Patterico's Pontifications


Roberts Doing Fine

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:01 am

When the news was announced that a vacancy was opening at the Supreme Court, I was thrilled to be a blogger and to have the chance to take part. But things haven’t gone the way I thought they would. Oh, sure, there has been plenty of unfair trashing of John Roberts and his record. But it seems clear to me that none of it is going to stick. The man is going to be confirmed, and he is going to be a solid Supreme Court Justice — and he certainly doesn’t need my help for any of it.

Which is not to say that I’m entirely bowing out of commentary on this nomination, or that we should be complacent. When the hearings begin, in particular, there should be plenty of grist for the blogging mill. But right now, I’m just sitting back and watching the radical left dribble away its last remaining drops of credibility opposing a man most Americans see as solidly within the conservative mainstream.

The saying goes something like this: “when your enemy is destroying himself, shut up and get out of the way.” That seems like good advice right now.

P.S. A hearty “kudos!” from Patterico to the first reader who can correctly identify and source that saying.

15 Responses to “Roberts Doing Fine”

  1. I believe the original quote is more like “when your enemy is destroying himself, never interfere.”

    It was first spoken about military strategy, so it scarcely surprising to discover that it was Napoleon Bonaparte who said it. He said it at Austerlitz, when his commanders were begging him to advance.

    Bruce (6a14b9)

  2. Forgot to list a source. Can’t find an “original” at the moment, but the quote and circumstances are mentioned in the following Civil War newspaper report of the Battle of Pensecola:

    Bruce (6a14b9)

  3. They made fun of his wife and his kids’ clothing; saying they looked like “Easter eggs.” Then they probed into whether this wealthy, white man got to the head of the list to adopt the kids; even Ted Kennedy said family should be off-limits.I think what they are doing is seeing that they cannot stop him so they will say of the next nominee, “Roberts was okay, but THIS nominee is so outrageous that we must invoke the gang of fourteen to stop him.” And then, of course, the wimpy Republicans will say, “Well, we got Roberts; one out of two isn’t bad.”

    bureaucrat (825e78)

  4. I know some of my earlier predictions didn’t pan out, but I’m sticking by my call that Roberts will face a Democratic filibuster. I’ve posted the specifics on my blog, but the summary is that there will be at least one Democratic Senator who will refuse to go quietly (maybe out of principle, maybe out a craven attempt to score points with the Lost Kosites) and will dig in. The leftist activist groups will rally round this Senator, putting incredible pressure on other Democrats to vote against cloture, but instead allow ‘our side to be heard’. It’s true that a Democrat can’t win without support from the middle, but they can’t get nominated without support from the hardcore. And the hardcore wants a fight and will gladly reward those brave Senators willing to stand up and fight.

    steve sturm (d3e296)

  5. The Democrats really, really want to oppose Judge Roberts, but they simply don’t have anything that they can say solidly against him. They’ve gone after his wife, which didn’t work and made them look smarmy (not that they didn’t look smarmy before), and the latest was that he changed “Civil War” to “War Between the States.” Horrors! I guess when they ask him if he supports stare decisis, he’ll be able to say he does, ’cause he’s thinking about Dred Scott v Sanford.

    Senatrix Boxer has at least told the truth: she will not vote for Mr Roberts unless he promises to support Roe v Wade. But some of the Democratic senators, who would very much like to be as honest as Mrs Boxer, can’t be that blatant about it, because they represent states which are, for the most part, moderately conservative; they have to find something outrageous that Mr Roberts has done to oppose him.

    Keith Thompson of Sane Nation argued that Senatrix Clinton would have to vote against Mr Roberts’ confirmation to placate her left wing (see Hillary’s Ploy); I wanted to bet a cyberbuck that she’d vote for Mr Roberts, as long as hers was not the deciding vote, because she wanted to appear to be a moderate. Absent something a whole lot more disqualifying than changing “Civil War” to “War Between the States,” I’m still holding on to my offer.

    Now, if’n he had changed it to its more proper name, the War of Northern Aggression . . .

    Dana R. Pico (a9eb8b)

  6. The change to “War between the States” gives some insight to his character. Actually, it is more accurate, in that the South was not trying to overthrow the North and take over; it was merely trying to secede. To me, this reveals that Roberts is a detail-oriented person who believes in correctness above all else, and damn the consequences; what we want in a judge. If that is the best they’ve got, welcome to the court, Judge.

    bureaucrat (825e78)

  7. I am not quite ready to rule out the possibility of a contentious hearing and an eventual filibuster. Here is my thinking:

    1. The “not enough documents” argument – The Democrats are likely to win this if they play it right. Most Americans are not really going to agree with the White House argument that turning over those documents will harm candor – it just sounds too Nixonian. Execution is key, and I am not sure if the Senators can actually execute this argument effectively, but it is a winner for them. Filibustering under the rubric of “we are holding out for more information” is by far their strongest argument.

    2. Carefully construing their questions – the Democrats have an opportunity here to really put Roberts on the defensive by focusing on his philosophy rather than his previous writings. People are curious about Roberts, and if he can be made to appear evasive enough without excessive confrontation, they may be able to capitalize on the President’s low approval ratings and start a filibuster.

    I won’t go as far as Steve Sturm above and predict a filibuster, but it is certainly possible.

    Glenn (6642b4)

  8. Do you think they will try the coke can hat trick again? That would be fun, I wouldn’t put it past them.

    bill (26027c)

  9. ‘War Between the States’ is more accurate–wars are by definition uncivil. Besides, Confederate-Americans call it ‘The War of Northern Agression’ or ‘the Late Unpleasantness’.

    The ‘More Documents’ ploy is a separation of powers issue. It’s not surprising that those who want a Court that constantly violates that separation would also violate the principle to obtain and maintain such a Court.

    Noel (ee3eb6)

  10. I think they will confirm him with little trouble, partly because he is clean and partly because the Neas-PFTAW-NRAL crazies have already worn out their welcome mat. They are going ballistic right now with nothing to be ballistic about. They disgraced themselves terribly with Pickering and some of the others–in the eyes of the Democrats. If they do filibuster the rules change will occur immediately, and Frist has the votes. The next appointment might be Janice Rogers Brown, and I don’t think the Dems have the guts to go to the mat on her, either. They’re looking at a death knell for the Democratic Party if the black vote starts to slide to the GOP. 8%, 11%, what’s next? After Judge Brown, maybe 23%.

    exguru (0f4734)

  11. I liked exguru’s “They are going ballistic right now with nothing to be ballistic about.” Sounds like a Trident II D-5 SLBM being launched . . . with no warheads. It makes a pretty fire going up, but doesn’t do anything.

    Dana R. Pico (0f4734)

  12. Is the goal of those denouncing Roberts really to prevent his confirmation? Or is it to flood the media with stories painting conservatives (or maybe Republicans) as anti-woman, racist, fanatically religious, etc. If the former, they are indeed foolish. But they are certainly accomplishing the latter, which, I suspect, was their real goal from the beginning.

    Alan (a55daa)

  13. Hi! What a great blog! Great job! thanks again for the info! I’ll be back again to visit and read some more in a few days! 🙂

    wealthy from the net. (26c228)

  14. […] – The immediate, worldwide, and apparently unanimous howls of outrage as the entire planet joined Team Sandy!™ and America’s Sweetheart 2.0 won and retained hearts and minds by remaining stoically (or cleverly, or well-advisedly) silent. As James Carville used to say when he felt like quoting Napoleon, never interfere with your enemy when he is destroying himself. […]

    It’s a dog’s life for Jesse James - Lorraine Murphy - The Celebrity Industrial Complex - True/Slant (b57c44)

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