Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Democrats: Greater than the Sum of Its Parts?

I haven't said much about the nomination of Judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I have to say that for the most part, I like the guy. He's seems well qualified for the position. Yes, he is probably more conservative than I, but hello, he was nominated by a conservative President. I listened intently to the hearings and didn't see someone in the mold of Antonin Scalia.

Meanwhile the Democrats have been torn over Roberts. Some Senators are showing leadership and voting for the nominee because they see nothing that would preclude him from becoming a Supreme. This is a wise move, because as has been said over and over, the Republicans won't be in power forever in the White House. Someday, a Democratic President will send up a nominee and the Republicans in the Senate would defintely remember how a nominee was treated when the Democrats were out of power. Those Dems, like Patrick Leahy of Vermont, are thinking forward thinking and pragmatic. They are not rolling over, but since there is no smoking gun with Roberts, the best thing to do is to vote for him, because the President isn't sending a liberal to be confirmed.

So, hearing how some of the intrest-groups aligned with the Dems are reacting to the Roberts nomination, you'd think there were living in some kind of bizzaro world. They are not thinking about the future or even really taking a moment to understand this person. He was nominated by President Bush, their eternal enemy and anything he proposes must be opposed.

Bull Moose has a GREAT post about how the Dems are in the hands of the interest groups, which in turn, keeps that party from getting the White House. As the Moose notes, this alliance on the interest groups have hurt the party and is part of the reason they did such a bad job in the 1980s. Bill Clinton decided not to be beholden to those groups (remember his Sister Souljah moment?) and because of that, he won the White House-twice.

Now, it's not that the GOP isn't beholden to its own interest groups; it most certainly has. (Remember how a certain party in Congress got a certain bill passed and a certain President took time out of his vacation to sign a bill to help a certain brain-dead woman not starve to death all to please this certain party's base.) However, it seems to the credit of the GOP that they can present an image of not being the the thralls of the interest groups, while the Democrats can't.

If the Dems want to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue again, they have to start showing leadership and not listen to the Moveon.orgs and other groups that are more interested in being right than in actually winning elections and leading.


At 12:08 PM, Blogger halfback jack said...

I think the thing that impressed me the most about Roberts is that he is YOUNG, he has a family, and he has worked in the trenches. He is not an academic-type, nor is he a recluse. He looks like the kind of guy you would see at a Saturday morning soccer game with the kids.

His decision to not get into specifics was a good one. Why should he try to get into it on purely hypothetical grounds with a bunch of Senators who are likely to vote against him anyway?

I agree that many Dems are opposing just to appease the kooks on the left and hope that they can get more than just granola bars for campaign contributions.

If the future of the Democratic Party rests in the hands of the Moveon.org's of the world, we are in a world of hurt.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Your analysis of the Dems and the MoveOn types are right on the money. But i have to say, with all due respect, that sometimes you do the exact same thing to the Democrats as you accuse them of doing to Bush.

Offer an alternative on Iraq: such as what?

Offer an alternative on Social Security (ignoring their premise that there isn't a problem): such as what?

Offer an alternative on fighting terrorism: such as what?

Big picture stuff is important, but it doesn't mean much unless it's accompanied by specifics.


At 8:14 AM, Blogger halfback jack said...

Brian, this entry is about soon-to-be Chief Justice Roberts...not identifying the magical potion(s) needed to fix the problems you correctly identify.


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