Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Jim Geraghty Goes Yard Again

Boy, if this dinger didn't reach the upper deck, somebody stole it off the ballpark superstructure (the upper deck, that is):

I don't want to come across as too snide to a good buddy, but I wonder how Hugh [Hewitt] feels now about going to the mattresses to defend Arlen Specter right after the election. How differently would the moderates have acted in this fight if Arlen had been dumped from the Judiciary Chair in the face of great vengeance and furious anger from the forces led by Kathryn Lopez?

It might have made DeWine and Graham hesitate, at the very least, and that would have been enough.

Of course, the man responsible for not denying "Snarlin' Arlen" the Judiciary gavel was...Majority Leader Bill Frist. Who is a peach of a guy, and a brilliant surgeon, but is about as suited for the ruthlessness of big-league political leadership as socks for a rooster.

I posted on that several times in November and December. Check the archives if you want to see my prescience on display yet again. Frankly, I'm too tired to dig up the links.

UPDATE: Make that back-to-back grand salamis:

[T]here’s a reason that judges have become the central fight on so much social policy: this is where the policy is really made.

Each side is willing to devote enormous political resources into fights over judges [well, Democrats are, anyway] because it is worth it.

Abortion, affirmative action, gay marriage – all of these intensely controversial issues keep getting decided in the judicial branch, where there is no recourse or change, instead of the legislative branch, where lawmakers have to face the voters within a year or two. A bad legislative decision can be reversed by “throwing the bums out”; a bad judicial decision remains until enough septuagenarian Supreme Court justices die off.

The intensity with which the Democratic party has resisted letting the legislature decide these issues – even on topics like partial-birth abortion – could be interpreted as a full-scale concession on their part that they’ll never build a legislative majority for these positions.

So why, oh why, aren’t Republicans touting that early and often? Why aren’t they saying that their fight is to keep the nation’s most sensitive and hotly contested issues settled by those who are accountable to voters, rather than those appointed for life? With all this talk from Harry Reid and the Democrats about checks and balances and the ability of the minority to have a say, why aren’t Republicans emphasizing that this fight is exactly about that, making sure the voters still get to have the final say on these issues, and can adjust the course of the ship of state accordingly, rather than whatever international legal precedent Ruth Bader Ginsberg feels is appropriate today? Should the final word on the most important political issues be decided by whether or not Sandra Day O’Connor is in a bad mood from getting cut off in traffic on her way to work that morning? [my emphasis]

Couldn't have put it better myself.