Chucky's Cheese

|

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has a way of poking his head up at regular intervals to remind me why he's on my list of five most-repellent members of the Senate—and he was just on TV to do the job for fall '05. First he denounces the Miers withdrawal as a sign of Bush's capitulation to extremists, wackos, the radical right, and so on. Now, as I suggest below, however worried some conservatives might've been about not getting their preferred outcomes, it's clear that the furor we saw couldn't have happened if it weren't for Miers' astonishingly thin qualifications. Schumer and other Dems did the strategic thing: Let the right form a circular firing squad and loot the corpses. But let's be real: If they were remotely principled, they would've been howling just as loud about the cronyism and lack of qualifications too. Indeed, part of the point of presenting this as exclusively a dust-up about whether Miers would vote the "right" way is to divert focus from their strategic silence on those important questions.

Anyway, Schumer next makes the argument that the real problem here was a lack of consultation, and urges Bush to reach out more aggressively to Senate Democrats. Now, that's not just mistaken, it's not even coherent. You can't blast Bush for capitulating to pissed-off conservatives, then suggest that the solution is to cozy up better to Democrats—unless you're acknowledging that they were waiting to mount an opposition if the conservative backlash hadn't prompted a withdrawal.

NEXT: It's Been Real, Harriet

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Bah, Supreme Court nominations are so last five minutes! The really important story gripping the American consciousness now is that Sheryl Swoopes has caught “The Gay”: http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/5025926

  2. astonishingly thing qualifications

    THing? That sounds dirty Julian.

  3. He is the most repellant of all senators. What even comes close?

    Ahh Santorum. He’s right up there too. If you want an evil cabal with real cred, you’d have to start with those two.

  4. julian, you must realize that chuck schumer is the senatorial equivalent of the necronomicon. everything else makes sense afterwards.

  5. Chuck Schumer was on TV? No way.

  6. First he denounces the Miers withdrawal as a sign of Bush’s capitulation to extremists, wackos, the radical right, and so on.

    I’m confused. According to Schumer’s side of the ilse, Miers is a rabid fundie in bed with Jim Dobson (Ewwww!) and the rest of the fire-and-brimstone breathing Christian Conservatives. You can’t get much more “radical right” than that without straying in into skinhead/KKK/Persian Blue territory. Yet, he expects us to believe that she was hounded into withdrawl by these same people?

    So what is she; a milquetoast moderate who might be a closet liberal ala Justice Souter as pronounced in the conservative blogosphere, or is she a praise-tha-laurd-and-pass-tha-ammo Bible-beater who will repeal Roe v. Wade and legislate theocracy from the bench?

  7. SR – funny you mention it, the thought crossed my mind that it’d be a helluva week if 1) Sherly Swoopes came out (and THAT news is from at least two days ago, but I digress) and 2) Harriet had a self-realization that she, too, is a raging lesbian who has suppressed it and rather than rebelling by leaving the Catholic church to indulge her lesbomania, she instead is so plagued by this Jesus thing that she had to try even harder to suppress her inner homosexual by joining the evangelicals.

    Hell, maybe the news about Swoopes prompted her own little moment of realization?

  8. Edit: aisles.

  9. Sheryl* (pardon my passing lexdyslia)

  10. Akira — Don’t correct that! I was still parsing all the “She Wolf of the Senate” images you’d conjured up.

  11. The fact that Miers was unqualified put Schumer in a bad position. If he told the truth and attacked her for being unqualified, that would imply that qualifications played any role whatsoever in his evaluation of Supreme Court nominees. What would he have said after the President nominated someone who actually was qualified?

  12. Is this about Chucky’s Taint Cheese?

    the dude is a twaddlenock and is a jerk. i’d still like lehey to be on the list of “biggest jerkoff senators”.

    GRAPHIC VISUAL OF THE DAY!

    Chuck going down on HRC.

  13. Akira,

    James Dobson vouched for her. He said he knew things; was privy to things.

    She may be a rabid fundie, but her thin record and a wink and a nod weren’t enough to satisfy at least some social conservatives (or folks like Rush Limbaugh for that matter). They want a rabid fundie and someone with a deep record demonstrating that they are a rabid fundie.

  14. [McConnell] does believe that the Supreme Court has gone too far in reading the total separation of church and state into the Constitution, and because he …understands that Roe v. Wade has no firm constitutional foundation. He might be acceptable to the left not only because so many liberal professors support him, but also because he has been public in his criticism of Bush v. Gore and the impeachment of President Clinton

    the above is a law professor’s description of Micheal W. McConnell, strongly rumored to be Bush’s next choice (per The Hotline blog).

  15. greg with,

    Except of course the Supreme Court has never argued for a total seperation of Church and State, and if McConnell thinks that they have, well, McConnell is a Grade A idiot.

  16. Hey Bush, I double dog dare you to nominate Judge Roy Moore. Talk about your qualifications. Talk about all the fun we’d have watching that Senatorial bruhaha.

  17. Yet, he expects us to believe that she was hounded into withdrawl by these same people?

    mr mackenzie, there’s more than one room in the farthest right wing of the imperial mansion. the religious militants were placated — but, it bears mentioning, only after an active campaign of solicitation in which people like james dobson got white house sales pitches in which they were promised only-god-knows-what.

    but there’s another room of more hardbitten militants who want to start the american political version of the battle of meggido at any cost — right vs wrong to reincarnate the nation in a phoenixic rebirth. those nutcases — some of whom overlap with dobson’s milieu, but many of whom are simply secular militants for the advent of a republican military emperor to crush the insidious liberalism of a j.s. mill — for whom the miers and roberts nominations amounted to ducking the fight they are blindly passionate to have.

    this isn’t to say schumer’s right. but there are many far righters who are now relieved, and will lunge anew at an opportunity to bring the heavens down in a final political battle.

  18. double dog dare you to nominate Judge Roy Moore

    if bush placates these war-mad far righters with the battle to finally destroy the “liberal” senate and the “liberal” supreme court and the “liberal” democratic party — really, eradicate anything they perceive to be “liberal” — i would not be surprised to see political violence return in earnest for the first time since the nixon administration.

    one hopes he doesn’t see fit to energize his base, as so many pols now do, in lieu of trying to govern the country as a whole through compromise.

  19. So, you’re criticizing democrats for resorting to the most efficient method of achieving their goal?

  20. Repealing Roe v. Wade is not a theological tenant. It is admitting that the constitution does not speak to abortion. Roe was clear, criminal, legislating from the bench. Of course when you can’t win elections trashing the constitution is the only way to stay in power.

  21. RA,

    Repealing Roe v. Wade is not a theological tenant.

    Actually to many people it quite clearly is.

    Of course when you can’t win elections trashing the constitution is the only way to stay in power.

    Who wasn’t winning elections in 1973?

  22. RA,

    I’m curious to hear your version of the 9th Amendment Borkian inkblot rationality. Of course, since your habit is to drop rhetorical firebombs and then duck, I doubt we’ll hear from you again on this issue until the next thread.

  23. I’m curious to hear your version of the 9th Amendment Borkian inkblot rationality.

    Since RA is our current Conserva-Troll (e.g. Post something bigoted, then run off.) I doubt you’ll get a response… So I’ll do it for him.

    Ifin’ it taint in tha Bible, it again’ the Corn-stitution!

  24. Gaius,
    Think of the positives: Alec Baldwin might finally honor his promise to leave the country.
    And perhaps Barbra Streisand will go with him.

  25. shut the fuck up, all of you.

    RA is a god. a man’s man. a hero of heroes.

    that said, the focus on roe v. wade is really, really putting holes in the whole scotus nomination process. i wish we had a litmus test that actually affected the entire country rather than just part of it – i.e. moving beyond stooges like roberts who aren’t just deferential to the legislature and presidency to avoid the bugaboo of “judicial activism”

  26. 5 Most Repellant Senators! What a topic!

    Schumer
    Lieberman
    McCain
    Santorum
    Feinstein

    my apologies to Allard (local pick),Clinton, Reid, Boxer, Kennedy and Biden…you were worthy candidates.

  27. John —

    I’ve half suspected all along that your observation was the White House’s strategy: Pave the way for a highly credentialed hard right candidate by sending out a sacrificial lightweight first. The Democrats don’t seem to have taken the bait, but the Republicans may end up painting things that way in the next fight anyway.

  28. NoStar,

    Apparently it was Alec Baldwin’s wife (Kim Bassinger) who said he’d leave the country (though even that was in dispute by them for a while).

    http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/outrage/leave.htm

    The site also has interesting bits on Robert Altman, etc.

  29. Dogzilla,

    I’d replace Lieberman with Lott, but otherwise I concur.

  30. Dogzilla,

    Your forgot Boxer. She makes Feinstein look like Alexander Hamiliton in comparison.

    Umbriel,

    Interesting idea. I am not sure the White House is that sophistacated or that even if it were it really wanted to pick a fight with the right over a court nominee. I frankly have no idea what the hell they were thinking nominating her.

    People are too concerned with high profile cases like Roe. First, if Roe were overturned tommorow, abortion would still be effectively legal in this country. I suspect most states would keep it legal. I am sorry but the fact that a woman in Dallas may have to drive to New Mexico to get an abortion would not mean that the long dark night of facism had fallen on America. I am more concerned with areas of the law like federalism, intellectual property and the commerce claus. Cases involving those issues will have a lot bigger effect on the country than any Roe cases will. In addition, when you start looking at other less political areas, the justices do not break down so easily into the left and right wing characteratures the media likes to paint. I would just like to see a serious legal mind on the court. Someone like Ted Olsen or a Douglas Ginsburg redo would work fine for me.

  31. Julian:
    Schumer next makes the argument that the real problem here was a lack of consultation, and urges Bush to reach out more aggressively to Senate Democrats.

    Truly Schumer is an embarassment to us all. One of the prime reasons Miers was nominated was that Bush consulted with Harry Reid who proposed her name! Yeah, Bush is gonna fall for that trick again! Well, OK, he might, but Rove and Cheney won’t let him.

    Hakluyt:
    Repealing Roe v. Wade is not a theological tenant.
    “Actually to many people it quite clearly is.”

    Where in the text does it reside? 😉

  32. “5 Most Repellant Senators! What a topic!”

    The politicians who germinate my strongest “watch your back and wallet” physical reactions are/were:
    1 Daschle
    2 Pelosi
    3 Klintoon #1
    4 Klintoon #2
    5 Pretty much all the rest of ’em.

  33. Where is this “Separation of Church and State” codified my American friends? And why is Roe vs. Wade sacred even though it is plain judicial activism? I thought you guys liked federalism.

  34. Shelby,

    Various Christian scholars have found Biblical evidence to demonstrate (from their vantage point) the sinfulness of abortion. You probably want to ask them.

  35. Where is this “Separation of Church and State” codified my American friends?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    To put that in terms a conservative can understand, it means that religion shall not infulence the decisions of government, and government shall not regulate the religious practices of the people. A “seperation” of church and state, if you will. Read up on Madison and Jefferson to find out more.

    If you don’t understand, do I need to use smaller words, or do you need a puppet like Elmo or Kermit The Frog to explain it to you?

  36. I thought you guys liked federalism.

    Adherents to the tenet of Federalism should not use this as a cop-out for SCOTUS’s responsibility of protecting the natural rights of US Citizens.

  37. Yeah, federalism kicks ass and so does the 9th amendment. Or it did, before they repealed it.

  38. Yes but the phrase itself has never been codified! Is there evidence that the first amendment was meant to prevent goverment buildings from having prayer or Christmas celebrations? Or government officials having religious views?

    “Adherents to the tenet of Federalism should not use this as a cop-out for SCOTUS’s responsibility of protecting the natural rights of US Citizens.”
    Sounds very interventionist!

  39. oh, and we shouldn’t forget about the tenth. that was a good one, too, while it lasted (though its death was long and painful).

  40. Smart – this question has come up before – the first amendment says “Congress shall make no law” and the 14th amendment is essentially a shield against having our tax dollars confiscated to be used to support religion at the state level (i.e., our individual right to not have our earnings spent in this way are protected, though legislative bodies can piss away as many tax dollars as we let them on secular faith healing practices like Welfare).

  41. Yes but the phrase itself has never been codified!

    It doesn’t need to be. The phrase was used by Jefferson to describe how the First Amendment was suppose to work in regards to religion.

    Appearently, I do need sock puppets to explain it to you.

    Is there evidence that the first amendment was meant to prevent goverment buildings from having prayer or Christmas celebrations? Or government officials having religious views?

    Evidence please. Otherwise spare me the Bible-beating victim chic bullshit. Take you paranoid delusions and satanic/atheist conspiracy theories and post them on Rapture Ready where they belong.

  42. Never heard of Engel v. Vitale then?

  43. Oh! One more thing…

    If anyone has anything to complain about, it’s secularists like me who have to watch my government being taken over by people who think that “Intellegent Design” should be taught in our public school science classes, homosexuals should be forbidden marriage, the Air Force Academy should be used to evangelize, and that my tax payer dollars should go to erect monuments of the 10 Commandments in courthouses.

    Unlike Smart Torontonian, I have evidence that supports my views.

  44. If you have an argument for why mandated prayer in government operated schools should be not be considered unconstitutional under the grounds of the Establishment clause, then go ahead and make it.

  45. yeah, cause like…yeah.

    i’d like to hear more about how we prevent government officials from having religious views. because it ain’t working so far.

    i also gotta go check out this rapture ready thing.

  46. How about we get rid of public schools, air force academies, allow property owners to decide what to do with plaques left over by DeMille, get the government out of marriage? That makes thing easier.

    Akira would you support charging churches for not marrying gays?

  47. Well up in Ontario, despite our supposed Canadian love affair with the American concept of the separation of church and state we have publically funded Catholic schools! I say defund all public schools!

  48. Never heard of Engel v. Vitale then?

    As a matter of fact, I have:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engel_v._Vitale

    …and the Court ruled correctly. While government will protect the right of individuals to practive their faith, it should never be in the business of giving time, money, or effort in the name of any religious system. That includes “prayer time” in public schools.

    You want to pray, do it at home or your church. Don’t do it on my, or any other taxpayers, dime.

  49. “You want to pray, do it at home or your church. Don’t do it on my, or any other taxpayers, dime.”
    I agree with that actually. Down with public education!

  50. Akira would you support charging churches for not marrying gays?

    No. I would not. A church is a private institution that can make up whatever laws it chooses. On the same tolken I don’t approve of conserivative-backed constitutional amendments that would enshrine the Judeo-Christian notion of mongamous hetrosexual marriage into law, violating both the spirit Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause by forbidding other churches who don’t share the Christian Right’s notion of “family” from practicing what they believe.

  51. Akira,

    No one is saying churches can’t marry anyone they want. The issue is does society want to give the legal benifits of marriage to homosexuals and if homosexuals why not polygamy? The first over homosexual marriage is about society’s right to make its own rules through government. Do the legislatures and ultimately the voters decide who gets the benifit of marriage or do judges? Ultimately if you say there is an absolute right to homosexual marriage in the Constitution, something that the people who wrote it never intended, then its pretty difficult to tell Muslims and Mormons they can’t have mulitple wives or indeed anyone that they can’t marry anyone they choose whether it be their sister or fifth wife.

  52. The issue is does society want to give the legal benifits of marriage to homosexuals and if homosexuals why not polygamy?

    I would die laughing if SCOTUS got a gay marriage case and ruled that the IRS could not treat married and unmarried citizens differently.

  53. No one is saying churches can’t marry anyone they want. The issue is does society want to give the legal benifits of marriage to homosexuals and if homosexuals why not polygamy?

    I don’t know, why NOT polyamory? Having multiple sex partners certainly more natural than the myth called “monogamy” that you wish to foist on us in the name of your ancient carpenter/con man.

    Yes, I’m calling your “Messiah” a lying fraud with a bunch of cheap tricks and guillible believers to back him up. That is, of course, if he ever existed at all which is historically unlikely. As your result, your “Christian Morality” is entirely bankrupt. So don’t go telling anyone how they ought to live, who they should live with, or who they should fuck. I’ll figure out what’s “right” and “wrong” on my own without the “assitance” of preahcers or politicians who think they’re preachers.

  54. john, you’re exactly right about the real issues involved with gay marriage. but to approach it from the other direction, the fact that there is a legal benefit for the religious practice of marriage is the problem. either the benefit should be removed, or it should be given to everyone, regardless of marital status.

  55. Is that website RaptureReady.gov? It’s not working for me..

  56. Adam, that’s because they put Michael Brown in charge of doing the HTML.

  57. Akira,

    Only a twit like Bertrand Russel and apparently you would ever claim that Christ never existed. How do we know that Alexander the Great existed? All we have is a few semi mystical biographies, which can be written off even easier than you no doubt write off the new testiment. We know of course that Alexander the Great existed because their are Greek temples in India. We know he existed because of his effect on the world. In the same way, we know there was a historical Jesus because his followers were running all over the Roman world and showing up in places like the Anals of Imperial Rome in his aftermath. That says nothing about whether he was the sun of God, true. To say that he most likely never existed does nothing but show your ignorence and bigotry.

    As far as polygomy goes. Its inherently coercive and mosogonistic and exists exclusively in extremely patriarchal societies. Moreover, since small numbers of men take large numbers of wives, it leaves your society with large numbers of young men who are unable to obtain wivesand settle down. Something which produces a more violent and unstable society. This society has every right to decide that it does not want to be such and enforce that with its laws.

  58. Er, Bertrand Russell was a twit?

  59. As far as polygomy goes. Its inherently coercive and mosogonistic and exists exclusively in extremely patriarchal societies. Moreover, since small numbers of men take large numbers of wives, it leaves your society with large numbers of young men who are unable to obtain wivesand settle down. Something which produces a more violent and unstable society.

    dubious that polygamy necessarily produces a violent and unstable society, but OK, and…

    This society has every right to decide that it does not want to be such and enforce that with its laws.

    wrong. under your logic, society can single out any practice which it considers unhealthy and outlaw it. in other words, a democracy without rights; as long as the majority wants it, nothing else matters. if you think that’s a recipe for success, you need to read some history books.

  60. Jason Ligon,

    I think Betrand Russel was a twit. Great logistician but said stupid things like we don’t even know that Jesus existed at all in his essay Why I am not A Christian. Read Paul Johnsons take down of Russell and other luminaries in his book The Intellectuals.

  61. How do we know that Alexander the Great existed?

    I can’t speak for Alexander, but there is certainly more evidence for Julius Caeser existing than Jesus:

    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/exist.html

    Its inherently coercive and mosogonistic and exists exclusively in extremely patriarchal societies.

    First of all, I didn’t say “polygamy,” I said polyamory. Get a dictionary.

    Second, how is it “inherently coercive?”

    This society has every right to decide that it does not want to be such and enforce that with its laws.

    Yeah, at gun point.

    Fuck your society. Fuck your laws. Fuck your God.

  62. Bertrand Russell was a twit?

    consider the source of that proclomation, mr ligon.

  63. akira, i can understand where you’re coming from with this, but i don’t think “fuck your god” is really persuading him of anything.

  64. Paul Johnson…you mean the same Paul Johnson whose preachy diatribes I skip every time they make an appearance in Forbes? ick…

  65. wrong. under your logic, society can single out any practice which it considers unhealthy and outlaw it.

    Yeah Zach, they are called laws. Unless you are an anarchist, you pretty much have to give society the right to do things like that to some degree. The issue is what rights are so fundemental that even a democratically elected government cannot take them away. Things like free expression and due process would fit this catagory. I don’t think the right to have five wives or marry your golden retriever fits this into the fundemental right catagory.

  66. zach:

    I’m not trying to persued him. That would be a waste of time. Debate is always a pointless endevour since it never convinces anyone. I’m just telling him the way it is. He can take it or leave it.

  67. Things like free expression and due process would fit this catagory. I don’t think the right to have five wives or marry your golden retriever fits this into the fundemental right catagory.

    Why not? Because you don’t like them? I mean, how do you decide that some specific, concrete thing like “marrying your golden retriever” is not a fundamental right, but something as wooly, undefined and nebulous as “free expression” is?

  68. Is it just me, or has Hak’s recent aggressive posting style-itis found more hosts?

    I’m not going to wade too far into this, but a quick perusal of Russell’s public debates on the subject should, at a minimum, exempt the man from ‘twit’ status.

  69. I don’t think the right to have five wives… fits this into the fundemental right catagory.

    i’m ignoring the golden retriever part. but that aside, i do think this fits into the fundamental rights category. if five women want to marry the same man, let them. if two men want to marry each other, let them; hell, if five men want to marry each other, let them. your contention that this would lead to a “violent and unstable society” is baseless. in reality your objection is a religious one, and religious viewpoints are not to be enforced by law.

  70. First, if Roe were overturned tommorow, abortion would still be effectively legal in this country. I suspect most states would keep it legal.

    Baloney. If Roe were overturned tomorrow, Bill Frist would be introducing a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all 50 states. It’s not as if the Republican Party cares fuck-all about Federalism. At best — at BEST — it would be illegal in the poorest states with the highest rates of teen pregnancy and out-of-wedlock births, which would be a recipe for disaster.

    I am sorry but the fact that a woman in Dallas may have to drive to New Mexico to get an abortion would not mean that the long dark night of facism had fallen on America.

    . . . says the cheesedick who will never, ever have to worry about getting an abortion, or about scraping up the money to travel out-of-state for one.

  71. What you do with other consenting adults (e.g. five wives, or husbands, or 3 husbands and two wives, 4 wives, 1 husband and your next door neighbors wives and husbands, etc.) and your property (e.g. your golden retreiver) seems to be a pretty fundmental right to me; the right of self-ownership.

  72. marrying your golden retriever

    Many natural rights theorists would argue that this is not a natural right, because although a pet is the property of an owner, the owner’s discretion over the treatment of pet is not absolute due to the animal’s own rights.

    But those theorists are all scrawny vegans anyway. I’m satisfied that I have a right eat my chicken and screw my sheep like nature intended.

  73. exactly. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as it were.

  74. haha, i meant that in response to akira’s last post, not MP’s. i’m no scrawny vegan but i think we ought to lend out at least some rights to animals, even the ones we’re going to eat eventually. hell, we’ve already taken over the world, it couldn’t hurt to show just a little charity.

  75. If Roe were overturned tomorrow, Bill Frist would be introducing a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all 50 states.

    Umm…there’s nothing stopping them from doing that today, so that argument doesn’t hold up. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past our buddy Bill to introduce legislation to the same effect.

  76. says the cheesedick who will never, ever have to worry about getting an abortion, or about scraping up the money to travel out-of-state for one

    Don’t worry Phil, the deadbeat who got the woman pregnant and is pressuring her to get an abortion so he doens’t have to pay for the child will pay for the travel no problem, especially if she is a minor and he wants to make sure that he doesn’t go down for a statutory rape.

  77. To say that he most likely never existed does nothing but show your ignorence and bigotry.

    i think it shows, mr john, a very high (excessively high, imo) premium placed on evidence. there’s vastly more historical attestation, fwiw, of alexander’s existence from a huge number of independent contemporary sources than there is for any humble desert prophet of the 1st c. such a standard befits russell and his philosophical approach in logical positivism.

    i personally make the leap of faith that, because of the attestations in the bible and elsewhere, and the evidence of christian activity as early as the 2nd c in the roman empire, that the man existed. but the record is very vague, and one needn’t pretend there’s great evidence for christ’s life.

  78. Zach,

    If you folks want to make it legal to marry your golden retriever and claim her as a tax dependent, please do. The point is that it ought to be voters who decide those kinds of things not judges.

  79. Also Phil,

    As pointed out above, there is nothing to stop people from amending the Constitution now. Further, Congress doesn’t amend the Constitution, Congress and the States amend the constitution. Two thirds of the states would still have to approve any amendment. In addition, it would also have to be approved by 2/3s of the Congress. Gee I guess don’t have too much faith in the oh 45 Democrats in the Sentate right now’s commitment to abortion. That is a rediculous argument almost as stupid as the “you will never have to pay for an abortion” argument you make. That is true, but you will never have your life ended by one either. Both facts are equally germain to the discussion.

  80. >The point is that it ought to be voters who deIcide those kinds of things not judges.

    Ahhhh… there is nothing more liberating than mob rule.

  81. well i’ve already stated my position on the whole golden retriever thing (very effective red herring by the way), but in terms of nontraditional marriages between consenting adults:

    The point is that it ought to be voters who decide those kinds of things not judges.

    and my point is that no one ought to decide these things except the people involved in the marriage. when people try to intervene using the law as a religious weapon, it is the job of judges to prevent that from happening.

  82. We all agree that through Establishment, the government interest in marriage can’t be religious in nature, right? This observation suggests that the government is merely seeking some criteria to confer tax and survivorship benefits to spouses. The question concerning polygamy and canines must really be a question about what the justification for conferring these benefits might be. From there, we can discuss who gets them and why.

    I really, really struggle to see how same sex is differentiable from opposite sex in this context. What is the non religious justification for conferring survivorship to a female partner but not a male one?

  83. jason, in reality John seems to be arguing that people ought to be able to actually outlaw homosexuality and polygamy on the grounds that they corrupts society, because society should be allowed to make such rules for itself. the refusal to confer tax and survivorship benefits would just be another example of society being able to make its own rules with very few restrictions.

  84. they corrupt, of course. i mean they don’t… nevermind.

  85. Yes Akira, Democracy just sucks. Only enlightened people like you and Zach and your priests in black robes should be allowed to make any rules or laws.

    Jason,

    That is a very good point and just the kind of debate that we should be having. What does society want to define as marriage and for what reasons? There is nothing wrong with society deciding through elections that same sex marriage should have the same standing as opposite sex marriage but polygomy should not.

    I don’t have a problem and support States deciding to recognize same sex marriages. I just think it is a legislative issue. My support of them does not stop the likes of Zach and Akira from slandering me as a fanatic.

  86. The point is that it ought to be voters who deIcide those kinds of things not judges.

    does anyone need more evidence to understand that originalism means only majoritarian tyranny? especially to the stupid unwashed masses that sit around and talk about “liberal judges”?

  87. Jason – Deference to civil historic tradition?
    I’m not advocating the position, but Megan McArdle has done about as good a job as anybody I’ve seen take it. But what would Mark Cuban say?

  88. There is nothing wrong with society deciding through elections that same sex marriage should have the same standing as opposite sex marriage but polygomy should not.

    similarly, mr john, on your line of “reasoning”, there is nothing wrong with society deciding through elections that there shouldn’t be any more elections and that we should crown jeb bush as jebediah augustus i?

    or do you see a limit to what popular elections should be allowed to say about law?

  89. Schumer’s saying, if Bush had consulted with Democrats more, he could have picked up enough Democratic support for a nominee that the defection of the right wing of the Republicans wouldn’t have mattered.

    Is this really so difficult?

  90. joe:

    Does that sound even remotely plausible to you?

  91. does anyone need more evidence to understand that originalism means only majoritarian tyranny? especially to the stupid unwashed masses that sit around and talk about “liberal judges”

    Stupid unwashed masses. There is Gaius, you pretty summed up all of your postings on this or any other thread. The people are ignorent and only the likes of you are fit to have any say in the government. How dare any of them have the nerve to actually expect to have a say in how their government operates. Clearly the only sollution is to lock them up and re-educate them and shoot the ones who can’t be re-educated. You are really scary person Gaius.

    Joe,

    Bush can’t please his base and satisfy Democratic Senators anymore than Clinton could have pleased his base and Republican Senators. No amount of consultation is going to solve that problem. All he can do is send someone up with impectable credentials and make the Democrats filabuster an obviously qualified person in order to satisify their base and try to make them pay the political price for it. To try to find a compromise candidate seems pretty hopeless.

  92. Yes, Jason, it sounds plausible that Democratic senators would like to see a nominee that is acceptable to them. Why does this strike you as so far-fetched?

  93. If a man wants to marry his goat, he should be free to do so and that’s fine with me, as long as it’s not my goat.

  94. gaius, basically he’s saying that there should be very few limits. for instance, voting a law into existence because of a religious belief should be fine. or maybe, it should be fine if you can disguise it with ridiculous “it will lead to the undoing of our society” rhetoric. either way, there’s nothing wrong with voting a law into existence that rewards or penalizes the private lives of americans.

  95. John,

    “Bush can’t please his base and satisfy Democratic Senators anymore than Clinton could have pleased his base and Republican Senators. ”

    First, you’re confusing “his base” with “the right wing of the Republican Party.”

    And a nominee who was hated by the right wing of the Republican Party, but who was acceptable to “the McCain 14,” would garner north of 70 votes.

  96. and john, as much as you would like to cast our arguments to the contrary, nobody is arguing that we are more qualified to pass laws than anyone else. we’re arguing that there are certain areas of life which no one ought to be allowed to mess with, except yourself. this should be obvious to you.

    also, i never called you a fanatic. i suggest you go back and actually read what it is people on this thread are saying.

  97. Adam,

    Scanning the Jane Galt piece, I found myself thinking that the case for more people to be married is strengthened by her argument, and the case that allowing more people to get married might create a disincentive for some to get married was quite weak. There are positive externalities to being married, and we need to think of marginal cases and perverse incentives when we think about the institution as a whole. I’m fine with all of that.

    What I don’t get out of her argument is a reasoned explanation as to how expanding the potential universe of wed couples either reduces the beneficial externalities of the institution or makes it less likely to occur. You would have to argue that somehow the opposite sex exclusivity of the institution makes it more valuable to more people on the margin. I don’t see it.

  98. “Yes, Jason, it sounds plausible that Democratic senators would like to see a nominee that is acceptable to them. Why does this strike you as so far-fetched?”

    What strikes me as far fetched is Chuck using this as some sort of nyah nyah about Meiers. She wasn’t acceptable to them, so all he is suggesting is that if the president had picked someone else, they might vote to nominate that person, so long as said person didn’t demonstrably fail the Dem litmus test. Well duh. Bush needs the Republican base to get a Republican preferred candidate nominated and Dems won’t help him in any circumstance nominate someone he actually wants over the protest of his own base.

  99. only the likes of you

    not me, mr john. just better than the likes of you.

    You are really scary person Gaius.

    i can barely fathom that you see some sort of open-ended tyranny in me, who would advocate merely a smaller franchise — but somehow don’t in your own murderous mumblings about how the world should be run at the whim of america’s lowest common denominator.

    but then, there are a lot of bizarre things on h’n’r that amaze me.

  100. Jason, “She wasn’t acceptable to them,”

    Yes, and she also wasn’t a nominee who came out of a process of consultation. That’s Schumer’s point – if Bush had consulted with the Senate, he never would have picked Harriet Miers. He would have picked someone who, even if the Right Wingers had revolted, would have had super-majority support.

    “Dems won’t help him in any circumstance nominate someone he actually wants over the protest of his own base.” You keep making this assertion, that Senate Democrats are ferocious partisans who love to reject judges – take a look at the record. They’ve approved, what is it now, 220 federal judges, and stopped four or five?

  101. joe:

    “Over the protest of his own base” was key to that argument. Just imagine Newt saying something like this to Clinton. “Hey, who cares what those nasty leftists want? Pick who we want you to pick and you’ll have a supermajority. We’ll give you lots of leeway, even. Our only criteria is that they have to strike down Roe v Wade.”

  102. if Bush had consulted with the Senate

    joe, the post states Senate Democrats, not simply the Senate. Yes, he should have consulted the Senate GOP, but it isn’t really necessary for him to give anything more than lip service to the Democrats.

  103. Jason,

    I don’t think that argument stands up very well, given the Senate Democrats’ response to Roberts.

    Remember the NARAL ad? Remember the Democratic Party giving them the big kiss off?

    MP, “but it isn’t really necessary for him to give anything more than lip service to the Democrats.” Yeah, how’s that working out today?

  104. gaius,

    I wish we could find somewhat of a compromise on the word Originalism. As an advocate of Original Meaning, which includes a strong belief in the power of the Judiciary, as granted via the Constitution, to enunciate rights based on an evolving theory of Natural Rights, I dislike having to be lumped into the likes of John.

  105. Yeah, how’s that working out today?

    He has major egg on his face for not consulting the Senate GOP (among 8,000 other reasons).

  106. mm…there’s nothing stopping them from doing that today, so that argument doesn’t hold up. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past our buddy Bill to introduce legislation to the same effect.

    It’s a lot easier to introduce an Amendment banning something that isn’t currently legal or otherwise protected as a Constitutional right. A reversal of Roe would provide the gap needed to quickly get an Amendment through Congress and out to the states.

    John apparently doesn’t realize that the Senate Minority Leader is himself anti-abortion, and has one of the lowest lifetime voting records as graded by NARAL. Add this to the long list of things John doesn’t understand.

  107. You know, much like the Feingold-Paul hypothesis proposed on another thread, I think I can say that any position in which joe, gaius, Akira and I are in more-or-less agreement is quite likely the correct position. In the 98% confidence interval, anyway.

  108. joe:

    They tried to nail Roberts on Roe and couldn’t get him in the absence of a paper trail. At least, that’s what thay said they were doing. Check out all the ‘concern about removing rights Americans now enjoy’ and ‘radical alteration of the legal landscape’ talk.

    Distancing themselves from the NARAL ad was the right thing to do, but it doesn’t alter the argument.

    Bush wants someone who Dems don’t like. Going to the dems in search of a supermajority ensures he doesn’t get someone he wants on the one issue he really cares about. How’s that working out now? As far as he is concerned, he tried to get someone he knew would vote a certain way on one issue (that’s my read), and he doesn’t have that person nominated. Getting Chuck Schumer’s stamp on the nominee would put him in no worse condition.

  109. “I think I can say that any position in which joe, gaius, Akira and I are in more-or-less agreement is quite likely the correct position.”

    4 random Internet loons can’t be wrong, I suppose.

  110. Jason, “They tried to nail Roberts on Roe and couldn’t get him in the absence of a paper trail.”

    ‘They’ who? Most Democrats voted to confirm Roberts. The questioned him, he answered, it’s all good. If there was actually the degree of partisanship you’re positting, don’t you think there would have been something approaching a majority of Democrats opposing him? I don’t think questioning a nominee on his beliefs, then supporting him because his answers satisfy your concerns, is a good example of the dynamic you’re attributing to them.

  111. If I remember correctly the Democrats split 22-22 with one abstention in the Roberts confirmation.

  112. Not exactly the stuff of partisan obstructionism, now is it?

  113. Feinstein was similarly confused when today on FOX News she argued simultaneously that (1) the anti-Miers folks were sexist and (2) Miers fell because Bush failed to come up with a centrist Dems could support.

    Didn’t Bush used to have a spine? Can one be transplanted?

  114. Not exactly the stuff of partisan obstructionism, now is it?

    Not exactly “most” either, spinmeister.

  115. The Dems blaming “right wing extremists” for Miers’ withdrawal is nothing compared to what we will hear when the next nominee is announced. Roberts is one of those extremists too, remember? The Schumer-Boxer-etc litany is so predictable it inspired us to create a flowchart for them: it’s here. We think it’s kinda funny; let us know if you agree (or not)!

  116. Regarding marrying one’s Golden Retriever, or goat, or jelly fish, or whatever.

    I submit that since an animal is incapable of understanding the rights and responsibilities that go into a legally binding contract such as a marriage, that it therefore wouldn’t be legal.

    Arguing that gay marriage will lead to bestiality is the most idiotic form of fearmongering.

  117. joe’s original claim: ” Most Democrats voted to confirm Roberts.”

    The confirmed (by me) dissent (by Syd): “If I remember correctly the Democrats split 22-22.”

    joe’s reply: “Not exactly the stuff of partisan obstructionism, now is it?”

    joe, is “half” the same as “most?” Don’t answer; the only correct answer, which you will find a way to squirm out of giving, is “No, no it is not.”

  118. The politics of USSC nominations and legalized abortion are pretty simple and are the main reason the confirmation process has gotten so out of hand.

    Pro-lifers, located mostly on the Right, want to ban or severely restrict access to abortions. Two things stand in their way, (1) Roe v Wade and (2) the fact a sizable majority of the public think abortion, while morally questionable, should be legal.

    Because reason two above rules out any reasonable possiblity in getting an amendment passed to outlaw or restrict abortions, the pro-lifers are stuck with trying to overturn Roe v Wade. Thus the amount of importance placed on SC vacancies by the Right, and, in response, by the Left.

    The political fall-out of Roe v Wade has been enormous. It’s certainly cost the Dems political power as large numbers of religeous voters have moved to the Right. Conversely, the Repubs have gained in power but finds itself beholden to a sizable constituency that is essentially a one issue voting block. Most Repub politicians know that there is little chance that Roe will be overturned and they know that an amendment is not possible. But they have to keep up the charade that something will happen, later, sometime, one day, in order to keep these one issue voters pulling the R lever in the booth. Of course, Repub politicians that recognize the political realities of abortion and don’t tow the pro-life line are dubbed RINO’s.

    There’s both irony and hypocrisy in that the pro-life folks are trying to stack the court so that, hopefully, one day a case will reach the SC that will allow an anti-Roe court to overturn Roe. They claim to be the defenders of the Constitution on this issue and decry judicial activism, yet that is their precise tactic here. The amendment process is there, but many act as if it doesn’t exist because they know if they went the amendment route, they’d have to compromise their position in order to get it passed, and they won’t compromise.

    Political compromise is the only way out on the abortion issue, but sadly, I don’t think either side will compromise. An amendment that allows unrestricted abortions in the first trimester, with restrictions there after (questions of minors, parental notification, partial birth, rape, etc. omitted for brevity), would likely be acceptable to most voters in the vast middle. The pro-life partisans would never accept this (“Legalize murder?” they’d say), and since they won’t, the pro-choice side isn’t going to budge either.

    Talk about your “quagmires”.

    While many may agree with the sentiments of the Roe decision (I do), the political fall-out would have been much much less painful if the USSC had never heard the case and let the states set their own abortion laws.

  119. The Schumer-Boxer-etc litany is so predictable it inspired us to create a flowchart for them: it’s here. We think it’s kinda funny; let us know if you agree (or not)!

    It’s Bork-tastic!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.