The Dread Pirate Roberts

By the time I checked my email this morning, I had already gotten messages from both NOW and MoveOn calling on me to urge my Senators to oppose Roberts’ nomination.  The messages I got later from Emily’s List and the Religious Action Center were more muted, saying only that they’ll be following the confirmation process closely and that it’s important to learn more about Roberts’ opinions.

I’m afraid I can’t get too motivated on this one.  First, while I disagree with many (most?) of Roberts’ positions, I see no evidence that he’s a wingnut.  And Bush simply isn’t going to nominate someone whose going to make me happy.  Within the universe of potential Justices that Bush might nominate, Roberts doesn’t strike me as egregious.  (Sorry Bitch, but in the infamous French Fry case, I think his ruling is probably right; not all really really stupid policies are unconstitutional.)

Second, unless the confirmation hearing turns up some dirty linen in Roberts’ closet (e.g an undocumented nanny, a speech in favor of segregation, photos of drug use — and I’ve not heard any rumors of such), it seems clear that he is going to be confirmed.  I’d guess he’ll get at least 70 votes, possibly more.  And it strikes me as a poor use of resources to go into a full mobilization for a lost cause.  Setting aside the money that’s being spent, which might be better saved for future battles (or to buy bus tickets for low-income women in need of abortions), I think you risk demoralizating your base and losing them to burnout.

(Sorry about the title; the reference popped into my head this morning and I haven’t been able to get it out.)

13 Responses to “The Dread Pirate Roberts”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I love the title – the Princess Bride is one of my favourite movies

  2. Phantom Scribbler Says:

    I really agree with you on this one, Elizabeth. A full-out mobilization isn’t going to get us anywhere — let’s save our energies to make a difference at the next election.
    It’s not a bad time to send an extra donation to Planned Parenthood, though…

  3. bitchphd Says:

    I suspect you may be right, but I still think it’s worthwhile to make it very clear–to the base as well as the general public–that we’re out there, and that we object to what’s going on. The trick is probably to avoid burning people out, as you say, but otoh I think one of the big successses of the Republican party has been to generate a constant stream of “average voters” speaking the talking points (see here: It’s important to fight battles that can actually be won; but it’s also important to make oneself heard regularly and reliably, to try to gain some control of the discourse.
    So I’ll still be writing letters and calling my congresspeople. It’s not too exhausting to do those things.

  4. Laura (geekymom) Says:

    Yeah, I’m with you too. Or maybe I just feel defeated. But make no mistake that I’ll be marching if Roe v. Wade gets challenged.

  5. Tiruncula Says:

    I’m inclined to agree with you, too. I’m a little bit disappointed at the thought of these organizations’ resources being poured out on this case. There will be bigger battles to fight.

  6. Jody Says:

    Yes, I totally agree. The thought of all these resources being poured into a marginal fight (marginal in the sense of, we cannot hope to win it, not to mention, we cannot hope for much better from this president and Senate anyway) — it exhausts me.
    I do worry about being defeatist, but I know neither of my Republican senators will in any way, shape, or form vote against this nomination.
    I will, however, be sending a little money in the direction of Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign. And trying to wrap my mind around what comes next in terms of Democratic Party building in this state. It’s bizarre: Dem-controlled state houses, Dem governor, Republican national ticket.
    I mean, not bizarre, but issues need addressing.

  7. Melanie Lynne Hauser Says:

    Love the title, by the way; it made me smile. I think they got it right on The Daily Show last night – they said that Democrats had been upset about the appointment of Roberts FOR MONTHS now. Heh heh. (And I’m a Democrat, so I’m only poking fun at my peeps.)

  8. Scrivener Says:

    I agree with you too, and what I’m concerned about is that if the left starts screaming the far right will be able to embrace Roberts more easily. Brooks has a column in the NYTimes today (how I hate that smug bastard) observing that this nomination is so great because it will force a split in the Democratic party. But what I’d love to see is the Democrats pointing out some disagreements but generally saying how glad we are to get someone who’s fairly moderate, not a firebreathing religious wingnut, and thanking the Preznit for spurning that side of his party’s desire for a radical conservative. Then we can see how Jim Dobson likes them apples.

  9. Mieke Says:

    I feel the same way, disconnected from the MoveOn hysteria. I do think Roe is in huge trouble. Did any of you get a look at his wife and kids? It was creepy crazy to see those three, they looked right out of the 50s. She is rabidly pro-life, super Catholic, a lawyer who works for pro-life causes. Sigh. All that said, I just can’t get excited. Once again I bow to Rove/Bush. Able to knock the Rove story off the front page and find a candidate with only two years on the bench – not a whole hell of a lot to look at there.

  10. scoopstories Says:

    Blogging about blogging about.. etc

    Seems like every time there’s a news event lately it’s being called the latest job/challenge/accomplishment/demonstration (pick one or all) about the power/strength/fascination of blogging. Just in the last two months we had Live 8 try to use blogs to let

  11. scoopstories Says:

    Blogging about blogging about.. etc

    Seems like every time there’s a news event lately it’s being called the latest job/challenge/accomplishment/demonstration (pick one or all) about the power/strength/fascination of blogging. Just in the last two months we had Live 8 try to use blogs to let

  12. Genevieve Says:

    I don’t know that his wife is that huge a concern, actually. The group that she works for, Feminists for Life, focuses on trying to fix the root causes of abortion. So they were lobbying for the Violence Against Women Act, for example.

  13. Becca Says:

    I totally agree–in fact, I used strikingly similar terms to yours a few days ago:

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