Of course, experience isn't really a huge advantage in a president. Nixon was very experienced, Lincoln was not. Given a choice between the two, I'd take the newbie without giving it a second thought. As choices go, this isn't really much of a stumper.
The problem with these Democratic voters who are a brand-new kind of stupid is that they aren't listening to what McCain is saying. Or, at least, they're ignoring what he's saying. Because what he's saying is that he's George W. Bush.
Alex Koppelman, Salon:
John McCain has built a reputation for bucking the Republicans' party line on campaign finance, global warming and a handful of other issues. But when it comes to nominating Supreme Court justices how much of a "maverick" would a President McCain be? According to two recent analyses, the answer is not very, even despite McCain's role in the "Gang of 14," a group of senators who organized a compromise on President Bush's judicial appointment, which angered some conservatives. In fact, McCain's Supreme Court appointments might look a lot like President Bush's.
The question is important because the next president will likely nominate at least one justice: The court's oldest members, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- both of whom lean to the left -- are of retirement age.
Koppelman cites the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin, who called McCain's comments on judicial nominees a "dog whistle for the right" and said McCain "plans to continue, and perhaps even accelerate, George W. Bush's conservative counter-revolution at the Supreme Court."
The right wing dogs are barking in response to McCain's whistle. The Democratic voters who'd vote for McCain because Clinton didn't get nominated aren't listening. What John McCain's judicial picks would look like is probably best represented in his own words -- written in support of far right nominee Robert Bork.
I would like to explain why I am going to vote of favor of confirmation [of Robert Bork], and why I do so without any hesitation … I believe that what the Senate should appropriately examine in a nominee are: Integrity and character, legal competence, and philosophy and judicial temperament. I believe Robert Bork is well qualified in all four respects … Judge Bork’s honesty, integrity, and diligence are above reproach … [he] demonstrates that he is not some intellectual “loose cannon on deck,” or a quixotic maverick jurist , but is a thoughtful, reasonable, jurist … [he] is hardly a radical, but is rather a very thoughtful judge in synch with the vast majority of his colleagues on the bench.
Bork, of course, was a Reagan nominee to the Supreme Court who was rejected by the Senate for -- well, there's no polite way to put it -- being out of his freakin' mind. Ted Kennedy said of Bork's nomination, "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens."
The New York Times reported in '87 that Bork critics saw "a narrowness of vision and reverence for executive authority" and that Bork had played a role in Nixon's "Saturday Night Massacre" -- the firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox and the forced resignations of the Attorney General and a Deputy Attorney General. All were investigating Nixon's crimes.
This guy is McCain's idea of a justice who's "in synch with the vast majority of his colleagues on the bench." If Bork is a typical judge, we are very, very screwed. Bork's tolerance of crimes by the executive and his far right views makes him a judge that Bush could only dream of. That's the kind of judge John McCain would nominate to the highest court in the land.
And the right is responding to McCain's judicial vision.
Prominent conservatives and activists are indicating they will put aside their differences with presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain and rally their supporters to his side because of one issue: federal judgeships.
In big gatherings and small, in e-mails and one-on-one conversations, conservative opinion leaders fear a Democratic president, especially Sen. Barack Obama, will use the presidential power to appoint federal judges who will remove references to God and religious symbols from public places.
"Obama is swimming in a sea of left-wing extremism with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright [Mr. Obama's former pastor] and [violent radical activist and Obama acquaintance] Bill Ayers and the rest of them," says former Reagan aide Peter J. Ferrara. The right sees John McCain as nominating their kind of judges -- i.e., crazy people who worship fetuses, think civil rights are a bunch of hooey, and believe that the homosexual menace must be dealt with harshly. Obama has promised to nominate sane people who have "the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old."
Apparently, those kind of judges are completely unamerican. The irony here is that some Clinton supporters, many of whom are drawn to the candidate because of her commitment to feminism and abortion rights, would cast a vote for McCain and against Roe v. Wade if Barack Obama is nominated. It's time for them to listen to John McCain and hear what he's been saying. I can guarantee they won't like it.
Addendum: On the subject of Barack Obama, allow me to take a little sidetrip to blow my own horn. I said he should start looking for a running mate to force Clinton off the front page. News has come out that Barack Obama's looking for a running mate.
Yay for me. I wish I could believe I had something to do with it.
Technorati tags: politics; Barack Obama; Hillary Clinton; abortion; civil rights; Supreme Court; law; elections; 2008; Republican; Democrat; A vote for John McCain is a vote against Roe v. Wade