Sunday, September 18, 2005

What's a Minority Party to Do?

According to the Washington Post Editorial Board, the minority party should simply serve to provide a rubber stamp and political cover to the party and power and its supporters in the Washington media (such as, the Washington Post editorial board).

Now not only must the Democrats not go to any lengths to try to stop the appointment of John Roberts to the Supreme Court, they should, in fact, express their delight and approval for the guy by voting for him.

They write:

We hope Judge Roberts will similarly be approved by a large bipartisan vote.


For this reason, broad opposition by Democrats to Judge Roberts would send the message that there is no conservative capable of winning their support. While every senator must vote his or her conscience on the nomination, the danger of such a message is considerable. In the short term, Mr. Bush could conclude there is nothing to be gained from considering the concerns of the opposition party in choosing his next nominee. In the longer term, Republicans might feel scant cause to back the next high-quality Democratic nominee, as they largely did with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Leaving aside the Post's premise, which is that Roberts is the "best" justice, from a liberal perspective, that Democrats could hope for, I find nothing wrong with he notion that there's "no conservative capable of winning their support." As the minority party, there's basically one way for Democrats to express their objection to such a nominee for the record, and that's to vote against him. Doing so simply puts on the record that they don't support his nomination, they don't want him as Supreme Court justice, and if it were really up to them someone else would have the job.

If Bush had genuinely worked with Democrats, as Clinton did with Republicans, in choosing a nominee (Orrin Hatch brags that he gave Ginsburg's name to Clinton), then such reciprocation might be warranted. But none of that actually happened.

If the Democrats unanimously vote against Roberts it will not prevent him from become Cheif Justice. All it will do is send the message that they disapprove of the choice, and it's a choice they should certainly disapprove of.

Let us hope that the Democrats begin to understand that the worst set of advisers they have are the Beltway media who have their own interests at heart.