THE HISTORY- Think what you want about Ted Kennedy, this is a pretty good piece. Pretend someone else wrote it if you must. [link via John Cole]
THE UGLY TRUTH- A blistering post by John Cole here. Highlight:
The post then goes on to list the history of advise and consent. Which is all well and good, if you are a history major studying judicial nominees. But it matters not a whit. The rules have changed (literally and figuratively), advise and consent is now up-or-down votes, and the folks who appear to be in the driver seat of my party just don't care.
[...] I would love 'strict constructionist' or 'originalist' judges if that meant what I think it means. But it doesn't. When Dobson and the cultural conservatives talk about interpreting the Constitution, they mean they want a judge who will interpret it the same way the religious right interprets and quotes the bible- however it damned well pleases them as long as it fits the current political agenda.
If anyone really thinks Dobson and Tony Perkins care about the Constitution, they need to reassess their faculties...What they really care about is displaying the Ten Commandments wherever and whenever because we are a "Christian Nation."
They care about inserting themselves into family matters of life and death. They care about keeping drugs out of your hands, even if they ease pain caused by illness. They care about treating homosexuals like second-class citizens. They care about prayer in school and keeping "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. They care about ending abortion. They care about making divorces really difficult to obtain. They care about inserting religion into schools and ending the teaching of evolution. They care about a whole host of things, but Constitutional deference is not one of them.
It's why Cole's blog was the first place I went when finished my post. He nails it almost every time.
THE PSYCHIC- Digby reminds us why the "Filibuster Compromise" was a screw-job for the Dems.
THE FRAME- Greg at the The Talent Show makes a great point about the importance of referring to O'Connor as "moderate":
What's said now about O'Connor and her role in the court will set the stage for how the American people judge Bush's pick. If everyone has the word "conservative" drilled into their heads, the idea of replacing O'Connor with an arch-conservative won't seem nearly as unpleasant as it should. For the people who pick up on the rhetoric but don't really pay attention to things, replacing an O'Connor style conservative with a George W. Bush style conservative would be a move towards the status quo, rather than the dramatic shift to the right we all know it would be. The best defense Democrats have against a truly repellent Supreme Court nominee is to remind the American people that the Bush Administration wants to replace a moderate justice with a conservative one.
Depending on the nominee, I'd make that "replace a moderate justice with an extremist justice," but the "moderate vs. conservative" point remains.
THE HYPOCRISY- A good thread over at Kos on the truth about "activist judges." Guess what the numbers reveal...