We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It was precisely the fact that Estrada was Hispanic that made Democrats and their activist allies want to kill his nomination. They were determined to deny a Republican White House credit, political and otherwise, for putting a first-rate Hispanic nominee on the bench.
Durbin and his colleagues did as they were instructed. But they had nothing with which to kill the nomination -- no outrageous statement by Estrada, no ethical lapse, no nothing. What to do?
They brainstormed. Estrada had once worked in the Justice Department's Office of Solicitor General, right? (Appointed under the first President Bush, Estrada stayed to serve several years under Clinton.) That office decides which cases the government will pursue in the Supreme Court, right? And that process involves confidential legal memoranda, right? Well, why don't we suggest that there might be something damaging in those memos -- we have no idea whether there is or not -- and demand that they be made public?
Durbin and his colleagues knew the Bush Justice Department would insist the internal legal memos remain confidential, as they always had been. It wasn’t just the Bush Administration that thought releasing the documents was a terrible idea; all seven living former Solicitors General, Republican and Democrat, wrote a letter to Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy begging him to back off.
But the Democrats didn't back off. They had a new, very serious question to ask: What is Miguel Estrada hiding?
The answer was nothing, of course. But the strategy worked. Democrats stonewalled Estrada's nomination, and, after losing control of the Senate in 2002, they began an unprecedented round of filibusters to block an entire slate of Bush appeals-courts nominees, Estrada among them. The confirmation process ground to a halt. More than two years after his nomination was announced, Estrada, tired of what appeared to be an endless runaround, withdrew his name from consideration. Instead of being on the federal bench, he is now in private practice in Washington.
I'm sure that the Democrats look at the Estrada derailment as the very model of success. You really had to be in D.C. practicing law in the right circles as an outed conservative to get the gist of the whispering campaign - liberals hitting the blogs and on the non-profits' email lists would ask, "you're conservative. You'd know. Is he really gay? Was his family really tied to Central American death squads?" No, the Wash Post wouldn't touch that stuff with a ten foot pole. But the rumors got out there somehow, didn't they? Estrada withdrew indicating that the personal pressures and the pressure of putting his promising private sector career on hold for nearly two years was just too much. Shortly thereafter his wife committed suicide.
Nicely done, Dems. Making Ed Meese's wife cry in the gallery during his confirmation hearings was something to be proud of, but that was nothing compared to putting a nominee's family under the kind of pressure that occurred in Estrada's case. I'm not being facetious here when I say I'm glad that we at least know the rules of the game going into it; it's a blood sport, and Republicans would be foolish to play by patty-cake rules.
The kind of smallness that was visited on Estrada (and on two Supreme Court nominees by a senator from Illinois who voted to fillibuster Roberts and Alito) should be paid back. The President is warning us now, rather ominously, not to criticize and to be civil and compliant in the confirmation process. Sorry, but I remember. New day, hope and change, my ass.
After Ted Kennedy had this to say about probably the most qualified judge to ever be nominated for the Supreme Court, for the life of me, right now I can't seem to recall how it harmed the Democratic party.
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens."
Even if in fact it did tarnish Senator Kennedy's image, I believe he probably considers it a feather in his cap amongst most of his liberal comrades to say,
"I coined the term Borked.. I got the nasty work done."
Now Press Secretary Robert Gibbs issues the warning ..
"Anyone who engages in this debate should be exceeding careful." ...to that I say, Good luck with your threats.
Chicago Politics has taken over the nation's capitol,
one needs a strong stomach to watch.
Y'know, Leag, it'd be more honest if you just called Obama a n*****.
Seriously. If you're going to be either a white supremacist or a troll trying to discredit an otherwise decent blog comments section, you should be a little bolder about it. Sticking to the coy terminology for non-whites of the third or fourth generation white supremacists is a little coy and it's probably going right past most of the readers here. C'mon, you can do better.
There's no place for that kind of shit in conservatism. Not if you want to honor the framer's vision for how the country ultimately should look, and not if you want to win elections. I'll take Tom Sowell over Ted Kennedy any day. Shoot, I'd take Al Sharpton over Ted Kennedy, for that matter, and Sharpton's pretty bad. Seriously Leag. Get a grip.