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July 12, 2005

Prado Optimality

Thanks to Ezra for inviting my wolfy self back for another guestblogging run!

About a month ago, Ezra made us aware of the good folks pushing Ed Prado for Supreme Court.  Ezra saw the movement as a bit naive -- Bush isn't looking for independent, fair-minded consensus candidates in the Prado mold.  He wants to drive wedges and pay off special interest groups that support him.

I actually think that the Draft Prado movement -- and other movements to get the media to include moderate candidates in their "who replaces O'Connor?" stories are a big help.  Republicans must not be allowed to define the political spectrum so that Alberto Gonzalez is a liberal, Luttig is a moderate, and only Janice Rogers Brown counts as a conservative.  Putting genuine moderates on the map and calling them moderates is a good way to do this. 

It's something that I wish we could do more in other political contexts, but it works especially well here. Unlike most policy issues, Republicans can't respond to our activism by passing different versions of Ed Prado in the House and Senate, replacing his brain with Priscilla Owen's in conference committee, and looking moderate to everyone but a bunch of well-informed activists while doing real damage. 

--Neil the Ethical Werewolf

July 12, 2005 in Strategy | Permalink

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Comments

Putting genuine moderates on the map and calling them moderates is a good way to do this.

This may be true... hard to say. Seems like the scale can both slide and expand. Therefore, putting a nail in the middle still leaves the possibility of the ends receding from view as the unstable from either end of the spectrum spin off into insanity...

Posted by: TJ | Jul 12, 2005 5:53:52 PM

------"Republicans must not be allowed to define the political spectrum so that Alberto Gonzalez is a liberal, Luttig is a moderate, and only Janice Rogers Brown counts as a conservative."

Does Brown being conservative disqualify her in some way? If anything it should help her cause, after all, a conservative was elected president eight and a half months ago.

If Bush appoints Brown, what possible reason can the Dems give to filibuster her?

It will be a gift to the left if Gonzales is nominated.

'It's Tuesday, get stoned!'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 6:27:58 PM

I figure there's a pretty good chance of them finding some way to replace a moderate nominee's brain with Pris Owen's - maybe not in conference, but I hear all this brain science stuff has come a long way.

With Laura leaking, I mean saying, that she'd like a woman nominee, I think maybe they're testing the waters for JRB or Owen, either for this time 'round, or when Big Bill finally steps down.

Posted by: Brew | Jul 12, 2005 7:06:04 PM

I think maybe they're testing the waters for JRB or Owen, either for this time 'round, or when Big Bill finally steps down.

So who would be surprised? Didn't Bush tell us that he would nominate conservatives to the court? And why not? He was elected on that promise. Conservative shouldn't disqualify a nominee just as liberal shouldn't and didn't in the case of Ginsburg.
Since Janice Rogers Brown and Owen were just confirmed, it will be harder for the opposition to now say that they are somehow unfit. They are the perfect choice.

Let's face it. Bush is on the choosing end and liberals are on the receiving and whining end. Good luck to them.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 12, 2005 7:22:23 PM

Dudes, stop. Neil was not saying what Bush can or cannot do. He was explaining tactics Democrats should, and responding to someone who said it was a bad tactic.

Don't just copy your comments from other blogs or what you imagine Democrats are saying.

Posted by: Tony Vila | Jul 12, 2005 7:35:36 PM

...a conservative was elected president eight and a half months ago.

...Didn't Bush tell us that he would nominate conservatives to the court? And why not? He was elected on that promise.

To say that President Bush has a mandate to appoint a conservative judge is to ignore the 48.27% of the American People who voted against him. It won’t be the will of the people that the President will taking into consideration, it’ll be Dobson’s calls he’ll be picking up and it’ll be Falwell he’ll be having meetings with.

54% of the American People want the court to be either more liberal or kept the same. There is no mandate here. People want consensus.

Posted by: Javier | Jul 12, 2005 8:04:32 PM

------"54% of the American People want the court to be either more liberal or kept the same. There is no mandate here. People want consensus."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAhahahahahahhahah.......oh my!

This is the only way the left has a hope to win, to MISLEAD!

Here is how Javier got his "54%":

From this question -
"Would you like to see President Bush nominate a new justice who would make the Supreme Court more liberal than it currently is, more conservative than it currently is or who would keep the Court as it is now?"

The results were:

More liberal - 30%
More conservative - 41%
Keep as now - 24%
Unsure - 5%

30+24 = 54%

but, oh, wait...

41+24 = 65%

So, according to Javier's pols and calculations 65% of Americans want to see the court stay the same or more conservative.

65% of the American people want the court the same or MORE conservative.

Is 65% a mandate, Javier?

'Correcting liberals with one hand wrapped around a big, fat, giant doobie, just to make it fair.'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 8:31:55 PM

And the winner is CAPTAIN TOKE...by a knockout!

Seriously, that was inspirational. Javier is apparently full of deceit. I am ashamed *FOR*him.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 12, 2005 8:37:43 PM

Thank you Robert.

I am sure Javier learned a valuable lesson today. If you are going to quote bullshit statistics or statistics that help the other guys argument, don't put a link to it.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 8:49:29 PM

It does seem misleading to group moderates and liberals together from that Gallup poll.
But it’s just as misleading as claiming that the American people want a conservative Justice because “after all, a conservative was elected president”. By no means can you claim the will of the people is for a judge like Janice Brown.

Posted by: Javier | Jul 12, 2005 8:53:19 PM

------"By no means can you claim the will of the people is for a judge like Janice Brown."

Confirmation vote-
Janice R. Brown, of California, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit June 8, 2005:

YEAs 56
NAYs 43

Will of the people.

By the way, Javier, elections are winner take all. You can't say Bush has to select someone who is 48% liberal and 51% conservative cuz that was the way America voted. Bush has every right and SHOULD put up a conservative.

It is winner take all, baby!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 9:04:49 PM

If you look at the very modest claim that Javier makes in his post above -- that Bush doesn't have a mandate for making the court more conservative -- you can see how the data supports it. If you think that mandates come from majorities, Bush doesn't have a mandate, because a majority doesn't support that change. Certainly, a majority doesn't support making the court more liberal, but Javier doesn't say that. There was absolutely nothing deceitful in what he wrote.

Of course, Captain Toke, you don't care about actually responding to points that people make, as Tony aptly noted above. You just care about getting a chance to go "BWAHAHAHAhaa" and annoy people. I'm warning you that this behavior won't be tolerated, and that if I see it again, I'm going to delete your comments, or modify them in possibly hilarious ways. There are plenty of other places for you to troll, and you're welcome to go there.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Jul 12, 2005 9:08:26 PM

Just to clarify, Javier, the 56 YEAs that confirmed Janice Rogers Brown are US Senators elected by the people.

Will of the people.

'Smoke a fatty!'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 9:08:39 PM

Do what you will, Neil.

This is just another example of how the left responds to an argument it can't win. It silences it's opponent.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 9:16:17 PM

Someone will be appointed.. APPOINTED, not elected. The election was in 2004.
It seems that democracy is heralded.....until it does not serve to further your agenda and then it is somehow not relevant.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 12, 2005 9:20:08 PM

Neil,
Perhaps that is the way you run your blog, but it isn't the way Ezra runs his. I have been here for months and have never seen Ezra delete one single comment.....ever.
CT made valid arguments. He did not call anyone names, etc. and did not attack anyone personally. You simply don't like it. I suggest you take a deep breath and rethink.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 12, 2005 9:30:34 PM

Look, I remember Bush claiming that he is a uniter and not a divder. If Bush wants to unite the nation, he can easily nominate a moderate conservative like Judge Prado - someone who could be confirmed 98-0 in the senate. If Bush wishes to pander to his base, he can nominate someone very different and divide this nation in a time of war. It is his choice.

Posted by: mb | Jul 12, 2005 9:37:47 PM

He is not "pandering to his base" by appointing a conservative. He is doing what he was elected to do.

Part of the 2004 election was about which direction the SCOTUS would go. The people have chosen.

He has a duty to appoint a conservative.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 9:44:04 PM

Capn, the people listened to Bush's rhetoric when he said he would be a uniter, not a divider. %51 of the population voted for Bush so that he could unite the country. He spoke in code to his base (invoking Dred Scott to say "I will crimilize abortion"), but still claims that he has no litmus test when speaking to a more general public.

And Judge Prado is still an excellent choice that everyone in the country could support. Why should he NOT unite the country?

Posted by: mb | Jul 12, 2005 9:56:25 PM

crimilize = criminalize

Posted by: mb | Jul 12, 2005 9:57:18 PM

mb,
The Senate, the duly elected representatives of the people, is who has the duty to consent. 54 consented to Janice Brown and Judge Owen. Why would anyone think the people's representatives would not now confirm a conservative judge to the Supreme Court?

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 12, 2005 10:00:11 PM

The position of the Supreme Court is much different from a circuit court. As a famous example, Bork was a circuit court judge, but was decided to be too extreme for the Supreme Court.

Posted by: mb | Jul 12, 2005 10:07:02 PM

mb,
Bush would be a divider if he does not appoint a conservative. The majority of America voted for Bush. Part of the reason he was elected is cuz he would be appointing SCOTUS justices. The 51% that put him in back in office want a conservative. Pols show more people want the SCOTUS to go in a conservative direction rather than a liberal direction.

The people that voted for Bush don't want another O'Connor or Souter, they want a conservative. That is why Bush won(one of the reasons).

'I smoke two joints in time of peace, and two in time of war. I smoke two joints before I smoke two joints, and then I smoke two more.'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 12, 2005 10:18:57 PM


Captain,
Judge Rogers was confirmed to the Court of Appeals not to the Supreme Court. She was confirmed after a compromise was set by Senate moderates. If she comes up for a SCOTUS nomination it will be a whole new ballgame, it’s not called the Supreme Court for nothin. My point still stands that there are more Americans who DON’T want a conservative than there are those who DO.

There is a range of judges that can be nominated to the court and Americans would prefer the President nominate someone like Judge Prado than like Judge Rogers and Neil’s point was that we need to set the basis for this range by pointing out that Gonzales is not the liberal choice, he’s not even the moderate choice.

And to say that the will of the people can be implied by how the Senate votes is very disingenuous. 56 Senators (who confirmed) do not represent 56% of the population; you have to keep state population in mind.

Posted by: Javier | Jul 12, 2005 10:26:15 PM

Do what you will, Neil.

This is just another example of how the left responds to an argument it can't win. It silences it's opponent.

While I don't agree with Neil's threat to delete posts, I do understand his frustration. I just found it amusing that the above quote was the response to his post where he refuted CT's claims, rebuked him for creating strawmen to avoid the actual issue at hand and warned him that his posts need to be on topic and not intentionally misleading.

Neil - I think this actually proves CT's innocence. Like many right wingers, the problem is that they simply have no reading comprehension. He does not mean to be misleading, he is just unable to grasp the nuance that the rest of us are using. He does not understand that disproving that Bush has a mandate to make the Court more conservative (as Javier did) is different from claiming that there is a mandate to make the Court more liberal.

Posted by: MattR | Jul 12, 2005 10:33:34 PM

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