The Talking Dog

July 19, 2005, Is it live... or is it Memorex?

It seems like just yesterday that Judge John Roberts, Jr. had his nomination to the nation's highest profile intermediate appellate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, tied up for nearly two years amidst political wrangling. Well, Judge Roberts, who was part of that crack legal team that successfully wrested victory in the 2000 election on behalf of the Bush-Cheney team (and away from those irritating voters) now gets his justest recompense (at least, if you're him): an all-expense paid invitation to be the President's nominee for the current opening on the United States Supreme Court.

Well, well. I'm disappointed. I wanted to see a fire-breathing maniac with identical views to Roberts, like, say, his new benchmate, Janice Brown. Or maybe the torture-meister, "Moderate" (on abortion, the only issue of relevance!) Alberto "Abu" Gonzales. But noooo...... Well, the religious right gets its man: Roberts is a committed foe of legalized abortion (ignore what he says on the subject, and just look at his life, as a Rehnquist clerk, a deputy solicitor general, a Bush-Cheney supporter., etc., etc.) Roberts will, almost certainly, work hard to overturn that irritating Roe v. Wade decision that the Democratic Party has made preserving the basis of its continued existence. Given that O'Connor was pretty much the last holdout to its continued viability as law, what does this mean? The High Court has already taken a partial birth abortion case that will likely present an opportunity to overrule Roe, should the votes to overturn it be there.

Naturally, women's groups are duly up in arms, for the same reason they opposed Roberts when he was up for the Circuit Court. The problem is, he's there. Worse, the Gang of 14 deal means that a number of Dems (Biden, Lieberman, Landrieu, Salazar come to mind... I forget the others...) have basically taken the fillibuster off the table. (Roberts is not likely to be "extraordinary circumstances"; the GOP will hold on him, so they only need to peel off six or seven Dems to avoid even the threat of a fillibuster... and that seems a gimme...) So...

To be honest, I think it's about time the Republicans finally got what they wanted on this one (and have to face the voters!): they have been winning national presidential elections helped largely by deft positioning on abortion (5-3 ahead) since Roe became law in 1973, including, quite frankly, the last two. Taking Roe off the table once and for all will force Democrats to actually think about other things, and realize that this is an issue that really should be in the hands of the states. It has been an albatross for liberals for decades. Let the battle be fought in state legislatures, once and for all, where it belongs, and not in Congress and most especially not in presidential elections. Frankly, whether the issue of legalized abortion should or should not be left to the states, once Judge Roberts is confirmed-- and he will be confirmed-- it's really only a matter of time until that's where the issue is going. So we may as well get used to it.

Honestly. Let's get used to it. Is Judge Roberts likely to be part of a new Dark Ages, led by black robed high priests? Well, other than abortion, it's not like O'Connor was really anything more than just another hard-ass rock ribbed conservative, folks. Why Dems sing her praises remains a peculiar mystery to me... are we that defeated as a party that we have to surrender before a shot is fired, and regard the deciding vote in her numerous 5-4 atrocities as a good thing? I guess so...

The future is now, boys and girls. This is where we are. Maybe... please God, maybe... we can now finally put judicial nominees behind us, and talk about, oh, war and peace, taxation, government spending, our insane governmental subsidies of wasteful oil consumption and domestic agriculture, our growing financial dependence on China... etc.

Just sayin'...

UPDATE: The Unseen Editor forwards this discussion from Slate on Judge Roberts' abomination... I mean, decision, in the Hamdan case, giving the President a complete blank check to repudiate Geneva Conventions and otherwise proceed with military tribunals as arbitrary as the President likes... If there is a reason to oppose this man's nomination, it is not to appease pressure groups on abortion, but simply because he is a judge who has no respect for our Constitution, treaties or laws. Look for not a single senator to make this (indispensable) point, of course, as there doesn't seem to be political scratch to be made from it.


...when Kos talked a couple of weeks ago about getting over the idea that abortion was the fundamental issue that Democrats had to fight for, it looked for a moment like he might be overtaken by the firestorm ignited by people who believe in that cause with a consuming passion. The whole episode got me to thinking that maybe it was time to lose on abortion, get over it, and drive on. The Democrats are out of power for a variety of reasons that are fairly obvious and relatively easy to fix,and they are going to stay out of power as long as a couple of powerful single-issue groups continue to be the ones picking which songs get played on the jukebox. The right to privacy on which Roe v. Wade is predicated would be a bigger loss to me, in any case, but it's probably high time that the Dem's lose on some of these "fight to the death" issues so those on the left side of the political fulcrum can gain a full appreciation of the costs associated with being diffident or disdainful toward those who - while otherwise liberal - don't see exactly eye to eye with them on their particular issue. Maybe a few years in the wilderness will help Democrats sharpen their focus a bit and come up with a coherent message...

Posted by Jack K. at July 20, 2005 12:18 PM

Waaaaaaaaaahh, Roe v. Wade

Posted by Jiminy Creeketts at July 21, 2005 4:03 PM