Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Beware Unintended Consequences 

Michael Barone on the (expected) upcoming battle over confirmation of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, John Roberts:

They [Democrats] may try to argue that Roberts is 'out of the mainstream.' But the vote on Roberts's nomination to the appeals court was 14 to 3 in the judiciary committee. Who is in the mainstream now?
A perfectly logical point: how can the Democrats help overwhelmingly support the guy in one vote and then turn around and bash him in the next? But will Michael Moore's Democrats learn the lesson Barone thinks he's teaching?

He probably hopes they'll realize their vulnerability to this unassailable logic and support Roberts's nomination, if only grudgingly. But in today's heated environment, his logic could just as easily be taken as a call to arms, an example of what happens when Democrats are flexible on even the tiniest, most reasonable point. We may never see another 14-3 vote in our lifetimes. On anything. Democrats could just as easily opt for an all-nuclear-all-the-time-no-matter-what strategy. We could see fillibusters in small town city council meetings over garbage pickup schedules. I can even imagine a completely gutted judiciary, berift of any sitting judges, all of them busy waiting in the green room for confirmation. Surely I jest, I hope.

But something's got to give, and solid logic might not be enough to do the job.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: