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September 22, 2005

Democrats Dazed and Confused on Roberts

The transparent duplicity of the Senate's Democratic leadership emasculates whatever strategy they had in mind regarding their verdict on Chief Justice nominee John Roberts.

Do they expect anyone to believe that the liberal warhorse Patrick Leahy measured John Roberts and found him worthy, while Harry Reid, the anti-abortion Democratic Leader from a conservative-leaning state, found the judge wanting?

Strange indeed.

I understand the eagerness of the Democrats to look reasonable regarding Roberts, now that their opposition is doomed. If they can look thoughtful now, perhaps Americans will remember their thoughtfulness when they become rapid in their attacks on the next nominee.

But is Reid, and by proxy the Democratic Party itself, so weak and beholden to the liberal interests groups of the left that have marched through his office that he had to become the designated symbol of opposition to the impressive but conservative jurist.

And with the first signals from these two leading Democratic senators, with others making far less news as they lined up for or against Roberts, the Democrats botched their message.

Reid looks pathetic, and the Democrats look dazed and confused.

Wait, that’s not news, is it?

Posted by Jim at September 22, 2005 07:21 AM

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Jim, it seems clear to me that Leahy's vote is strategic. Roberts will be confirmed. Dems know that if they filibustered Roberts, the constitutional option would be exercised. If the Reid can get a fair number of Senators to vote against Roberts, but have key Senators like Leahy vote for him, then when Bush's next nominee comes down the road (doesn't matter who it is), those who voted against Roberts can support a filibuster and folks like Leahy can proclaim that he and Dems are willing to work with Bush (as evinced by their confirmation of Roberts), but (fill in name of nominee here) is too extreme and therefore is an "extraordinary circumstance" and fair game for filibuster.

So, I don't think Leahy's support for Roberts is actual support. It's politics at its finest. But will it work? If the Republicans have any spine, it won't.

Posted by: Rick Brady at September 22, 2005 09:38 AM