Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Disagreeing with Barone

I think any sane person would think twice before disagreeing with Michael Barone's take on the political implications of some development. However, I do disagree with his conclusion in this column:
In filibustering a Bush Supreme Court nominee, Senate Democrats will be fighting yesterday's battle at the behest of the lobbyists representing one of their core constituencies. In overcoming this filibuster, if they do, Senate Republicans will be satisfying larger but more inchoate core constituencies.

My own hunch is that the Democrats' posture of frenzied opposition won't get them where they want to go. But I'm not sure whether a battle over yesterday's issues helps Republicans, either.

I agree that the frenzied opposition of the Democrats will be harmful to them with the voters who hold the key to their hopes in 2006. Where I disagree is with his assertion that the GOP will be fighting over "yesterday's issues".

While abortion is clearly one of the hot button issues, eminent domain (after Kelo), racial preferences, religion (e.g. Ten Commandments), protection of the Second Amendment, and judicial activism in general are all issues that a large number of GOP voters (or potential voters care about). Gun rights and religion are especially critical in red states where a Senate Democrat is up for re-election in 2006.

Finally, if W nominates a minority, the frenzied opposition of Dems and the pushback by the GOP will score big points for the GOP in the next few elections.


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