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Sunday, December 18, 2005

Novel Concept

Don't worry Paula, the title doesn't refer to me becoming a novelist. Instead, it refers to Bruce Fein's column in today's Washington Post

He recommends that instead of being stealthy about his beliefs, Sam Alito should be open with them, even if they do include overturning Roe and a few other dubious decisions by the court.

One of his better points is that America has become more conservative over the years since Judge Bork's name became synonymous with failed judicial nominees. With a more liberal Senate than today, and no counterweights to places like CNN and the Post and NY Times, it was hard for folks to get both sides of Bork's views.

Today with the rise of the net, Fox News, and talk radio, Fein is correct, it's pretty easy to figure out where Alito stands on issues, irregardless of what parts of it get to the press. I believe that the rise of those items are why the Democrats occasionally bring up returning to the "fairness doctrine", basically to shut up Limbaugh since Air America hasn't been able to do it in the marketplace.

I think Fein is also correct in his belief that Alito should be upfront about his views. In fact, he should be vocal about them, within the limits of judicial precedence. In other words, a general question on Roe's basis would be okay, but a specific one about minors informing parents, which will be before the court, or partial birth abortion would have to be off limits.

If he believes that Roe was a reach, and the underlying theory wasn't Constitutionally correct, he should say it, and explain exactly why. He should even point out the hundreds of other legal scholars who have made this point.

That would put more pressure on the President and conservative interest groups to stand up for his views, but it would also make the debate a constitutional one, not the standard "back alley abortion" emotional WHINE of the left. But as Fein points out, the country is generally more conservative than it was 20 years ago. If folks don't buy that, just look at election results since 1984. A democrat hasn't won a majority of the vote since 1976, while GOP/conservatives like Perot have won the majority. The Senate and House are both controlled by the GOP and those leads have increased in the last 6 years.

And, you can go look at "I Play With Polls" my post about research polls on abortion, where a large majority prefer limits on the procedure.

The left's obvious response would be a filibuster of Alito, which would finally bring the vote on the Constitutional/Nuclear option, outlawing that tactic with judicial nominees. That wouldn't be a bad thing, I don't think either party should be filibustering judges. The great thing about our courts is that they run back and forth from conservative to liberal. Changes in leadership result in changes in the courts, as it should be.

(For those wondering why I'm posting on vacation, wife is napping, kids are out of the house, gotta do something to kill time).

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Blogger asacan said...

"irregardless" isn't a word. Just busting your chops, but it's true.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Asacan - Oh, yes it is. The American Heritage Dictionary defines "irregardless" as an adverb, nonstandard, meaning "regardless". And the copy I use has a copyright of 1979. It may be nonstandard, but it is most definitely a word. An some 26 years later, I am almost certain it is no longer considered "nonstandard", as language is a dynamic thing.

Just busting your chops! ;O)>

7:18 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

"and", not "an".

7:19 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

And just to make sure that horse is dead:


One entry found for irregardless.

Main Entry: ir·re·gard·less
Pronunciation: "ir-i-'gärd-l&s
Function: adverb
Etymology: probably blend of irrespective and regardless
nonstandard : REGARDLESS
usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

So, now that I know where to look up the words I type, shall we discuss the meaning of the words as a whole, or just continue the deconstruction of my writing one word at a time :)

7:36 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Are we going to discuss "ain't" (a possible contraction of "am not") next.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Only if we can discuss it irregardless of whether it's a word or not.

What the hell was this post about, anyway???


9:54 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Mark, the post was actually about the idea of Alito NOT running away from his actual views, and making those who oppose them defend THEIR views as opposed to bashing him on hypotheticals.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

You are so right! I am so sick of liberals being able to nominate the most extreme liberal justices they want(and not just Ginsberg), but Conservatives are expected to nominate a "moderate" - if they're lucky. I was disappointed with Roberts, VERY disappointed with Miers, but now I'm very excited about Alito(though it should've been Janice Rogers Brown!)
Why, tell me, is having a view that half of America agrees with mean you are extreme?
I have really strong views on this(can you tell?) and I really hope to see Alito confirmed, SOON.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Rebekah said...

Oh, yes, one more thing. The refusal to share your views implies that something's wrong with 'em. So yeah, Alito should "come out" as a conservative. Soon. It would make the confirmation hearings much more interesting!

3:30 PM  

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