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  •  If Bush has no fear of the Democrats... (none)
    doesn't that make it more likely that he'll send up a wingnut with a paper trail, like Owens or Brown, instead of settling for a stealth nominee?  In other words, more likely that he'll send up someone we can defeat in a manner that convinces the voting public we're on the right side of the argument?

    If we think the Republicans are politically weak enough right now that they might lose a battle over the right nominee, why would we want to discourage Bush from sending us a good target?  Isn't it better that Bush overreach and get nailed than that he "fear" us?  What good does his fear do anyone?

    •  Defeat who? (none)
      Sheesh.

      We can't muster 25 votes now.

      Forget it. It's over. The NEXT Fight is over all ready.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 11:35:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Defeat Brown, or Owen, or Edith Jones... (none)
        for starters.

        I think it's illogical to suggest that because we don't have a united party against Roberts, we won't have a united party against an O'Connor replacement like one of those three.  Your argument to that effect seems to me to have a few serious flaws.

        First, you seem to be ignoring the fact that Jones, Owen and Brown all have a significant paper trail.  They're not "stealth" nominees of the sort you describe later in your post; far from it.  So even if you're right that we've given up hope of defeating a Roberts-style stealth nominee to O'Connor's seat (and I don't think you are), it doesn't logically follow that we've given up hope of defeating Jones, Owen or Brown.  

        Second, Leahy's statement and vote, even assuming some other blue-state Dems follow him, doesn't answer the question of whether we can muster 41 votes against Roberts (let alone 25), because we're not officially trying to.  Reid hasn't made this a leadership vote.  He's said that Democratic Senators can vote their conscience.  How do you know what position he will take in that respect, publicly or behind the scenes, on the next nomination?

        Third, you don't really provide any reasoning for your conclusion that Democrats might be able to get 41 votes against O'Connor's successor but would never filibuster.  How does refraining from making a disciplined attempt at accumulating 41 votes against a nominee you know you're not going to filibuster imply anything about whether you'd filibuster a nominee you did have 41 votes against?

        Fourth, I object to the unstated assumption that Leahy's actions must represent lack of will to fight rather than a strategic choice.  This is Pat Leahy we're talking about.  Not Joe Lieberman, not Max Baucus, but Pat Leahy.  A man with a 93% lifetime rating from Americans for Democratic Action, and a reputation for being anything but cuddly and accomodationist.  The guy Dick Cheney told to go fuck himself.  I think he's earned some benefit of the doubt.  You admit we didn't have any hope to defeat Roberts, so why assume that the temporary tactical retreat of someone with a record like that implies a lack of willingness to fight the next battle, the battle that we can win?

        •  Pat Leahy (none)
          I have loved the man for a long time.  I give him the benefit of the doubt that he is doing what he thinks is right.  But I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt that he is right.  Otherwise, we would have President Leahy.

          And his choice is disastrous, and absolutely demoralizing.  When Mr. Leahy asks the party faithful to pick up their pen, or their phone, or take out their checkbook--the results aren't going to be pretty.  And I feel bad about that, because he is a good guy.

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