Thursday, June 02, 2005

Some Recommended Reading

A few of the more interesting things I've read today:

- On Bolton: Steve Clemons links to an Toledo Blade editorial calling on John Bolton to withdraw from consideration to be UN ambassador. The editorial ends "Since Mr. Bush would clearly be reluctant to withdraw the nomination, thus acknowledging his own lapse of judgment in choosing an unsuitable candidate for this critical post, it is instead now up to John Bolton himself to withdraw from the field, putting an end to the snarl in the Senate and permitting the President to offer a more appropriate candidate. This should occur now, rather than letting the Senate come back to find this mess still on its doorstep." Stygius notes that a similar editorial appeared in the Lansing State Journal on Tuesday, adding "It will be interesting to see if more editorial pages, big and small, take up a similar torch." It certainly will, and we can only hope!

Clemons (as always the best source for all things Bolton) also notes the length of time past UN ambassadorial confirmations have taken (7 months for Holbrooke, 5 months for Negroponte); reports that Senator Dodd plans to send a letter to the White House outlining the materials Democrats want to view before they allow the nomination to go forward; adds that Senator Warner may be joining McCain in pushing for release of the information the Dems want (which is causing the Administration to put the screws to Warner); and finally mentions this important article from the Bangor Daily News in Maine, "The File Against Bolton," which is definitely worth a perusal.

- On Stem Cells: Via NewDonkey, this Michelle Cottle article in The New Republic adds an important element to the stem cell debate: the fact that in-vitro fertilization creates extra embryos in the first place.

- On Moderation: Check out this post from Mathew at Centerfield, as well as the comments below. And via dKos, this article from the Bucks County Courier Times (PA), which discusses how former Republican county commissioner Andy Warren has left the GOP to become a Democrat, calling Rep. "Mike Fitzpatrick a 'DeLay disciple' and decrying the Republican Party's move to the right."

- On Supreme Court Rumors: Tip to Andrew Sullivan for this interesting hint as to how the (probably) upcoming Supreme Court nomination battle will look. Ed Brayton at In The Agora quotes Feddie Dillard of Southern Appeal as suggesting that Chief Justice Rehnquist will retire officially before the end of June; Dillard reports that Bush will nominate Tenth Circuit Court Judge Michael McConnell to the Court, possibly directly to the chief justice's chair. Brayton has more on McConnell's background; he seems quite palatable to me.


At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Simon said...

I don't like or agree with Matt's Centerfields post, so much so that I'm going to repost my objection here.

I reject the idea of leaving the GOP because of its current drift, and I absolutely reject the idea of voting for Hillary Clinton, for the same reason I criticized a Maine GOP County Chair who called for Sen. Snowe's removal and replacement with a more conservative candidate: while I accept that it's literally possible to cut off one's nose, I don't accept the mere desire to spite one's face as a legitimate basis for such extreme action.

There are elements of the GOP's current strategy and policy platform which I disagree with, and there are certain people in the party with whom I have serious argument over matters of policy which are important to me. But I do not and will not accept the idea that moderates should punch the eject button - quite the contrary. With the Democrats going off the opposite extreme, the time is ripe for moderate Republicans to sieze the agenda, to develop, articulate and drive a policy agenda, to compete in elections. The Glub for Growth has NEVER displaced a moderate from office; its formidable reputation is predicated on its placement of candidates who are NOT opposed by moderate Republicans.

Gov. Bill Scranton did as much as anyone did to try to prevent Barry Goldwater's nomination in '64. He lost, but said, in a speech supporting Goldwater's campaign:

"Those of us who have strong feelings about what kind of a political party the Republican Party ought to be, have an obligation to continue and to stand for tht kind of party. But we can do this best by staying inside the party. You don't help your party by leaving it."

This is a smart message, especially since the GOP is likely to be in the business of governing for some time (q.v. Micklethwait & Wooldridge, The Right Nation).


At 9:56 PM, Anonymous Simon said...

Regarding SCOTUS, I would need to read more of McConnell's writings; I don't know much about him. There does seem to be a certain logic in Bush appointing directly to the CJ position: it avoids the need for two bitter confirmation fights (per my post yesterday, I think that modern politics would necessitate an injurious fight over even a Scalia nomination). I can't see how McConnell would be worse than the other party's preferred choice, Richard Posner.

O'Connor won't retire at the end of the term, despite speculation; the Court's decision to take an abortion case next term - even a no-brainer like Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England - signals as much.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger JBD said...

Simon, re: your first comment.
The sentiments expressed by Governor Scranton are exactly why I'm still a Republican. However, I have to say I agree with Mathew that there are limits to party loyalty. While I fully intend to stay with the GOP as long as I possibly can (and like you, I think our time may well be ripe for moderates to regain control of the party in the very near future), I cannot completely rule out the possibility of a) supporting a Democratic presidential candidate again should an unpalatable candidate gain the GOP nomination or b) supporting a centrist third party movement should one come about. Principles and good government are more important to me than party, if that party has taken a wrong road and we are unable to right its course.

It is for this reason that I support the candidacy of Russ Potts for governor in Virginia. I wish (as I'm sure he does) that he had been able to be the Republican candidate rather than running as an independent. But that wasn't the case.

As you say, this is the time for moderates in the GOP to "seize the agenda, to develop, articulate and drive a policy agenda, to compete in elections." Let's all get out there and do all those things. Let's do all in our power to make the Grand Old Party grand again. But I'll never say never - there's always a chance we won't succeed, and if that happens, I for one am not just going to keep beating my head against a brick wall.


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