Although Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has decided he will vote no on Roberts’ appointment, many of the rest of the Dems are still undecided. While the announcement of his nomination brought questions about whether he would be filibustered outta there, now the question is whether to give him a yes-vote. As I’ve said all along, I don’t think filibustering in this case would have been especially useful, especially once a second vacancy opened up. Roberts is perhaps the best we’re likely to get out of Bush, and there are a hundred more just like him (or worse) where he came from. A three-and-a-half-year filibuster was about the only option to keep Roberts et. al. off the court, so whatever—the GOP was going to win this one, if not with Roberts, then with someone else. We lost it back in November. Tough titties. That said, I’ve always believed that every last Dem ought to cast a no-vote. He’s got two years of experience as a judge, he wouldn’t give straight answers, and his interpretation of the law is in conflict with liberal beliefs. Done and dusted—a no-vote was the only option.

Unless, of course, you’re one of many elected Democrats, who apparently don’t make such decisions based on little things like integrity or principles, and instead makes a political calculation.
"I literally have not made up my mind. I really don't want to talk about it anymore," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) said Tuesday in the Capitol as she backed away from a crowd of reporters into an elevator.


New York Sen. Charles Schumer has told colleagues that Judge Roberts overall acquitted himself well before the committee. But a yes vote could undermine Mr. Schumer's ability to raise money from anti-Roberts donors for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which he now heads. When asked Tuesday if he had made up his mind, Mr. Schumer answered, "Nope."

Similar battles are bedeviling Democrats not on the committee. Some moderates, such as Florida's Sen. Bill Nelson and Nebraska's Ben Nelson, face re-election next year in Republican-leaning states and are eager to pocket some centrist credentials by voting for Judge Roberts. Mr. Nelson of Nebraska said Tuesday he has "not seen anything that would cause me to vote against" the nominee. Another red-state Democrat, Max Baucus of Montana, said, "I'm inclined to vote for him."


But liberal activists are near unanimous in opposing Judge Roberts, who they say echoed the pre-appointment positioning of conservative Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. They are pressing Democrats to vote against Judge Roberts to send a message about the party's priorities. Those arguments likely will weigh heavily on Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who both have presidential ambitions and are trying to juggle the left-leaning voters in the party's primaries with general-election voters, who might favor a more centrist approach. "I have not" decided, Sen. Clinton said Tuesday.
How about instead of trying to “juggle” voters, you just vote your conscience? Do you think he’s worthy of a vote from the Left, or don’t you? Honestly, it’s this kind of disingenuous bullshit that turns off voters across the political spectrum. Add to the list of must-haves not only a spine and some balls, but a friggin’ brain.

If you think that’s harsh, well, judge me not so fast.
By backing Judge Roberts, some Democrats argue, the party will have more credibility if it takes on the president's nominee for Justice O'Connor's seat, one that arguably is more important because she has played a critical role in rulings on issues such as affirmative action and abortion rights.
That the Dems believe this useless triangulation will garner them any credibility with voters is patently absurd. No matter what they do, the GOP will spin it however the hell they want come the ’06 elections. And it’s even more ludicrous if they think anything they do now will influence Bush as he nominates O’Connor’s replacement. He’s going to nominate a wingnut. He has to; his base is ready to implode, and the only conceivable band-aid he’s got at the moment is pulling a pro-war, hate-the-poor Jesus in a black robe out of his hat.


Yay! cheers his base. No more abortions! Death penalty for liberals!

The Democrats do not factor. And they never will in any decision Bush makes, especially not as he must increasingly pander to his base just to keep them intact. There’s no reason to juggle anything at this point. Any reasonable Democrat who cared more about the country than about reelection would cast a no-vote for Roberts. Any Democrat who doesn’t is just playing a losing game.

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