The Best Defense is a Good Offense
Coulter complains that Roberts is a stealth candidate and no one without a long judicial record to examine has been good for the Republicans. Uh, how about Rehnquist? He was in politics in AZ (like O'Connor) and then in the Dept. of Justice under Nixon before his appointment. But that was it. He didn't exactly have a paper trail as long as ... something long. But when compared to Lewis Powell, who was confirmed at the same time as him, I think he turned out pretty damn good.
And there is Shapiro's complaint. He says Roberts is a Rehnquist at best; he's no Scalia or Thomas. Boo fucking hoo. Seriously. We here on planet Earth will be gearing up for the biggest confirmation fight in about two decades. If you want to be on planet Originalist, that's fine. But this is the first nominee that Bush has. He needs to get him through and make the Dems that try to stop the nominee look foolish. Enter John Roberts. Schumer was so goofy last night cause he was mad that this nominee would be so hard for him to smear. This is what we need now.
And let's start getting honest here. Scalia and Thomas are not the same. Raich proved that this summer. Scalia is a fair weather federalist on these touchy issues. Scalia writes amazing opinions and I wish I had an iota of his talent as a wordsmith. Thomas writes a lot of straightforward, basic opinions. That is because he sees a lot of cases as easy calls when you look at the original meaning of the Constitution. But I'm with Shapiro on this. I'd love another Thomas or Scalia on the Court. I'd love a few. But as the first nominee for Bush, it's just stupid. The Dems would be gnawing at the bit to get a Janice Rogers Brown as the nominee. They would unload on her, they would demonize her, they would Bork her. And then we would be left with someone much lower on the list than her or Roberts. It would be someone really moderate.
I know what the issue is here. There are Republicans across the country getting cold feet about this and second guessing themselves like mad. I'll be honest. I second (and third) guessed Roberts this morning as I thought about it more. That is a natural reaction after over a decade without a nomination to the Court. It's jitters. Stop, breathe, and look at Roberts. Member of the Federalist Society (Correction: he isn't. So what, I'm not either), worked for Reagan and Bush, clerked for Rehnquist when it was fashionable to clerk for the liberals on the Court, brilliant trial lawyer, wife was VP of Feminists for Life, donated money to Republicans' campaigns, studied and interviewed extensively by the White House. This isn't John frigging Sununu endorsing unknown David Souter here, folks. The WH had been waiting five years for this; they didn't fuck it up.
Chill out and have a little faith in the WH to make the right call. The present Bush administration can be seen as fixing the mistakes of George HW Bush. Tax cuts, and meaning it. Finishing the Iraq War. And not nominating another Souter to the Court. Everything is going to be OK.