Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Justice Roberts: One small step for Conservatives, One huge, deterministic, Step towards Remaking the Supreme Court

So, is this nomination a big deal? You bet.

Here is a very likely scenario:

1. Rehnquist spends the next term tutoring and mentoring Roberts.
2. Rehnquist retires next summer; having assured his legacy.
3. Bush nominates Roberts to succeed Rehnquist.
4. Bush nominates Judge Edith Jones to replace Roberts.
5. Rove et al. get Bush to follow the above strategy (possibly after a game of Tennis with Rehnquist), to excite the base and ensure heavy turnout in '06 to protect GOP congressional majorities.
6. This strategy also succeeds in '08, as conservatives believe that Stevens (now what, 89?) or Ruth Bader (reportedly in quasi-poor health) retire. Smelling the potential to have a six judge majority of solid conservatives, the base turns out like never before, '08 is a complete political bloodbath, and the GOP nominee, wins and goes on to appoint 1-2 more conservative justices.

Sum: Rove is a genius & Roberts confirmation will literally remake Supreme Court history and ensure GOP dominance into the next decade.

9 Comments:

Blogger jeff g said...

I can think no scenario more frightening than that.

9:32 AM  
Blogger NFlanders said...

I can think of no scenario more unlikely than that. I think Lyle has been spending too much time in the sun.

9:35 AM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

I agree with Ned on this one. Lyle, buy a sun hat!

You've got to remember that 2004 was a pretty full turnout of the currently-constituted base of both parties. No popular-vote bloodbaths on either side are possible given the current social alignments. Furthermore, since a lot of things have caused swing voters to trend against the Republican party over the last several months, the best guess is that 2006 will look a little worse for the Rs than 2004. Finally, in 2008, the Rs either have to nominate McCain--which will NEVER happen--or face a campaign without a charismatic mobilizer in the central role. Once again, probably not as good as 2004.

And it's also important to remember that the Ds will never again have as uncharismatic a candidate as in 2004. My word, the only man in history to make Al Gore look lively...

A substantial move in the alignment of the Supreme Court by 2008 would also dramatically help the Ds. This is especially true if Roe v. Wade is overturned or substantially eroded. This ruling enjoys very broad support among swing voters. Any change on RvW would cause a full turnout of both party's bases (which pretty nearly cancel each other out) and a big swing of Midwestern moderates away from the GOP.

On the other hand, it's highly unlikely that we'll see much movement in the House in either direction over the next several electoral cycles. That thing's gerrymandered with such scientific precision that it would take 4.6283 (standard error of 1.3451) acts of God to swing it more than a dozen seats...

12:04 PM  
Blogger W. Lyle Stamps said...

lol! RT you are hilarious. However,

1. I think you are off on the Abortion issue. While the science of polling is fairly exact; the practics is not. I'm fairly sure that while most folks support legalized abortion within the 1st trimester; all bets are off after that. If the Court does move to the right...at least in small, ltd steps, i.e. partial birth abortion ban ruling overturned, etc. then I think its only a plus for the right.

2. As part of #1, I think you underestimate the conservative base. There is still plenty of untapped voters out there who are still not convinced that politics is something they can touch and not sully themselves. However, with the real possibility of limiting abortion further...I think more will come out.

sum: Abortion is the great mobilizer; but at the end of the day, most folks find the practice abhorent and far more oppose it than support it.

1:58 PM  
Blogger NFlanders said...

Lyle, you state that, "most folks support legalized abortion within the 1st trimester." I agree. I think the middle of the country is happy with the status quo of Roe and doesn't want to have a continual political bloodbath over abortion. If Bush's judicial nominees weaken Roe, the country will get pushed to the left, and then you can kiss the White House goodbye for the next 8 years (which will probably happen anyway).

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ned: that's the problem; what you describe and what I'm talking about _is not_ the status quo. Abortions are currently legal, on demand, even though the baby is capable of living outside of the womb. That is what most folks dont' like and would prefer to be otherwise.

re: losing white house. Maybe; but only if the Democrats can field a candidate who actually stands for something, instead of against it. I haven't seen any indication of a serious program being advanced by a serious candidate. Hillary simply won't fly...

-lyle

8:50 PM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

Yeah, it's a real concern. Only three and change years before the election, and the Democrats haven't yet gotten their act together!

But really, standing against things can work. Ask GWB, who won this last election in part by standing against gay marriage.

6:36 AM  
Blogger W. Lyle Stamps said...

RT: Nice try, but not quite.

Being against something = no alternative plan.

Supporting traditional marriage is a plan; Being against SSM doesn't qualify.

1:16 PM  
Blogger RoastedTomatoes said...

Lyle,

Semantics at best. Supporting traditional marriage=opposing gay marriage. Not even 2% of difference. Have you noticed, for example, that supporting traditional marriage doesn't extend to vigorous action against polygamy?

By contrast, being opposed to combining social science and mathematics (http://oregonstate.edu/pubs/ssm/) is exactly the same as defending traditional disciplinary boundaries.

What do you mean by SSM?

3:19 PM  

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