Patterico's Pontifications

11/13/2004

Red and Blue States

Filed under: Politics — Patterico @ 6:19 pm

Kevin Drum has an interesting post on how it came to be that “red states” are Republican and “blue states” are Democrat.

I prefer blue; I wish we Republicans could use the blue color. Apparently it used to be that way. Can’t we vote to change it back?

Blog Reminders

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 6:14 pm

Time for a few requests and announcements that I make periodically.

First, if you are an occasional visitor here, and you like what you see, please remember to bookmark the main page. I welcome new readers of all viewpoints.

And if you are a regular visitor, please tell your friends. I have had a couple of people write me recently to tell me that they do exactly that, and I appreciate that greatly. Thanks very much!

Finally, I want to make another plug for Bloglines, a fantastic RSS reader. It will change your life. If you aren’t a Bloglines user, click on the link and follow the simple instructions. No downloads, and you can read dozens of blogs from a single web page. Just set up an account.

If you have a Bloglines account, and you don’t subscribe to Patterico, you can do so by clicking on this link:

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PoliPundit (and Right Wing News) Added to Blogroll

Filed under: Blogging Matters — Patterico @ 2:30 pm

I just noticed that PoliPundit was not on my blogroll. How did that happen? The mistake has been rectified.

P.S. Same goes for Right Wing News.

Alberto Gonzales on the Supreme Court? What the Thank Are They Thinking?!

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:30 am

Conservatives, we’re about to be “thanked” by the White House for helping Bush to win the election. Trouble is, I’m not sure what the word “thank” means anymore, after reading how they’re planning to “thank” us:

Republicans close to the White House said on Thursday that the choice of Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general was part of a political strategy to bolster Mr. Gonzales’s credentials with conservatives and position him for a possible Supreme Court appointment.

These Republicans said Mr. Gonzales had been widely viewed as one of President Bush’s top choices for the court. But by first sending him to the Justice Department, they said, Mr. Bush could then nominate a conservative favored by his political base to fill the first vacancy that arises.

For Mr. Gonzales, tenure as attorney general would allow him to demonstrate his reliability to conservative leaders, many of whom say they are unsure of his views on issues like abortion and affirmative action, Republicans said.

No kidding. Here’s the part that just slays me:

The strategy, which Republicans said was in large part the work of Karl Rove, the president’s chief political adviser, would clear the way for Mr. Bush to make his first nomination to the Supreme Court a trusted conservative, thus showing gratitude to his political base for the large role they played in giving him a second term.

“It’s a thank you to the right for the election,” said one Republican adviser to the White House.

A “thank you” to the right?? I’m sorry . . . did the word “thank” just undergo a radical redefinition?

If the folks at the White House think that any package that includes Supreme Court Justice Alberto Gonzales is the right’s reward for the election, they don’t know what the thank they’re talking about.

Putting Gonzales on the High Court — whether it’s now or later — is about the worst thanking idea I can imagine. Ramesh Ponnuru explained why last year, in a piece called Judging Gonzales. Ponnuru says:

In the Senate, [some] Republican staffers . . . have taken to saying that “Gonzales is Spanish for Souter.”

In the University of Michigan racial-preference cases, Gonzales prevented the Bush Administration from arguing that racial preferences are always unconstitutional. As a Texas Supreme Court justice, Gonzales voted to gut a parental notification requirement for abortions, by giving an overly broad interpretion to a judicial bypass provision.

The bottom line is simple. According to Ponnuru:

[N]othing in Gonzales’s jurisprudence in that case or others would lead people to believe that he would be a Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas — which is what Bush said he wanted on the campaign trail.

If Karl Rove views a Gonzales Supreme Court nomination as part of his “thank you” to the right, he’s out of his thanking mind.

Please don’t thank us this way, Mr. President. What with the David Souters and the Sandra Day O’Connors, we’ve been thanked enough by Republican presidents, thank you very much.

I think this is a bigger issue than whether Arlen Specter becomes Judiciary Committee Chairman, in light of Specter’s apparent promise to give a floor vote to every Bush nominee. So save your phone calls and e-mails regarding Specter. Call the White House at 202-456-1111. Tell President Bush not to thank conservatives over by nominating Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court.

UPDATE: The Clam points out that the “thank you” is intended to be the confirmation of a more conservative justice first. I understand his point, and he is correct that I misread the article. I have changed some wording (adding the words “any package that includes” to one sentence, “part of his” to another, and “whether it’s now or later” to a third) to reflect more accurately what the article says. (I also changed the title of the post.) Thanks to the Clam for catching my error.

None of this changes my point. If you replace conservative justice Rehnquist with some other conservative justice, it leaves the balance of power the same as it is now. Big deal. And if you then scheme to appoint an unreliable Gonzales/Souter type later, that’s unacceptable.

You don’t reward your base by telling them: “We were going to screw you early — but since you helped us so much, we’ll keep the status quo for now, and screw you later.”

That’s a thanked-up way to say “thank you.”

(Via Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy.)


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