« Al Franken Steals From Children And The Elderly | Main | Study Finds That Committed Partisans On Both Sides Are All Batshit Crazy »
January 25, 2006

Dick Morris On Why The Dems Can't Stop Alito

Hard to disagree with, really:

To the likes of Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) et al., the Supreme Court is a kind of super-Congress β€” nine special Senate seats β€” and the criterion for confirmation is agreement with the nominee on the key issues likely to come before the court. But to the American voters, the Supreme Court is above politics and ideology and confirmation should be awarded based on personal attributes such as integrity, intelligence, judgment, compassion, wisdom, maturity, fairness and temperament.

We usually call that a "superlegislature," and that's the most elemental difference between how conservatives and liberals view the Court. Conservatives view the court's mission as interpreting and applying law and clear textual mandates found in the Constitution (the real Constitution, not the "penumbras and emanations" version). Liberals view it as simply a third, superior -- supreme, really -- house of Congress, one that actually ultimately controls all government. Liberals see the Court as the ultimate arbiter of all political questions, not just constitutional ones.

Simple question: If there's a bad law that's not actually unconstitutional, should the Supreme Court strike it down? Liberals don't think too long before saying "Yes." Conservatives almost as quickly say "No." Democracy allows for -- and must allow for -- the people to occasionally, and stupidly, pass bad laws. If they're not allowed to pass bad laws -- if their democratic decisions, even the dumb ones, are subject to review by an unelected superlegislature -- then that's not really a democracy, is it? It's more like a magistrarchy which occasionally deigns to take suggestions from the voting public.

Realizing this difference in perspective between the Democratic base and the public at large, President Bush has done very well with both the John Roberts and the Alito appointments. When his people forgot about the dichotomy β€” and nominated Harriet Miers who was seen as a poorly qualified if conservative candidate β€” they got their heads handed to them.

I think that's a pretty good point. If Dick Morris is right, and the public basically agrees that the Court should be staffed with the best and the brightest, regardless of judicial theory, then Harriet Miers, I'm sorry to say, fails the public's test. If qualifications and not ideology are most important -- as Republicans have argued in trying to get Roberts and now Alito confirmed -- what the hell were we doing nominating an ideologically sound (maybe...) but not especially qualified woman to the court?

He also thinks Roe is not all that crucial in the public's mind:

...voters are not deluded; they simply do not see Roe v. Wade in quite the apocalyptic terms that both the left and the right do. To the vast middle of the American political spectrum, it is more important that a Supreme Court nominee be a good person with sterling credentials than be predictably for or against Roe v. Wade.

I think he's right here too. Although there are committed single-issue voters on both sides, I think most people are conflicted about abortion, and neither want it banned nor immune to any restrictions whatsoever. Further, they're not even strongly passionate about that middle-of-the-road take.

I do think this country is basically pro-choice. Just not passionately so. And I think the public realizes the same judges likely to protect Roe v. Wade against even minor limitations are the same judges likely to invent new rights for criminals. They're softly in favor of the former, and strongly against the latter. Leaving the Abortion Card as a rather weak one.



digg this
posted by Ace at 02:43 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
Hadrian the Seventh: " [i] Wow. Listening to the 1805 version of Beetho ..."

bluebell ~ get cooking, Horde!: "Aw, Salty - how nice! I get it about the language ..."

Cosmic Charlie: "Is Everyrhing Bach done yet? ..."

Side draft: "Someone upthread said that President Trump probabl ..."

Fritz: "hmm.  Why does the NFL continue to injure tho ..."

filbert: "[i] Someone upthread said that President Trump pro ..."

Your Decidedly Devious Uncle Palpatine, Booking Agent, Aero Pinochet: "302. How do you think she got outta the pen so fas ..."

ScoggDog: "[i]Pretty unbelievable stuff and if you can stomac ..."

Miklos Molnar, on the 49 meter band: "If that's the case we owe you 37 cents. Posted ..."

garrett: "The Rock stars in TRIPLE EXTANT ..."

Bruce: "Funny. they only fit a '49 Hudson Commodore. Post ..."

andycanuck: "I like andouille sausage in jambalaya though I hav ..."

Recent Entries
Search


MuNuvians
Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
News/Chat
Archives
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64