Friday, 5 November 2004

A majority, if you can keep it

Apparently Tuesday’s whopping 3% landslide win for George Bush has gone straight to Stephen Bainbridge’s head. Not content just to insult libertarians, he’s decided to make Arlen Specter his personal whipping boy, apparently under the delusion that Specter would take being deprived of his (rightful, under Senate seniority traditions) chairmanship of the judiciary committee any way other than defecting to the Democrats, and probably taking the majority with him—Lincoln Chafee has already made noises about leaving the GOP caucus, and shunting Specter aside would be the handwriting on the wall for folks like Judd Gregg, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, and John McCain that the “big tent” is shrinking. If you think Judiciary is hard to get conservative judges through now, just wait until Pat Leahy or Ted Kennedy is running the show.

Joe Gandelman has more realistic thoughts on what’s likely to happen, while the quotes in Friday’s New York Times suggest Specter is unlikely to be pushed aside.

Update: Todd Zywicki apparently also doesn’t get that Specter won’t be the only Republican to defect if he doesn’t get the chairmanship. And citing a vote against Bork—given Bork’s increasing Gore-esque nuttiness over the past few years—doesn’t quite make a particuarly convincing case that a Democrat-led Senate is worth standing on some bogus principle of undying party loyalty.


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What’s “Gore-esque” about Bork’s nuttiness?


I can’t speak for Chris, but I think it’s an accurate characterization. Bork and his views were successfully, and thankfully, marginalized and he responded by getting more extreme, saying the U.S. was “Slouching towards Gomorrah”, and so forth.

Gore responded to his own marginalization by endorsing the most radical Democrat running—Dean—and went ballistic with his whole tirade about “George Bush betrayed this country”, “digital brownshirts” and on and on.

Their reactions to their respective marginalizations was less than thoughtful.

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