Carol Platt Liebau: Why the Hysteria?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Why the Hysteria?

Earlier this evening, I appeared as a guest on The Al Rantel Show on Talk Radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles.

Al asked a provocative question: Why do Democrats become so unhinged over Republican presidents' Supreme Court nominations, while Republicans treat liberal nominees like Justices Ginsburg and Breyer with courtesy and restraint?

To me, the answer seems pretty straightforward: Despite their protestations to the contrary (and their pretensions to representing "ordinary people"), Democrats know that their agenda (especially their stands on social issues) have limited popular appeal in general, and especially in an era where both the executive and legislative branches are dominated by Republicans, at least on the federal level. They are therefore dependent on the courts -- not only to advance their agenda, but even (at least in their minds) to prevent its roll-back. Hence the hysteria. Is there any Democrat, even, who would dispute this analysis?

And, of course, there are the special interest groups that must be appeased.

9 Comments:

Blogger Oberon said...

........evil is everywhere......in the red and the blue.......your weapons are truth and love.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

To me the answer also seem straightforward. Not surprisingly, Carol and I have different explanation. Also unsurprisingly, Carol's sole explanation is that Democrats are evil.

Since the recent swing towards politicizing the Supreme Court, the Democrats have made two nominations--Ginsburg and Breyer. For whatever reason, President Clinton was unwilling to expend political capital on his Supreme Court nominations. Ginsburg and Breyer were compromise nominees originally suggested to President Clinton by Orrin Hatch, ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary committee at the time.

Republican Presidents, on the other hand, have chosen to expend political capital and have eschewed compromise candidates. As such, they have nominated judges from the far right wing of the political spectrum. I'm just guessing, but if President Bush had made only nominated Supreme Court judges suggested to him by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary committee, I think things would be a tad more courteous and restrained.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Pete said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:33 AM  
Blogger eLarson said...

For whatever reason, President Clinton was unwilling to expend political capital on his Supreme Court nominations

Clinton didn't expend political capital on anything. I think he had a thing for being liked. Not a criticism, just an observation.

6:28 AM  
Blogger dodger said...

Judge Alito said a judge should have no agenda, no client. I take it the word client would encompass political parties, administrations, in short, government itself cannot be a client. Carol seems to say that the Democrats view themselves as a client that must be pandered to. What else can one say about them after their disgraceful performance of the past week?

7:55 AM  
Blogger suek said...

>>Carol's sole explanation is that Democrats are evil.>>

No, she did _not_ say they were evil...she said:
"Democrats know that their agenda (especially their stands on social issues) have limited popular appeal in general, and especially in an era where both the executive and legislative branches are dominated by Republicans, at least on the federal level. They are therefore dependent on the courts -- not only to advance their agenda, but even (at least in their minds) to prevent its roll-back."

Unless perhaps you're equating dependence on the courts to advance agendas that are unpopular with the majority as being evil?

I could agree with that...!

10:37 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

suek, you smacked that one out of the park!

11:53 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

eLarson wrote, "Clinton didn't expend political capital on anything."

He tried on health care. After that most of Clinton's political capital was spent on Bill Clinton.

"I think he had a thing for being liked. Not a criticism, just an observation."

Taken as such.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Dear SueK,

Touche.

Cheers,
Mr. Twister

11:35 PM  

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