Complicity Doesn't "Keep Your Powder Dry"
by Chris Bowers, Mon Sep 19, 2005 at 01:44:28 PM EDT
Schumer polled the room and the overwhelming majority supported voting for Roberts as a way of keeping our powder dry.You would think that after the war vote democrats would have learned something, but apparently not. Perhaps I am expecting too much, but it seems obvious to me that it is impossible to be complicit with governing Republicans when something passes into law, and then try to gain political traction by "opposing" that something later on. If Democrats are unhappy with, but vote for, a stealth nominee with a miniscule record of actual rulings, who refused to answer any questions during his hearings, and who claims that everything he wrote and did in the past reflected the views of his clients and bosses rather than his own views, then how are they ever going to oppose these characteristics in any nominee in the future? If Democrats vote for Roberts, they will make it clear that they sanction the Bush administration to propose someone for O'Conner's seat who also doesn't have to have an actual record, and who also doesn't have to answer questions. Thus, the only way they could ever actually prevent a slew of new Scalia's is if the nominees are nice enough to tell them that they are going to be like Scalia. I can see the next hearings now:Democratic Senator: Are you going to be like Scalia?
Loved by the Right Nominee: I'm not going to answer that.
Democratic Senator: OK. But could you at least tell me your name? Loved by the Right Nominee: I'm not going to answer that.
Democratic Senator: OK. I'll vote to confirm.Complicity doesn't keep your powder dry--it deprives you of power entirely. Since 2002, there has been few things more frustrating and empty sounding than Democrats who favored the war going on about how the war was a good idea and we should continue it, but Bush conducted the war badly because he didn't bring in our allies, because our humvees don't have enough armor, because the intelligence was bad, or because firehouses are opening in Baghdad while they are closing in America. Have such statements influenced anyone when they come form people who support the war? Do such statements represent anyone? Consistently, according the trend-lines in the CBS poll currently up at the top of the Iraq section of polling report, only around 5-10% of the population thinks the war was a good idea but disapproves of Bush's handling of the war.
And now we are faced with a caucus that wants to use that same tactic to win over that same 5-10% of the population? I have got news for you fellas--that will not be enough of a swing in popular support to block a future Scalia or Thomas. If you vote for Roberts, you condone the way he didn't answer anything in these hearings, and you condone the way he passed off everything he did in the past as the views of his clients or superiors. Doing this will make it impossible to block any future nominee who either does not already have a long record of rulings, or who does not willing comply with your questions. Of course, since you will also be endorsing a nominee who has a small history of rulings and who did not comply with your questions, well, hard to imagine how that will change either.
So yeah, keep your powder dry. Keep it dry by locking it in a chest and and burying it underground. Forget where you buried it, and sell your only map of its location to James Dobson. Then go on Fox and tell your opponents that you are unarmed and helpless. Don't forget to tell them where you live, and where you hide all your valuables. A vote for Roberts will do just that.