self-sufficient and the need to honor debts of social commitment.

        N. Node is in 05 Degrees Capricorn.
        You rarely get involved closely with anyone unless he or she has something specific and practical to offer you. You tend to be "all business" when it comes to dealing with others. You're usually so intently focused on a particular goal that you rarely have time for social niceties or casual fellowship. But you can definitely be counted on by others to get things done. When you say that you'll do something, you do it. As such, you're a valuable member of any team situation and will probably rise to a position of leadership within the group. Your trustworthiness and sense of responsibility are unquestioned. But do try to avoid the temptation to "use" others to reach your goals -- they might come to resent you.

        I hear people say that he could go either way and (despite the evidence and present sphere of influence) I am hoping,  if accepted, for the best.

    •  yay! (none)
      finally a sensible analysis of the nomination. The "victory" line might be stretching it a bit, but then again, maybe not.

      It's not that we should be happy about Roberts, it's that we should decide the BEST way to use this to our advantage. And I think you hit it on the head.

      All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

      by SeanF on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:14:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This (4.00)
        looks to be another attempt to turn the democrats against one another and although it is early it seems to be off to a good start.

        It is yet another track on the top 40 album of the moderates versus the base.

        It's a lock!  It's a travesty!  We should fight and filibuster!  We should concede and get back to Rove! He's a wingnut!  He's a reasonable choice! This is the best we could have hoped for! This is a slap in the face!  This is what we get for losing Ohio!  We didn't lose Ohio, it was rigged! Etc ad nauseum....

    •  Sigh (3.96)
      This diary is so obviously correct that it pains me to see how many dissenting views there are.  After seeing so many comments in the last 12 hours along the lines of "Roberts is the worst nominee imaginable," my mind has sort of become numb.

      Look, folks, when people say "elections have consequences" that is not the same thing as saying the Democrats must roll over and accept every outrageous action until 2008.  We didn't accept the destruction of Social Security.  We didn't accept John Bolton.  There are plenty of fights we can win.

      But there are good losses too, and this is the concept that many refuse to accept.  You can lose in a way that makes people sympathize with the principle you fought for.  You can lose in a way that sets the stage to make a compelling case later.  If you send a clear message to the American people that "we oppose Roberts because X will happen if he is confirmed," and then X does happen, now you have your campaign issue for 2008, 2012, and beyond.  "Elect Democrats so we can roll back X and make sure it never happens again."

      Right now, we haven't agreed on what X is.  It might be Roe v. Wade, it might be destruction of environmental laws and other protections, it might be a lot of things.  I will guarantee you this: if the Dems don't settle on a unified message, if it ends up being the same old shotgun approach that "Roberts will outlaw abortion, birth control, favor corporations over people, destroy the environment, reverse the civil rights movement, etc." it's not going to get us anywhere.  We need a straightforward argument that people can understand, and we can use in future elections, not a boundless rant that says Roberts is the spawn of Satan who will destroy everything good about America.  Fortunately, we have over a month before the confirmation hearings, time we can use to get the message straight.

      I don't get why people don't understand that there can be a "good" loss, or at least a productive loss.  How have the Republicans gotten into power?  By campaigning against every liberal accomplishment of the last century.  They are not afraid to take our victories and turn them into campaign points, and it wins them elections.  We need to do the same, unless we believe the Republicans never pass a bad law.

      Imagine yourself as a wingnut for a second.  What would you think about Roe v. Wade?  You'd probably consider it the biggest disaster ever.  Oh no, the Supreme Court ruled that there's a constitutional right to murder unborn babies!  But rather than saying "that's it, we lose, end of the world" the Republicans built an electoral strategy around it.  It wasn't easy, because their position is the minority, but they used it as a rallying cry for their base, they employed a legislative strategy that involves poking around the edges and creating wedge issues, and they gained political ground because of it.

      We should be upset any time one of our precious freedoms is lost, or any time one of our hardwon liberal gains is rolled back, but remember, we are not just a bunch of helpless victims, we are the activists here.  We can be smart about it and use those defeats to craft a winning strategy for the future, rather than living day by day counting up losses and wins depending on how today's voting went.  We are supposed to be the ones driving the Democratic Party towards a winning, progressive agenda; so let's get to work.

      •  A maiming kick (4.00)
        in the testicals is better than castration.  The bombing of the World Trade Center is better than worldwide nuclear war.  The melting of the polar ice cap is better than global warming.  All of that is certainly true, but how are maimed testicals, a blownup building, or a melted polar ice cap objectively good because they aren't castration, nuclear war, or global warming?  

        C'mon.  I think a diary entitled, "Thank God, George Bush Didn't Nominate Hermann Goring," is about as appropriate as calling Robert's nomination a "victory."

        First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

        by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:12:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is (none)
        a high quality post, and makes many good points, but I think one point of disagreement is whether the nomination of Roberts in and of itself constitutes a victory.

        I don't think so. He may well have been chosen over Luttig because he is even more conservative on business-related issues, though Luttig is more conservative socially.

        People on both sides are also making a mistake in not considering Bush's next appointment. Originally it was thought Rehnquist would retire and there would be two nominations at the same time (or nearly the same).

        Bush benefitted from Rehnquist's delay, because he can replace O'Connor with a solid conservative sold as a "moderate," but then replace Rehnquist with a super conservative, arguing that pick doesn't change the court's composition.

        And generally speaking that is correct. The real problem will be if Ginsburg or Stevens retires, one of which is very likely before 2009 (and there's a small but real chance both do).

      •  Sorry (4.00)
        I just can't support the view that because the Repubs won the election, getting a staunch conservative who'll be on the bench for 3 or 4 decades is a victory because he isn't a lunatic fringe conservative. Oh hurrah.

        This position supports a business as usual attitude, which is what infects many, if not most, levels of the Democratic Party and its elected officials. It seems almost impossible to convince the biz as usual crowd that the nation, if not the world, is in dire straits, facing unprecedented problems that need a passionate and unyielding response.

        Imagine the difference if the Dems in the Senate were to unite and oppose this nomination and state unequivocably that they won't support ANY nomination Bush makes until and unless the administration owns up to lying about the Iraq war, fires Karl Rove and levels with the American people. Ah, but that would be true opposition party tactics and as we all know, a good half to 2/3 of the Party's elected officials and "consultants" advocate going along to get along while appeasing their corporate donors.

        To counter a dangerous, extremist administration, you need to overturn the apple cart -- something the powers that be in the Dem Party apparently have no stomach for. Instead, let's celebrate non-victories by concocting some process-heavy analysis that shows things could be even worse than they are. Bah.

        •  Business as usual? (none)
          The point of my comment was not that this is a loss or a win.  Indeed, focusing on that definitional issue really misses the point.

          The point is that no matter what you call it, this is an OPPORTUNITY.  Every bad thing the Republicans do can and should be used to help us win future elections, if we handle it the right way.  If we don't handle it the right way, and we let the opportunity slip away, that's a loss by any definition.

        •  Sympathetic to your outrage (4.00)
          ...but you ignore the key fact that we do not have the strength to overturn the apple cart.  We can scream and bluster and moan all we want and it won't do a lick of good.  Republicans have the votes to confirm Roberts and the American people are not going to look at Democratic screaming and taunting and say, "Yah, I want me some more of that!"

          Look, if tomorrow we find dirt on Roberts that could derail his nomination then we should use it.  But as it is, there is nothing about him that isn't true of every Republican Senator in Congress.  We don't have a super majority in this country who will turn on Roberts simply because he is a staunch conservative.  If we did, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.  That is what, "Elections have consequences!" means.

          Now, that doesn't mean we give up or don't oppose Roberts at all.  It just means we do so in a dignified matter while we acknowledge the reality that the man will be confirmed absent some shocking revelation.

          "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

          by manyoso on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:31:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not (none)
            I'm not talking about screaming and blustering and moaning, I'm talking about using this opportunity to state calmly and unequivocably that we won't approve ANY nominee or anything else that we can stop until and unless the Bush administration comes clean and stops stonewalling on how and why they started the Iraq war and the dishonest and even criminal ways they fostered support for it.

            The point is not if we can win on votes or not -- the point is that Dems take a courageous stand on the future of our democracy. Are we supposed to wait until we have the votes to "win" to strongly take a stand and call the administration on their dishonesty and criminal handling of intelligence? We'll be waiting a long time.

      •  Elections do have consequences (none)
        And the elections that elevated enough Democrats to the Senate to filibuster judges who are out of the mainstream and will turn our constitution on its head should have consequences too.

        I'm not going to like any nominee Bush comes up with.  And Roberts is not the worst possible nominee.  But he's not a lot better than almost anyone else mentioned.

        What's the advantage to this guy?  What can we console ourselves about?  What positions does he hold that we can take solace in?  I don't see any.

        He's not a moderate and that's the only kind of judge I feel the Senate should confirm.

        •  Consequences (none)
          of having 44 seats in the Senate and not having the White House is that you can discourage the president from picking the looniest member of the loony bin. That worked. Bush apparently considered, but did not choose, committed extremists for this nomination.

          Only confirm moderates? We don't have the numbers to make those kind of demands. If that gauntlet was thrown down, and a filibuster was attempted, we would lose the cloture vote. The 44-seat Democratic caucus contains DINOs like Landrieu and Lieberman, remember -- they will not vote to filibuster Roberts or any similar nominee. Neither will the RINOs like Chafee vote to filibuster -- IIRC Chafee has voted for nearly every Court of Appeals judge Bush has nominated, even though many are farther to the right than John Roberts.

          Should we make the point that Bush is placing a very conservative judge on the court, and that this is why Democrats need to work harder to win elections and why people who care should vote for Democrats? Absolutely, yes. But we do not have the leverage to successfully demand the appointment of another Harry Blackmun.

          This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

          by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:56:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you fight and lose (none)
            You exhaust every remedy you have.  You fight.  You fight so that when the next election comes around and you want to say that you'll fight to preserve mainstream values, the people believe you for a change, because they saw you do it.

            And the Harry Blackmun comment is a strawman.  First of all, it's a strawman, because Harry Blackmun began his career so conservatively that he was called a "twin" to Justice Berger.  Secondly, Harry Blackmun ended his career significantly to the left of any sitting justice.

            I would tolerate a Lindsey Graham, or a justice like O'Connor, and we have every right to demand one.  We may not get one, but if we fail to demand one, then we deserve to keep losing elections.

            When did we become such damnable cowards?

            •  Lindsey Graham? (none)
              From what I know of Graham's record, he would be no better in terms of his Supreme Court votes than John Roberts. He is at least as conservative philosophically.

              There is a strong possibility Graham would be more dangerous because Roberts, I believe, will feel significantly constrained by stare decisis (as Rehnquist has -- e.g. Rehnquist's opinion for the court affirming Miranda) while a non-judge politician like Graham would, like Clarence Thomas, blow up every precedent he disagrees with if he can get five votes to do so.

              This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

              by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:41:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  So youi like the taste of crumbs (none)
        This nomination demonstrates the only concession the Senate Democrats "won" through the so-called "compromise" to avoid the nuclear option is stealth SCOTUS nominations that will give them political cover when they refuse to filibuster them.  

        "Well, we didn't know enough about him to vote against him," they can say after Roberts murders Roe v. Wade on the SC.  The Senate Dems are rehearsing this script now, even some of the best of them: Kennedy, etc.    

        Arguing that a stealth nomination to SCOTUS is a Dem victory because it's not an in-your-face nomination is like arguing that the Japanese weren't really defeated at the end of WW2 because they got to keep their emperor.  

        Obviously the Democratic Party has grown fond of feeding on the crumbs

        •  Did you read my comment? (none)
          My point was that this is an opportunity, and more than just an opportunity to win or lose a single confirmation vote.  If you see it as a simple win-or-lose proposition, then guess what, the odds are stacked against us and we will most likely lose.

          But it's about more than that.  None of us like living under a Republican-controlled government, but we're supposed to be about finding a way to change that.  Part of finding a way means taking the things the Republicans do, the bad things, and fitting them into a dialogue where we explain to the American people why their way is bad and ours is better.

          Nowhere did I suggest that we should just put this one in the win column and go about our business.  That would get us nowhere in terms of retaking power.

      •  asdfads (none)

        "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is
        not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without
        fighting is the highest skill."
        ~ Sun Tsu ~
        The Art of War

        Every man for himself.

        by JLFinch on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:07:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  if Dems confirm Roberts, courts moves way right (none)
      Legal analysts on PBS last night were unanimously in agreement that Roberts is clearly more conservative than O'Connor.

      Roberts is at least as conservative as Rehnquist, and (without a paper trail) could very easily end up being a Thomas or Scalia. Democrats in the Senate, and on DailyKos, should be very much aware of this fact before they are falsely lured into the conservative frame that Roberts is somehow a palatable centrist choice.

      Dems fought for the filibuster for a reason -- for the very situation the Senate is now in with Roberts. Democratic Senators would abdicate progressive principles for a generation if they do not use the filubuster now in a circumstance when Bush is CLEARLY trying to move the court as far to the right as the Senate will let him.

      -----------

      The New York Times lead article today makes it abundantly clear that Bush is stealthily but clearly attempting to move the court rightward:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/20/politics/politicsspecial1/20bush.html?oref=login&pagewanted=pr int

      Mr. Bush, and his chief political lieutenant Karl Rove, have made clear that they viewed the Bush presidency as an opportunity to build a lasting conservative legacy that would produce fundamental changes in the government, and what Republicans describe as a long-lasting political realignment. The retirement of Justice O'Connor, a swing vote on the court, presented him with a clear opportunity to do that.

      After the difficult spring Mr. Bush has had in Congress on issues like Social Security, the nomination of Judge Roberts may be an easier route to this end than some of Mr. Bush's legislative initiatives.

      Mr. Bush is also someone who relishes confrontation and political combat, perhaps never more than when he finds himself under attack, as he certainly has during these rough three months in Washington. In this case, though, Mr. Bush may have found a way to accomplish one of the overarching goals of this presidency -moving the court to the right - without a reprise of the kind of polarizing battles that have sometimes marked the Bush presidency.

      The front-page Washington Post analysis of the pick says the exact same thing:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/19/AR2005071901946.html?sub=AR

      President Bush moved boldly to shift the Supreme Court to the right last night by selecting federal appellate judge John G. Roberts Jr. to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

      By picking Roberts, Bush displayed his determination to put a more conservative stamp on the court.

      •  Yeah (none)
        that's the problem. Regardless of how the Dems respond to this or use it to frame arguments against Bush and the Repubs in the future, we'll be facing 3-4 decades of the dismantlement of the New Deal and all the things we have won in terms of civil rights, environmental protections and privacy/health issues, just for starters.

        Say goodbye to America as we know. Personally, I thank the conventional wisdom hawkers who convinced Kerry to vote for the war, pushed Kerry to forefront in the primaries and then helped shape his campaign as mush, mush and more mush, without even a tepid response to the swiftboat liars. I'll be thanking these in the box DC insiders every morning for three or four decades, if our republic lasts that long.

    •  Super diary - you should be writing more (none)
      acbonin, great writing, you should be contributing more.    This cuts through the clutter.

      You see through the reactive thinking that pervades discussions in the blogosphere, and have the patience to deconstruct it and persuade.   We all need to make more productive educational use of the blogosphere to achieve our ends.   We need to think of blog readers as foot-soldiers of public persuasion, not just wonkonerd readers checking up on who's up and who's down.

      On the basis of this diary alone, I'd put you on the front page as a regular.  

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