Why Scalito Had to be Done

So we will have our drag-out ideology battle after all. Harry Reid, among others, has expressed disappointment, but is disappointment appropriate? I don’t think it is. For one thing, Bush promised a long time ago to nominate another Scalia, so it’s not like we didn’t see it coming. For another, Bush basically had no choice.

It’s not so much the pledge itself (about which there’s some debate); Bush already had a chance to fulfill that promise and he chose Miers. The issue is that this is Bush’s last and only chance to avoid becoming a living, walking joke. In comedy they say that you play to who’s laughing, which in politics means that you know where your support is coming from and you keep them happy. A rock-solid 40% is often a better political position than a tepid 50%.

In that light it’s not an accident that Sam Alito comes right off a short list prepared by James Dobson. In the face of scandal, resignations and political embarrassments stemming from a raft of reversed decisions and withdrawn nominations, Bush is looking at a roomful of sober, stony faces peppered with a small crowd still ordering drinks and giggling. 37-38% of America supports George Bush, if recent polls can be believed, and that’s only the number not yet willing to openly disapprove of his presidency. The solid supporters certainly number considerably less than that. If Bush can’t keep those holdouts ordering drinks, management will put on the red light and toss the next guy on stage.

So gear up to fight, and god knows we’ll have a fight, but don’t blame the president for doing what he said he’d do, and what he has no choice but to do.

***Update***

Grammar.

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146 replies
  1. 1
    CalDevil says:

    Interesting mention of Dobson in this context.

    Especially with him joining Reid as one of the strongest voices in Miers’ amen corner.

  2. 2
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    37-38% of America, if recent polls can be believed, and that’s only the number not yet willing to openly disapprove of his presidency. The solid supporters certainly number considerably less than that.

    I’m not sure what you are using to justify the bolded claim. Many Democrats assume that his remaining support is a block that cannot be moved, and that if we had video tape of him raping an underage Filipino boy in the Oval Office, that group would see it as an outreach effort to the gay, Hispanic, Asian , and youth communities. Indeed, they would probably call Democrats racist homophobes for protesting the action.

  3. 3
    Caroline says:

    Bush basically had no choice.

    I agree. He really didn’t have a choice. The thing I find interesting is that while making that 37% happy, he is probably making the center more solidified against him.

  4. 4
    mil0 says:

    Bush only has no choice in that his own bumbling ineptitude, cronyism, open contempt for the will of the people, and placement of politics and ideology over sound and effective policy has left him with very few options, politically, at this particular juncture.

    he painted himself into this corner. please stop apologizing for him, at least until he apologizes for himself.

  5. 5
    Blue Neponset says:

    So gear up to fight, and god knows we’ll have a fight, but don’t blame the president for doing what he said he’d do, and what he has no choice but to do.

    Bush certainly did have a choice. Saying that he didn’t is an excuse IMO. It might be a hard choice for him to make, but nominating a more moderate candidate to the SCOTUS was an option, and he chose not to do it.

    I don’t understand how this nomination is going to stop Bush from becoming a joke?

  6. 6
    M.A. says:

    I don’t understand how this nomination is going to stop Bush from becoming a joke?

    Simple: by nominating Alito, Bush gets back the approval of the conservative pundits, who will now continue portraying him as a rock-solid decisive super-leader. With the Miers nomination, there was the threat of the punditariat turning against him and basically admitting to the world that Bush has no business being President of anything. And that would lose him even the support he has left.

    The constituency Bush is really in hock to isn’t the religious right (remember, the religious right wasn’t, on the whole, opposed to the Miers nomination). It’s the conservative punditariat. He depends on them to keep up the myth that he’s a strong, decisive leader; they depend on him to do a few things (tax cuts, pointless wars, and elite conservative judges — everything else is optional). He thought he could break free, but the Miers fiasco proved that the pundits own his ass, and why not? They created him.

  7. 7
    Ancient Purple says:

    I understand Tim’s position, but I think it is a stretch to suggest that Bush had “no choice.” We always have a choice, but we say that we don’t so that we can justify the choice we made.

    After Libby’s indictment, Bush could have garnered some of his lost capital by selecting a moderate for the court and showing those signs of being a “uniter” that he claims he is.

    Now, he looks like he is just Dobson’s sockpuppet.

    That, unfortunately, will be the legacy of the Bush administration.

  8. 8
    demimondian says:

    I don’t understand how this nomination is going to stop Bush from becoming a joke?

    Consider the alternatives. (1) An enigma with no paper trail or (2) no nomination at all. If the president had tried (2), then he’d have become a joke by virtue of his inability to do his own job. That leaves (1), which would have caused CWA and the other wingnuts who’d already betrayed him once to leave his camp forever.

    Realistically, the president had no choice.

  9. 9
    Gratefulcub says:

    “I’m a uniter, not a divider. I’ve got a record in Texas.”

    So no, please don’t hold him accountable. Just because he is having the worst media week of his life. Just because his presidency is currently suffering from:
    Katrina
    Iraq
    Scooter
    Frist
    DeLay
    Safavian
    And all the rest.

    He uses this opportunity to pick the biggest fight possible. This is political cover. Change the subject. But he “had no choice.” He was just doing what he said he would do. Just not the uniter thing. There are plenty of conservative judges, with good philosophies, conservative credentials, qualifications, etc; that could have been approved like Roberts. Instead he picked the biggest fight he could find.

    Please forgive us for really disliking W, since he is openly hostile to about 60% of the country, has been from day 1. And, he believes it is a virtue to ‘not change.’ He will never meet us half way.

    I say fillibuster. let them unleash the nuclear option. If you are the pro-choice party, then FIGHT THE PRO CHOICE BATTLES. For god’s sake, fight for something. Instead the dems try not to offend anyone. The reward? James Dobson picks supreme court nominees. But at least we didn’t offend anyone.

    Where is that third party?

  10. 10
    John Cole says:

    Who should Bush have appointed, then?

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    I’m not sure what you are using to justify the bolded claim.

    Tim can answer for himself, but I’m moved to say, if (say) 37% respond that they “approve” of the job Bush is doing, then we have to assume that the approval covers a range of something like “weak to mild to strong” approval. Therefore, the strong approvers are less than 37%. I’d wager that the percentage I call “Bushmonkeys” (the people who would find a way to approve of the rape of the boy in your example; perhaps, Darrell) is considerably smaller than 37% of the total. I’d guesstimate it at 20% or less.

    (Of course, there’s a corresponding 20% on the other side who wouldn’t approve of anything Bush did).

  12. 12
    Blue Neponset says:

    Consider the alternatives. (1) An enigma with no paper trail or (2) no nomination at all. If the president had tried (2), then he’d have become a joke by virtue of his inability to do his own job.

    How about number (3) nominate a moderate conservative like O’Connor?

    Bush is a sentient being, he always has a choice as to the actions he will take. In this case Dubya chose to mollify the far right.

  13. 13
    JamesBond007 says:

    I think M.A.’s comments pretty much nail it. I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday and Kristoll couldn’t wipe the s**t eating grin off his face for the entire show, it was easy to see the guy truly believes he OWNS this president!

  14. 14
    ppGaz says:

    The constituency Bush is really in hock to isn’t the religious right (remember, the religious right wasn’t, on the whole, opposed to the Miers nomination). It’s the conservative punditariat.

    One of the smartest observations I’ve seen in a long time.

    Excellent post.

  15. 15
    Blue Neponset says:

    Who should Bush have appointed, then?

    He should have appointed nominated a candidate who would not lead to a showdown with the Democrats. By nominating Alito he is daring the Dems to filibuster.

  16. 16
    docG says:

    Who should Bush have appointed, then?

    Why, Senator Orrin Hatch – an attorney, influential Judicial Committee member, very conservative, religious, and a Senator. Senators Good Ol Boy Club would never turn down one of its own members. And a quasi-Christian for the Dobson gang. A win/win for the President.

  17. 17
    Jason says:

    I watched Fox News Sunday yesterday and Kristoll couldn’t wipe the s**t eating grin off his face for the entire show…

    It must have been your first time watching FNS. Kristol always has that “s**t eating” grin on. He had it last week, too, when he was pillorying Bush for the umpteenth week on the Miers choice. And I don’t think he has it because he thinks he owns the President. I think he’s just a genial guy.

    You know, Occam’s razor and all that…

  18. 18
    BoDiddly says:

    The reason Bush has slumped so low in the polls is that he has NOT been behaving as a conservative. He’s never had any “liberal” support to speak of, but his poll numbers headed south when he started trying to be a “centrist” (read: everything to everyone).

    A debate is a fight, with manners. It’s time the political process got a little edgy. The worst thing that’s happened to American politics over the last 50 years is a trend away from open and honest debate, in favor of a system where back-room compromises do nothing but keep politicians in power while ignoring the needs of their constituency.

    The best thing that can happen is for the GOP to ignore the slings and arrows of the MSM and charge right into this fight, oblivious of allegations of catering to the so-called “religious right” (whatever that means), openly supporting the values of true conservatives, those who believe that SCOTUS should honestly interpret the constitution, not try to twist it to fit either political agenda.

  19. 19
    Pb says:

    Rasmussen has Bush’s job approval rating at 45% today, with 22% strongly approving and 23% somewhat approving. Contrast that with 16% somewhat disapproving and 39% strongly disapproving.

    Incidentally, also according to Rasmussen, the Miers nomination peeled off at least an extra 3% (for a new low of 40%) coming from Bush’s hardcore support. Looking at another source (also derived from Rasmussen) that’s equivalent to losing about 10% of his Republican support–which he has regained for the moment, and probably along with a few independents that lean to the right as well.

    My analysis? Bush had to do this (pick a fight) if he wanted to keep his base supporting him, it was in the numbers. Who says Bush doesn’t care about polls…

    Also I should mention that Rasmussen is a partisan–he’s a Republican. PollKatz (who aggregates polls) currently shows Bush’s approval at 38.71% (over the past two weeks). Rasmussen would put that at more like 42.69%. Note that it’s not unusual for polls to differ from each other and show a consistent bias in one direction by say 4 points or so due to methodological reasons.

  20. 20
    Gratefulcub says:

    Who should Bush have appointed, then?

    Are you saying that there isn’t a qualified conservative judge that would have fit the mold of Roberts. One that the left doesn’t actually like, but can’t go ballistic over. McConnell is a name I have heard for a while that would have been that nominee. I don’t know, I don’t spend much time researching appeals court judges. But, I am sure that there is someone qualified that is less polarizing than Alito.

    This was an intentional fight. He walked up to the Democrats, took off his white glove, and slapped them across the face with it. Duel!! (Somebody find Zell)

  21. 21
    Gratefulcub says:

    The best thing that can happen is for the GOP to ignore the slings and arrows of the MSM and charge right into this fight, oblivious of allegations of catering to the so-called “religious right” (whatever that means), openly supporting the values of true conservatives, those who believe that SCOTUS should honestly interpret the constitution, not try to twist it to fit either political agenda.

    First, ‘catering to the religious right’ means inviting Dobson in to discuss Supreme Court nominees. It means picking a fight to rally the christian conservative base.

    Secondly, the meme of liberals wanting judges to twist the constitution while conservatives just want to interpret it is BS. Both sides want the judges to interpret the constitution. The difference between the two sides is their interpretation. That is an honest debate that should be had in the open. It should include more than abortion rights and gay marriage. But the right’s talking points of liberal judicial tyranny is BS. Both sides are fighting, let’s have an honest discussion about it.

  22. 22
    ppGaz says:

    The reason Bush has slumped so low in the polls is that he has NOT been behaving as a conservative. He’s never had any “liberal” support to speak of, but his poll numbers headed south when he started trying to be a “centrist” (read: everything to everyone).

    They went south thanks to the war, and his ill-conceived Social Security “reform” nonsense.

    A debate is a fight, with manners. It’s time the political process got a little edgy. The worst thing that’s happened to American politics over the last 50 years is a trend away from open and honest debate, in favor of a system where back-room compromises do nothing but keep politicians in power while ignoring the needs of their constituency.

    Hmm. I’ve seen that 50 years up close and personal and I don’t remember seeing any such “trend.” Open and honest debate at the core of American politics? Uh, no. Not in my lifetime, and I mean that precisely and literally.

    The best thing that can happen is for the GOP to ignore the slings and arrows of the MSM and charge right into this fight, oblivious of allegations of catering to the so-called “religious right” (whatever that means), openly supporting the values of true conservatives, those who believe that SCOTUS should honestly interpret the constitution, not try to twist it to fit either political agenda.

    MSM is so hot for this fight, it is wetting its pants. Fights equal eyeballs in front of screens, which is the business they are in. “Whatever that means?” You don’t know what “religious right” means? It’s a self-declared movement, arguably the most dynamic element of American political theater in the last 20 years.

  23. 23
    scs says:

    You should all wipe out any pretense now that Miers wasn’t picked because she was the “least qualified” nominee in decades. As I have shown in previous posts, she was at least as qualified as Gonzales, Rehnquist, Thomas, and O’Connor. And I haven’t even looked up the others yet. She was missing ONE year as an Appeals Judge in Thomas’s case, and none in Rehnquist’s case (he just happened to be mostly a GOP activist and an ASSISTANT Attorney General for two years). This game WAS about elitism, sexism, and most of all partisanship. Well I hope you all are happy now, you got what you wanted. A right wing white male. I guess Bush tried to please centrists like me whom he appealed out to to vote for him, but the right wing and the gullible left just wouldn’t let him.

  24. 24
    scs says:

    Who should Bush have appointed, then?

    In spite of what people keep trumpeting, there are not THAT many Republican women in the Federal Court system today at the right age. I estimated about 8. I didn’t look up how many women are Republican leaning state judges today, but probably not a whole lot either. Why do you think Bush picked Miers in the first place?

  25. 25
    ppGaz says:

    Secondly, the meme of liberals wanting judges to twist the constitution while conservatives just want to interpret it is BS. Both sides want the judges to interpret the constitution.

    That is exactly correct. What’s fascinating to me is that the shrunken potatoheads (potatoheads who have now faded from their former glory) have so well co-opted the language that they now can frame any issue with their BS descriptions and sit by while the mainstream adopts their language. “Xerox” became synonymous with “copy” and “Kleenex” with “tissue.” Now, “interpret the Constitution” and “decide for the right wing position” are said to mean the same thing. “Strict construction” was the previous permutation. Another bullshit label.

    We are up against people who steal the language and slide words around the way advertising people do. Precision and facts mean nothing. What matters now is what “resonates.”

  26. 26
    VictorRay says:

    Alioto is the perfect choice. Reid is going to look like a fool if he tries to filibuster someone this qualified.

    I don’t see how anyone can say Miers was a a qualified as Rehnquist, scs. Rehnquist was, and is, a major intellectual force. Miers is anything but. Alioto, though, is far better than either.

  27. 27
    scs says:

    It’s not so much the pledge itself (about which there’s some debate

    Yes as a centrist who voted for Bush, I know he never said that he would nominate another Scalia or Thomas, I knew that was a myth. In fact he just said he would appoint a justice who would “interpret the constitution faithfully” and he also appealed to democrats to vote for him this time. So sad that he got so much pressure from the right wing that he couldn’t go that route.

  28. 28
    Lines says:

    Yeah, we should have allowed Miers on the SCOTUS. I mean, just because her answers to the questionaire seemed to be written more by a first year liberal arts student rather than a constitutional leader, well shoot! Why shouldn’t liberals have been excited by a woman who loves her some president? When the depths of her intellectual writings were “Gee Golly Gosh, Governor Bush!!!!!! I loves you so much, you are the bestest ever!!!!!!” that should have entitled her to an automatic up vote in the senate!!!!

    Get real, Miers was the worst pick for a Scotus ever. She’s just not a mental giant, and I’m not quite sure why thats so hard for some people to understand. She may be a great person, she may bake some killer brownies, but that doesn’t mean she deserves to be considered for the Supreme Court. Just because his next pick appears to be an insane winger also doesn’t justify her nomination in anyway.

  29. 29
    demimondian says:

    Normally, I ignore scs, but this is just to bizarre for words…

    In spite of what people keep trumpeting, there are not THAT many Republican women in the Federal Court system today at the right age.

    And immediately after you made that claim last time, somebody went and actually looked at the list of current appellate judges and showed that you were simply wrong.

  30. 30
    bains says:

    For goodness sake ppGaz, at least be honest… ALL sides set forth their arguments in terms that are most likely to resonate. Certainly there are many who hide behind slogans such as elimating judicial activism when what they really want is conservative activism. But the left has no shortage of their own linguistic gymnastics: Proposed reductions in the rate of spending increases are protraited as spending cuts, illegal aliens became undocumented workers, enemy combatant detention centers become the gulags of the present.

  31. 31
    Lines says:

    Actually, I’m just glad it wasn’t Brown or Owens that got the nomination, but thats only because I’m sexist, racist and ignorant of their pasts as total failures in the court system.

  32. 32
    Tim F. says:

    I’m not sure what you are using to justify the bolded claim.

    Tim can answer for himself, but I’m moved to say, if (say) 37% respond that they “approve” of the job Bush is doing, then we have to assume that the approval covers a range of something like “weak to mild to strong” approval.

    ppGaz has it about right. ‘Approval’ and ‘strong approval’ can be very different things.

  33. 33
    demimondian says:

    But, I am sure that there is someone qualified that is less polarizing than Alito.

    For you, or for Phyllis Schlafly? Bush is in hock to two parties within the Republican party: the commentariat, on the one hand, and the CWA, on the other. What he discovered with Miers is that he needs both.

    Alito is an interesting nomination. I think that the Dems will filibuster him if they can’t outright defeat him. (Which I’d guess at 3-2 against.) That’s kind of unfortunate: from a purely scholarly standpoint, he’s got a great constitutional mind. However, his conclusions on privacy and church-state are really quite far out of the mainstream, and, as they get out to the broader public, will undermine him pretty severely.

  34. 34
    John S. says:

    On a completely unrelated topic…

    Despite the Florida Board of Tourism paying off the MSM to not report actual conditions in South Florida following Hurricane Wilma, I can proudly report it is a disaster here.

    I would chime in on all the other topics raging, but currently I am on the lowest rung of Maslow’s heirarchy (still not having power at home and having to get lucky for gas and food), so pretty much anything else going on in the world is meaningless to me.

    Oh, and FEMA still sucks.

  35. 35
    scs says:

    showed that you were simply wrong.

    If you were a person who thought originally and not just followed like a sheep, you would have looked up what that other poster wrote like I did, and would have found out that he was mistaken. If you had read what I posted after that, I did a nomination date of female judges in the last 10 years. Anything older than that would probably mean the female nominee was over 55 years old, the maximum age Presidents usually like to nominate. In case you forgot, Clinton was the President for 8 years before Bush? And any of Bush’s new female picks haven’t been on the Fed courts long enough. You need to research before you accuse. I guess I could say I’ll start ignoring you too, but your ID doesn’t even ring a bell with me, so I guess there’s no point.

  36. 36
    ppGaz says:

    For goodness sake ppGaz, at least be honest

    Har! I like the “at least” part. Now THAT’s funny.

    But anyway, the point I was making is that when resonation is the only thing that matters … like now … then facts and truth go by the wayside. Facts and truth are often uncomfortable, and difficult. Resonation is about making people feel good. When the goal is to make people feel good, then one can make up slogans and the truth be damned.

    The left has its own gymnastics? Of course, but right now, the country is under the governance of right wing resonation bullshit. When the country tires of that (which is now happening) and goes back the other way, then we can talk about the left’s gymnastics.

  37. 37
    scs says:

    Get real, Miers was the worst pick for a Scotus ever.

    Get real. Because the woman wrote a couple of note to Bush? That is what you judge her whole career on? I dare you to compare her record to O’Connor, Rehnquist, Thomas and potential recent nominee Gonzales, and tell me how her experience pales in comparison to theirs. Like I said, you all need to look things up first and get some informed knowledge before you form your thoughts, because you aren’t all that successful in it making up your own.

  38. 38
    demimondian says:

    If you had read what I posted after that, I did a nomination date of female judges in the last 10 years.

    In other words, you manipulated the data.

  39. 39
    Lines says:

    scs: Not only her synchophantic writings were against her, but her inability to answer the questions set forth by the Senate Judiciary Committee to even a remotely satisfactory state.

    Also, a wink and a nod from this president really doesn’t count as part of your “qualifications”

  40. 40
    cd6 says:

    Bush should have just cut out the middle man and nominated James Dobson

    Or even better, Rick Santorum

    I mean, if you’re going to go crazy right winger, go all the way baby

  41. 41
    scs says:

    Rehnquist was, and is, a major intellectual force. Miers is anything but

    The question is not how well Rehnquist proved himself on the bench after years on the court. The question is, what kind of experience did he and other nominnes have when they were nominated to the bench. The complaint was apparently Mier’s lack of “constitutional knowledge” and constitutional writings in her career right? To repeat an earlier post of mine, Rehnquist was a small private practice lawyer and active in the GOP for most of his career, (where he had accusations of racial profiling in voting laws fyi) Hardly a place to brush up on your constitutional writings right? Reagan made him Assistant Attorney General for 2 years and then he was nominated for the court. The first part of his career gave him no Con experience, and 2 years as Assistant AG probably gave him as much Con experience as Miers had as a top political lawyer and White House Counsel. By the way, both graduated top in their lawschools, and Miers graduated at the top of her class undergrad in mathematics. Doesn’t sound like a mental midget to me.

  42. 42
    scs says:

    In other words, you manipulated the data.

    No I made it reflect reality.

  43. 43
    kenB says:

    Ugh, another Is Miers Qualified argument? That is so two weeks ago.

    So can anyone point me to stuff on Alito that should give a moderate like me reason for concern? I figured if Orin Kerr liked him, he’s probably OK.

  44. 44
    scs says:

    another Is Miers Qualified argument?

    Sorry, I still feel I have to correct the record from all the previous propaganda.

  45. 45
    ppGaz says:

    In other words, you manipulated the data.

    No I made it reflect reality.

    Classic. One for the archives.

  46. 46
    scs says:

    Classic. One for the archives.

    Great snark, but how many nominees over 55 on the court? That’s called (political) reality.

  47. 47
    Jim Kelton says:

    This is proof although there are certain issues that I do agree with Judge Alito. Mr. Bush is content on shaping the nation to his ideas, wants and beliefs over the next 30 or so years whether the majority of American want a more moderate pick or not. Wake up America DEMOCRATS and REBUBLICANS are one in the same. TIME for a CHANGE. That is why I am a registered LIBERTARIAN. Remember this saying DIVIDE and CONQUER. As we fight amongst ourselves the rest of the world is laughing at us, and taking advantage of our weaknesses. One example that hits home with me is MANURFACTURING, where has it gone? Overseas, is where. All of you right wing extremist should read Pat Buchanans book “Where the Right has Gone Wrong”. Although I know you would not understand this, because it is all about PROFITS for you people, and your desire to make the American workforce the blue collar, the backbone of this country people your dutiful slaves.

  48. 48
    Lines says:

    I’m not sure why you think its all that important. Younger nominees are just harder for the vetting process due to the lack of documentation. Less documentation makes it harder to find out what kind of nominee you have before you, which is good for both the nominee and the nominator, but not for the people of America.

    I think scs must know Miers personally, only family and friends would be expected to continue to fight for a failed nomination like this.

  49. 49
    Sojourner says:

    “Alioto is the perfect choice. Reid is going to look like a fool if he tries to filibuster someone this qualified.”

    Supporting a law that requires a woman to get permission for an abortion from her husband. Now that’s a mainstream attitude. I think women should also be required to get permission from their husbands to drive cars, travel, and vote.

  50. 50
    Tractarian says:

    If you were a person who thought originally and not just followed like a sheep, you would have looked up what that other poster wrote like I did, and would have found out that he was mistaken.

    I was the other poster and no, I wasn’t mistaken. As a matter of fact, neither were you. Your original proposition is true – there are a total of 8 sitting female federal judges who were nominated by Republican presidents since 1995 and confirmed by the Senate before 2002.

    What I pointed out in my response way back when was that this is wildly misleading, for two reasons:

    1) “Since 1995” really means “since 1/20/2001”, because between 1995 and 1/20/2001 there were no Republican presidents appointing anyone.

    2) “Confirmed before 2002” really means “nominated way before 2002″ because it takes some time for a nominee to wind her way through the confirmation process.

    So your big point is really just this: There are “only” 8 sitting female federal judges who were nominated by George W. Bush in the first few months of his presidency.

    To extrapolate from this fact that there weren’t many female candidates more qualified than Miers is simply ludicrous.

  51. 51
    scs says:

    only family and friends would be expected to continue to fight for a failed nomination like this

    .

    No I have experienced discrimination in my life due to wrong perceptions, and it burns me up to see it handed out to other people.

  52. 52
    scs says:

    Okay Tractarian, please correct me. How many sitting Republican appointed female judges are there right now under the age of 55, who have had at least 3 years experience on the bench? I would love to know the actual number.

  53. 53
    John S. says:

    In other words, you manipulated the data.

    No I made it reflect reality.

    This is like an Abbott and Costello routine…

    Abbott: You shot that guy!
    Costello: No, I made the bullet pass through him.

  54. 54
    scs says:

    there are a total of 8 sitting female federal judges who were nominated by Republican presidents since 1995 and confirmed by the Senate before 2002

    Wrong Tract. I did a search on nomination date to nomination date, already taking into account that confirmation takes a few years.

  55. 55
    Jorge says:

    “scs Says:
    Okay Tractarian, please correct me. How many sitting Republican appointed female judges are there right now under the age of 55, who have had at least 3 years experience on the bench? I would love to know the actual number.”

    Considering that Miers was 60 years old, it seems that the under 55 argument is a bit of a straw man.

  56. 56
    Lines says:

    scs: if she were well qualified, why were her answers to the Judicial Committee so poorly done? Why should someone that couldn’t answer the questions satisfactily be allowed to continue through the judicial nomination process?

    I actually waited until that happened to fully decide that she wasn’t a worthwhile nomination.

    And if your entire defense is “because Rehnquist didn’t have better credentials, either” doesn’t make her nomination any more legitimate. Quite possibly Rehnquist shouldn’t have been confirmed either.

  57. 57
    p.lukasiak says:

    So can anyone point me to stuff on Alito that should give a moderate like me reason for concern?

    Well, you should start with Planned Parenthood v Casey, but NOT because of what it means in terms of abortion, but what it means for the rights of women in general.

    Pennsylvania passed a law which compelled married women to notify their husbands prior to getting an abortion. It didn’t matter if the woman was in an abusive relationship — she had to tell the husband. It didn’t matter if the woman’s health would have been compromised — she had to tell the husband.

    Basically, the precendent that Alito wanted to set made women second class citizens once they got married — they were no longer in control of the decisions that affected their lives and health.

    The reality is that the overwhelming majority of women who would choose to get an abortion without telling their husbands would have very good reasons to do so. Pennsylvania was telling those women that they should go screw themselves, and Alito agreed.

  58. 58
    KC says:

    The bottom line of it is for me that Bush was going to choose a ride-the-line conservative no matter what. If anybody thinks Harriett Miers was going to really go against her better instincts–supporting Bush all the way–think again. My bet’s she would have been anti-Roe etc. As for Tim’s analysis, I think it’s spot on.

  59. 59
    Sojourner says:

    Considering that Miers was 60 years old, it seems that the under 55 argument is a bit of a straw man.

    As is the requirement to be a sitting judge.

  60. 60
    scs says:

    Considering that Miers was 60 years old, it seems that the under 55 argument is a bit of a straw man.

    That is true I guess. But my main point was to correct the misperception out there that there are “SO many”, maybe hundreds, of female judges out there for Bush to choose from. The Federal bench, and especially FEMALE federal judges, is still a small club. People forget that women still haven’t been in the work force all that long in the grand scheme of things.

  61. 61
    Vlad says:

    “Who should Bush have appointed, then?”

    Clement if he wanted to be conciliatory toward the center, or Luttig if he wanted to act tough but still get a reasonably good judge out of the deal.

  62. 62
    p.lukasiak says:

    the above being said, Alito also has rendered decisions that, IMHO, aren’t going to go down well with the far right. Most notably, perhaps, Shore Regional High School Board of Education v. P.S., in which the court found that a “school district did not provide a high school student with a free and appropriate public education, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, when it failed to protect the student from bullying by fellow students who taunted the student based on his lack of athleticism and his perceived sexual orientation.”

    This is considered a landmark “gay rights” case — basically, it made public schools responsible for protecting gay students from harrassment by fellow students.

  63. 63
    scs says:

    if she were well qualified, why were her answers to the Judicial Committee so poorly done?

    Well I have my doubts if she was THAT bad or she was just perceived to be that bad at that point, because I think objectivity went out the door when she came around. But if she gave a poor performance, so be it. I don’t object to noting that. I just object to the initial reaction to her resume and this idea that she was just George Bush’s glorified secretary for all her life. I just don’t believe that she was SO much worse than many other candidates, as I believe an inspection of their histories will show.

  64. 64
    BoDiddly says:

    In order of appearance:

    …the meme of liberals wanting judges to twist the constitution while conservatives just want to interpret it is BS. Both sides want the judges to interpret the constitution. The difference between the two sides is their interpretation.

    Um, no. Someone who wants activism either direction is decidedly NOT a conservative, no matter what he calls himself. “Conservative” doesn’t equal “Christian,” “Religious,” or “Theocrat,” no matter how many times you repeat the meme.

    They went south thanks to the war, and his ill-conceived Social Security “reform” nonsense.

    Oh, yeah. The war he started right after winning re-election, right? Although I agree that he didn’t follow through with Social Security reform (part of my initial point–not behaving like a conservative).

    You don’t know what “religious right” means? It’s a self-declared movement, arguably the most dynamic element of American political theater in the last 20 years.

    No, I don’t know what it means, since the left re-defined “religious right” to mean anybody with any sort of conservative leanings. No it is not a “self-declared” movement, it’s a label applied by opponents to conservatism. And yes, it must be incredibly dynamic, if the slim percentage of the population that we’re told comprise this pseudo-demographic have been able to hold such great sway over the nation.

    Just out of curiosity, can any of the anti-Alito commenters name any “crazy left-wingers” or members of the “anti-religious-left?” It would certainly lend a little credibility to the detractory labels if there existed a polar opposite.

  65. 65
    Cyrus says:

    I dare you to compare her record to O’Connor, Rehnquist, Thomas and potential recent nominee Gonzales, and tell me how her experience pales in comparison to theirs.

    Well, let’s see here. Rehnquist was Assistant Attorney General, but the important part of that phrase is not “assistant” like you emphasized, it’s “attorney general.” The Assistant Attorney General would have more experience with federal policy and constitutional law than the chief of staff and personal legal counsel to the president, and having got the job would show deeper and more widespread faith in his abilities. O’Connor and Thomas may have served relatively brief times as judges before being nominated to the Supreme Court, but at least they had some track record that people could look at and judge them on. It’s difficult if not impossible to fairly judge a, er, judge by arguments they’ve made in personal life or while acting on behalf of a client, so the only way to really know is by looking at a previous record. Even a brief record is noticeably better than none. O’Connor and Thomas had the former, but Miers had the latter.

    As for Gonzales, I’m not going to try to defend him. He’s the legal thinker who believes that Bush can authorize torture and break treaties at will – with that under his belt, I don’t care much how experienced he is.

  66. 66
    Defense Guy says:

    Pennsylvania passed a law which compelled married women to notify their husbands prior to getting an abortion. It didn’t matter if the woman was in an abusive relationship—- she had to tell the husband. It didn’t matter if the woman’s health would have been compromised—she had to tell the husband.

    Bullshit, read the whole thing before spouting such lies.

  67. 67
    scs says:

    Okay Cyrus, thanks for taking that on. I guess the 1 or two years experience over a career does make the difference for some people. I can understand that. Still, to me, it’s not like it’s night and day like the people make it out to be. To me, Miers was at least in the ballpark, not “the least qualified by FAR” and not deserving of the ridicule she received.

  68. 68
    Sojourner says:

    Bullshit, read the whole thing before spouting such lies.

    Which part is wrong?

  69. 69
    Jorge says:

    SCS wrote
    “The Federal bench, and especially FEMALE federal judges, is still a small club. People forget that women still haven’t been in the work force all that long in the grand scheme of things.”

    I understand. And I see where you are coming from regarding the way Miers was treated. Unfortunately for Miers, her nomination came right after Roberts. And Roberts is arguably one of the most qualified nominees to ever be put up for the court. Time and time again through out his career a Judge and Lawyer arguing before the SCOTUS, Roberts demonstrated a clear understanding of the consitution and a clear understanding of the supreme court. Plus, he’s frigging Ward Cleaver.

    Miers had an image problem because she was perceived as both a spinster and a Bush crony. But neither of these would have stuck if she had demonstrated that she was a brilliant constitutional mind. And neither her career or her preliminary answering of questionaires indicated that she had anything but an average lawyers understanding of the constitution. The argument that Mier’s nomination was derailed because of sexism and elitism is unprovable because there is also a very strong argument to be made that she is utterly unqualified for the position.

    And yes, Rehnquist might have had a similar background. But Rehnquist’s nomination did not come just after the nomination of a John Roberts. The comparisons killed her.

  70. 70
    Defense Guy says:

    Sojourner

    Here are the listed exceptions to the PA notification law.

    (1) [The husband] is not the father of the child, (2) he cannot be found after diligent effort, (3) the pregnancy is the result of a spousal sexual assault that has been reported to the authorities, or (4) [the woman seeking an abortion] has reason to believe that notification is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her.

    Number 4 contradicts the first assertion. The second, the health of the woman, has no bearing on notification.

  71. 71
    Lines says:

    Well, lets see, she did have to sign an affidavit stating that she had notified her husband that she was going to obtain the abortion, and the documentation had to be retained for X number of years (I havn’t found how long yet). That was the 1989 law, which the Supreme Court overturned the notification clause.

    But on DG’s side, there was an exemption for the health of the mother.

  72. 72
    Sojourner says:

    I looked it up. It says that a woman must notify her husband unless spousal abuse is involved, he can’t be located, or he’s not the father. Otherwise, a woman is to be treated as a minor in the eyes of the court.

    Lovely.

  73. 73
    Lines says:

    errr, make that 1982

  74. 74
    John Cole says:

    Sojourner- I agree, it is a stupid law, and I would never vote for it or support it (or, were I a female, follow it).

    But Alito did not write the law. The PA legislators did. Alito was only deciding if it was constitutional or not.

    Next talking point/smear.

  75. 75
    ppGaz says:

    Just out of curiosity, can any of the anti-Alito commenters

    You’re a weird hombre! Every single thing you say is bass ackwards wrong. And I haven’t made any comment about Alito at all. In fact, I’m pretty sure that this post right here is my first mention of his name.

    WTF?

  76. 76
    Lines says:

    Alito desented, John. He wanted the husband notification portion of the law left in it, feeling that it was Constitutional.

    Essentially, it goes against Roe v. Wade in that the Constitution implicitly gives a right to privacy to all citizens, not just the unmarried or unpregnant ones.

  77. 77
    Jorge says:

    The problem with the spousal abuse clause is that it requires for the woman to have gone to the authorities. I’m sure we all know enough about abusive relationships to understand that making such a distinciton precludes many, people in abusive relationships. It sort of reminds me of the argument that abortion should only be legal in cases of rape or incest. It puts a great strain on a person that has been or is in the middle of being traumatized at a time when they are especially vulnerable.

  78. 78
    Lines says:

    If a woman is beat in her home and none of the neighbors hear it nor does she report it, did it really happen?

    Alito would say “look at the pretty horse!”

  79. 79
    John Cole says:

    HEre is a discussion of why I think you are wrong, Lines.

  80. 80
    ppGaz says:

    Although I agree that he didn’t follow through with Social Security reform

    You mean because citizens rejected it, Republicans ran away from it, and Democrats derided it until it had support that was heading for the teens?

    You mean, because it wasn’t “reform” at all, it was just a CATO Institute plan for dismantling the entitlement?

    You mean because the “town hall meetings” were controlled so that only people friendly to the idea were allowed into the halls?

    You mean because his “plan” tried to portray government bonds as good investments, and worthless pieces of paper, at the same time?

    Go figure.

  81. 81
    scs says:

    Okay Jorge, I’ll agree with most of what you said. That was a rare example of a well-balanced response. On that high note, off to do errands.

  82. 82
    Defense Guy says:

    But Alito did not write the law. The PA legislators did. Alito was only deciding if it was constitutional or not.

    Exactly the next point I was going to make. Now I don’t need to.

  83. 83
    Lines says:

    So John, given that women were unable to go around the law if they had not filed a claim of abuse against their husbands, and that “undue burden” is the only other reason to declare it unConstitutional, why did Alito ignore the State requirement to hold and provide the documentation of the abortion? If a woman signed an affidavit stating that notification had occured, could the state have taken that to the husband for verification and then charged the woman with something?

    It just seems to be a roadblock to many, and all but Alito decided that it was. I don’t believe that his statements absolve him in any way of being a lone dissent against a woman’s right to privacy as well as the removal of an undue burden.

  84. 84
    ppGaz says:

    Looks like the battle lines are being drawn; these are the hot button items being floated at DKos today on Alito.

    Overturn Roe v. Wade. About 2/3rds of Americans would oppose overturning Roe.

    Allow race-based discrimination and discrimination based on disabilities.

    Opposes the Family and Medical Leave Act. In fact, he doesn’t just opppose it, he struck down the law in 2000. The Supreme Court reversed his decision. For Alito, workers shouldn’t be able to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of newborns or loved ones.

    Has no problem with unauthorized strip searches.

    In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home.

    Not only is strip searches of 10-year-old girls okay, but of wives as well since they are all merely that man’s chattel.

  85. 85
    Sojourner says:

    But Alito did not write the law. The PA legislators did. Alito was only deciding if it was constitutional or not.

    Next talking point/smear.

    What? Alito decides that it’s constitional for a woman to be legally treated as if she doesn’t have the good sense to make decisions over her own life and that’s a smear?

    F you!

  86. 86
    ppGaz says:

    MSNBC floats this self-selected (not reliable) online poll:

    Support Alito nomination? Yes 34% No 64%

    Heh.

    Well, MSM wanted their S’preme Cage Fight. Looks like it’s on.

  87. 87
    Defense Guy says:

    What? Alito decides that it’s constitional for a woman to be legally treated as if she doesn’t have the good sense to make decisions over her own life and that’s a smear?

    F you!

    I wonder if it is possible for you to coach your arguments in terms of the law being discussed. As it is now, you are just being hysterical.

  88. 88
    Tractarian says:

    Wrong Tract. I did a search on nomination date to nomination date, already taking into account that confirmation takes a few years

    Wrong scs. You did a search on confirmation date, not nomination date. Nomination date 1995-2002 would have given you 12 hits instead of 8 – not a huge difference, admittedly, but I wanted to “correct the record.”

    Also for the record, want to guess how many female federal judges there are who were (1) nominated by a Republican president, (2) confirmed on or after Alito’s confirmation date, and (3) have been sitting judges for at least two years? Answer: 60.

  89. 89
    Sojourner says:

    I wonder if it is possible for you to coach your arguments in terms of the law being discussed. As it is now, you are just being hysterical.

    I’m sorry you couldn’t figure it out for yourself. I will try to put it in a form that even you will understand.

    Requiring a woman to notify her husband before availing herself of a legal right means that woman does not, in fact, possess that right. The history of the women’s movement is a challenge to the presumption that men have legal authority over women.

    Certainly something worth getting hysterical over – that is, if you believe in equal rights for all.

  90. 90
    DougJ says:

    Who should Bush have appointed, then?

    A mainstream conservative like J. Harvey Wilkerson. That would have been a perfect choice. The Dems would have backed him — the media would have hailed as a triumph of statesmanship. And they would have been right.

    This pick makes Bush look like he’s James Dobson’s butt-boy.

  91. 91
    Defense Guy says:

    Alito decides that it’s constitional for a woman to be legally treated as if she doesn’t have the good sense to make decisions over her own life and that’s a smear?

    This is what you wrote. It doesn’t fit the law in question. In addition, as the law is constitutional, hence Alito’s was correct.

    It may be distasteful, but that is for the people through their legislative bodies to decide.

    Perhaps you are interested ONLY in the womans right and care not at all for the man’s?

  92. 92
    DougJ says:

    DG, you’re a reasonable Bush supporter. Don’t you think that he should have gone with a mainstream conservative like J. Harvey Wilkerson?

    I feel like Bush is digging himself deeper into the Dobson/Rove bunker. This is further evidence that he won’t clean house. Not now. Not ever.

  93. 93
    Lines says:

    DG, if the law was Constitutional, why was that portion struck out? Because it creates an undue burden upon the woman. It also violates the right to privacy inherent in the Constitution.

    But thats ok, DG, keep spinning, its quite humorous watching you be wrong again.

  94. 94
    Defense Guy says:

    DougJ

    I would say that Wilkerson has the right resume for the job, and I agreed with his decision re Hamdi. Despite my lacking more in depth knowledge of his other decisions and stances, he appears to be someone that would have been a good choice.

  95. 95
    Defense Guy says:

    Because it creates an undue burden upon the woman.

    Not according to the benchmark set forth by O’Conner. You can argue with her about it if you want.

    It also violates the right to privacy inherent in the Constitution.

    The closest you will get to a right to privacy in the Constitution is the 9th, from which I believe that right would stem, but only because it states that all other rights are the states or the peoples. No where in the document does it state that there is a right to privacy, regardless of the USSC decision ‘stating’ otherwise.

  96. 96
    Caroline says:

    You guys are barking up the wrong tree as I see it. The thing that is going to really hurt is this:

    In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home.

    Strip searching a 10 year old little girl? How do you think this will play in Peoria? Not well in my opinion.

  97. 97
    Defense Guy says:

    Caroline

    Not as simple as all that. When you read the actual facts of the case, it is clearer why he made the decision he did. You would do well to read the actual decision as well.

    The Case

  98. 98
    Shygetz says:

    OK, then DG, how about the fact that the Penn law violates the equal protection clause, as it requires a woman to report decisions based on her health and reproductive system to her husband, without requiring her husband to report all of his health and reproductive decisions to her? A man can have a vasectomy without informing his partner (not to mention an array of other health-related decisions), so why should a woman legally have to inform her husband? The Supreme Court has already established that the husband cannot compel the woman to not have an abortion, so why is it legally constitutional to force notification? It’s not, and thus Alito was in the minority.

  99. 99
    Defense Guy says:

    ShyGetz

    There are 2 seperate issues here. First, is the law palatable? On that I say no. Second, was the law grounded in the Constitution? On that, the decision by O’Conner on what constitutes undue burdon, makes alito’s dissent correct.

  100. 100
    Sojourner says:

    This is what you wrote. It doesn’t fit the law in question.

    In addition, as the law is constitutional, hence Alito’s was correct.

    His position was not upheld by the SC. So what are you talking about?

    Perhaps you are interested ONLY in the womans right and care not at all for the man’s?

    Any man that wants an abortion should not have to get permission from his wife. Equal protection under the law.

  101. 101
    Defense Guy says:

    Any man that wants an abortion should not have to get permission from his wife. Equal protection under the law.

    So what rights would you grant to the father?

  102. 102
    Sojourner says:

    So what rights would you grant to the father?

    The father’s rights begin after birth.

  103. 103
    Shygetz says:

    DG–violating the equal protection clause has nothing to do with palatable, but more to do with constitutional. You aregue based on the judicial interpretation of the law that Alito was correct. However, based solely on your argument, the fact that Alito was in the minority makes his (and your) position incorrect until the Supreme Court overturns it (which it has not).

  104. 104
    Shygetz says:

    So what rights would you grant to the father?

    I would go farther than even Sojourner–I would give the father the right to make his health decisions without his wife’s permission or notification, including a vasectomy, even though it negatively impacts her opportunity to reproduce.

  105. 105

    The father’s rights begin after birth.

    Nope, they begin in the second trimester of the pregnancy under existing law. Fathers have successfully blocked moveaways by pregnant women in California courts and elsewhere. The father is responsible for the financial support of the child, so clearly he does have some rights regarding abortion. Where to draw that line is a legislative problem, not a judicial one.

  106. 106
    Sojourner says:

    The father is responsible for the financial support of the child, so clearly he does have some rights regarding abortion.

    Not according to the courts.

  107. 107
    BrianOfAtlanta says:

    Alito was in the minority as judged by the supreme court, but he was in the minority due to his respect for precedent and judicial restraint. I would think those would be qualities anyone looking to protect precedents like Roe v. Wade would look for in a Supreme Court nominee.

    The reasoning that he should have based his vote on moral (or whatever) arguments rather than legal arguments (as certain justices on the Supreme Court have been wont to do, lately) is dangerous. That’s the kind of judge who wouldn’t hesitate to sweep aside Roe v. Wade because it was “wrong”, and damn the consequences to the legal system. Ito is more likely to be respectful of Roe v. Wade than a conservative equivalent of Kennedy, Souter or Ginsburg.

  108. 108
    Defense Guy says:

    Not according to the courts.

    So then you would be fine with a man stating he wants no part of the child, and then not have to pay child support? Or is the mans only right actually a responsibility?

    Shygetz

    Yes, you are correct based on the current standing of the law, and the way it played out. That does not mean that the dissent was grounded in something other than the law.

  109. 109
    Sojourner says:

    So then you would be fine with a man stating he wants no part of the child, and then not have to pay child support? Or is the mans only right actually a responsibility?

    Until the man can share in the physical consequences of pregnancy, he should not be able to force a woman to either have or not have the child. Once the child is born, it’s both of their responsibilities.

  110. 110
    Krista says:

    Sojourner – it’s a damnable situation, really. I’ve heard of cases where the father wants to actually keep and raise the child, and the woman gets an abortion anyway. On one hand, I don’t think any woman should have to go through with a pregnancy if she does not want to. But on the other hand, I really feel for any man who goes through the aforementioned situation. There’s no perfect solution, so I think we have to go with numbers — and I think that those cases of the man wanting to keep and raise the baby are rare enough so as to not really influence legislation. The right to choose has to be protected. And for the love of Mike, we have GOT to make effective birth control more accessible and affordable, and teach people about it in school so that they know how to use it, so that less people get into that situation in the first place.

  111. 111
    Sojourner says:

    Krista is exactly right. Every pregnancy should be a wanted pregnancy even if that pregnancy ends with adoption.

    Absolutely, there are cases where the man gets the raw end of the deal. But those cases are much rarer than the ones where the woman ends up raising the child on her own with no support. In this society, the woman is still expected to be ultimately responsible for the child unless the man chooses to be. It’s a sad reality.

  112. 112

    Sojourner lives in a dream world:

    Absolutely, there are cases where the man gets the raw end of the deal. But those cases are much rarer than the ones where the woman ends up raising the child on her own with no support.

    BS, BS, BS. Cases in which a woman seeks child support and is awarded nohing are practically non-existent, only occuring if the woman relinquishes custody of the child or earns vastly more money than the father. Child support awards are automatic.

    Collecting isn’t always easy, because not every man has a job every day, but compliance with child support orders by men is higher than employment by single mothers, so the reality is 180 degrees from your outlandish claims.

  113. 113
    Sojourner says:

    Collecting isn’t always easy,

    No shit. And no, it’s not because he doesn’t have a job. It’s more likely because he has a second family.

  114. 114

    Actually, you’re completely full of crap, Sojourner. Studies have consistently shown that the two biggest reasons for non-payment of child support are: 1) inability to pay; and 2) interference with visitation.

    Women who aren’t collecting child support reproduced with a deadbeat and/or won’t let him spend time with his child.

    But the vast majority of legitimately owed child support is paid, even though awards are ridiculously high.

  115. 115
    Sojourner says:

    But the vast majority of legitimately owed child support is paid, even though awards are ridiculously high.

    Check the census data. You’ll find that the vast majority do not pay all of the required amount.

    Sorry if the truth hurts.

  116. 116

    The Census Bureau studies have been criticized for poor methodology as they’re simply “off the top of the head” surveys of women by poll takers at their doorsteps, but even they indicate that the vast majority of support is paid.

    For a more accurate analysis, you have to look at the data from jurisdictions where payments are made to a central disbursal unit, as in Arizona. These studies (by Sanford Braver, among others) show the compliance for men with jobs is over 90%.

    You don’t have the first fragment of a clue on this subject.

  117. 117
    Krista says:

    Women who aren’t collecting child support reproduced with a deadbeat and/or won’t let him spend time with his child.

    Well of course, Richard. Goodness, if we were smart, we would make men sign a contract prior to sex, stating that should a child result from the encounter, that the man promises to pay awarded child support, should the relationship not continue.

    Parental responsibility is not just fiduciary, you know. I know some single mothers who do receive full child support, and others who have to call the lawyers almost every month to get the guy to cough up. That notwithstanding, who winds up missing work every time the kids are sick? Who winds up with higher health insurance premiums due to needing family coverage? Who arranges the doctor, dentist, optometrist appointments? Who checks on their homework, goes to the PTA meetings, drives them around to their activities? All this while keeping the house clean and holding down a job?

    But those cases are much rarer than the ones where the woman ends up raising the child on her own with no support.

    Support does not consist solely of money. It also consists of time, effort, and consideration. And unfortunately, there are a lot of men out there who pat themselves on the back for being “supportive”, just because they write their court-ordered cheque every month.

  118. 118
    Sojourner says:

    The Census Bureau studies have been criticized for poor methodology as they’re simply “off the top of the head” surveys of women by poll takers at their doorsteps, but even they indicate that the vast majority of support is paid.

    Oh, I see. Women are too stupid to know how much child support they’re actually receiving. And as long as it’s the “vast majority” (apparently defined as roughly 3/4), then that’s okay.

    What an ass.

  119. 119

    What a load of crap you’ve written, Krista. For example:

    Goodness, if we were smart, we would make men sign a contract prior to sex, stating that should a child result from the encounter, that the man promises to pay awarded child support, should the relationship not continue.

    This adds nothing to existing law. The man who’s adjudicated the father of a child has an obligation to pay child support under criminal and civil law already, provided he’s a non-custodial parent. There already is a contract, and nobody has to sign it. In fact, if you sign a contract to the other side, it’s a nullity. Child support is an irrevocable responibility, short of termination of parental rights.

    I know some single mothers who do receive full child support, and others who have to call the lawyers almost every month to get the guy to cough up.

    So what? The state will gladly collect child support for any mother with a child for no charge. Anybody who’s telling you she has to use a lawyer every month to get her check is lying.

    That notwithstanding, who winds up missing work every time the kids are sick? Who winds up with higher health insurance premiums due to needing family coverage? Who arranges the doctor, dentist, optometrist appointments? Who checks on their homework, goes to the PTA meetings, drives them around to their activities? All this while keeping the house clean and holding down a job?

    Gee, what do you think these babes are being paid for? Child support awards – which include health insurance, as a matter of fact – assume that the custodial parent is going to spend some time looking after the child and are raised sufficiently to compensate for it. And by the same token, women who use child support to make mortgage payments get to keep all the equity in their homes, so they’re not suffering. In fact, rates of home ownership by custodial parents are higher than for non-custodial parents, but rates of employment are not.

    And unfortunately, there are a lot of men out there who pat themselves on the back for being “supportive”, just because they write their court-ordered cheque every month.

    How would you know what men patting themselves on the back over? And there’s no “cheque” involved most of the time, as child support is automatically deducted by law from men’s wages and sent to the state for deposit in mom’s bank account, so it’s there in time for the mortgage payment.

    You folks really should try to get a clue.

  120. 120

    Oh, I see. Women are too stupid to know how much child support they’re actually receiving.

    Women consistently under-report recevied child support, and men consistently over-report.

    Call that stupidity if you like.

  121. 121
    Sojourner says:

    You folks really should try to get a clue.

    Anybody who in this day and age refers to women as “chicks” really needs to get a clue. Clearly you have a problem with women. You really should get some help with that.

  122. 122
    John from Placentia, CA says:

    I think everyone is missing what may be a great political move on the President’s part. if he wins with Meirs nomination, he ends up with what he believes is a conservative loyal to him on the Court and does it with the support of the left. With the right-wing crack down forcing the Meirs withdrawl, the President now forces the Right to support a hard-right conservative for the Court. The right-wingers in the Senate would have never stood up to the left if Bush would have nominated a hard-right conservative at the beginning. He has now forced the hand of the right to go into battle for the Court. Can’t wait for the fireworks and it will be a brilliant move when Alito is confirmed. All in all it is good for consrvatives, bad for liberals.

  123. 123
    Krista says:

    I concur. You seem to think that single mothers have it easy, and that the money just rolls on in. Instead of being patronizing, telling us to get a clue, telling us that we’re writing crap, and calling our friends, family and acquaintances liars, you might want to get your nose away from your precious studies, and go talk to some actual single mothers. Ask them if the child support money they receive compensates for the fact that they have to do all of the child-rearing themselves. (Call them “chicks” while you’re at it…just to see what happens.) None of the single moms I know would trade places with the child’s father…not for a second. But that’s because they love their children, not because their job is the easier one. Far from it.

    Anyway, I’m not going to argue about it any longer. It’s obvious from your comments that you have very little respect for women and for the job of motherhood.

  124. 124
    p.lukasiak says:

    (4) [the woman seeking an abortion] has reason to believe that notification is likely to result in the infliction of bodily injury upon her.

    so, if a woman doesn’t think her husband would hit a pregnant woman, but has had a history of physical (not to mention mental) abuse, she’s shit out of luck? If she thinks he will hit her only AFTER she gets the abortion, she’s gotta tell him? (The law says that notification has to result in the abuse — and does not address what happens if she expects to be abused only if she gets the abortion.)

  125. 125

    You seem to think that single mothers have it easy, and that the money just rolls on in.

    That’s exactly right, as far as divorced mothers are concerned; never-married mothers have it harder, and they should.

    Anyway, I’m not going to argue about it any longer.

    You never were arguing about single motherhood and child supprt, because you don’t know enough to make an argument. Back in 1999, I worked with mothers to create the California Dep’t of Child Support Services, and I dare say I’ve forgetten more about this subject than you’ll ever know.

  126. 126
    Sojourner says:

    Back in 1999, I worked with mothers to create the California Dep’t of Child Support Services, and I dare say I’ve forgetten more about this subject than you’ll ever know.

    Is that when you started referring to women as chicks?

  127. 127

    That really drives you nuts, doesn’t it?

  128. 128
    Sojourner says:

    That really drives you nuts, doesn’t it?

    Actually, I find it quite funny. It’s rare when somebody goes out of their way to use a term that so clearly demonstrates what an ass they are.

    Keep it up, Chick Boy.

  129. 129
    Krista says:

    Back in 1999, I worked with mothers to create the California Dep’t of Child Support Services

    Considering your lack of respect for the job of motherhood, I pity any single mother who is dependant on the policies that you helped create.

    You never were arguing about single motherhood and child supprt, because you don’t know enough to make an argument.

    Just because my argument does not contain information from various studies (which you failed to source, by the way), it does not make my argument any less valid. I am speaking from real-life experience…that of my mother, and of my sister, and of friends and coworkers. Being a mother is a goddamned tough job, even if she DOES get child support payments. All that I was trying to say, is that support is more than just money — and that unfortunately, many fathers fall short in providing that type of support, and feel that their fatherly duty is done, as soon as the payment is made. I’m sure you’ll find a way to argue with that, and tell me that I don’t know what I’m talking about, however, seeing as you’re such an expert on motherhood.

  130. 130

    Just because my argument does not contain information from various studies (which you failed to source, by the way), it does not make my argument any less valid.

    Actually, it does.

  131. 131
    Krista says:

    Then source your studies, or I call bullshit. And we’re not in court, so I really think that anecdotal evidence should be at least somewhat respected. Just because I cannot cite a study indicating that motherhood is a difficult job, that does not make it any less true. Just because I cannot cite a study indicating that many men abscond all parenting responsibilities (except for financial responsibilities), that doesn’t mean that my sister’s ex didn’t refuse to watch their children on the day that my sister had major surgery.

    So, if my arguments hold no validity, due to my not bothering to quote unsourced studies, then why do you bother addressing me?

  132. 132
    Krista says:

    Besides, you’re not a stupid man. You know perfectly well that no matter what opinion one holds, one can find a multitude of studies and statistics to back that opinion up. They’re as malleable as Gumby.

  133. 133

    So there is no truth? Sorry, but that’s way too cynical for me. I figure some studies are better than others, and the man of science can tell them apart.

    I can “prove” anything with anecdotes, so it’s a useless activity except for the terminally illiterate.

  134. 134
    Sojourner says:

    man of science

    LOL! What a funny boy you are, Chick Boy!

  135. 135
    Krista says:

    I can “prove” anything with anecdotes, so it’s a useless activity except for the terminally illiterate.

    Now, now…you know we’re not illiterate, or else how would we be able to read your bullshit wisdom?

    A truth is no less truthful, just because I can’t be bothered researching studies at 11pm.

  136. 136

    “Making fun” works better when it’s done by somebody with an actual sense of humor, Soj.

  137. 137

    A truth is no less truthful,

    An anecdote isn’t necessarily a truth, you see; it could be that you’ve encountered the world’s only exception to the rule. That’s why we look to studies to see what’s happening in real life.

  138. 138
    Fat Ricarrdo says:

    I hope that one day, some bright softwre designer will figure out the way to sort out the posts from people who have something to say , from the ones who have to say something.

  139. 139

    […] Meanwhile, somewhere in the stratosphere, Balloon Juice’s John Cole laments the upcoming battle between the left and the right and ties the Alito nomination to Bush’s plummeting polls numbers…a very wise assessment. […]

  140. 140

    […] Meanwhile, somewhere in the stratosphere, Balloon Juice’s John Cole laments the upcoming battle between the left and the right and ties the Alito nomination to Bush’s plummeting polls numbers…a very wise assessment. […]

  141. 141
    Glen says:

    Hasn’t anyone told anybody that somewhere in Texas a Villiage is missing it’s Idiot? Bush Is The Idiot and no choice he makes for the Court will be a good one unless of course Hillary Clinton

  142. 142
    Mike says:

    In reply to the child support discussion I think it goes both ways. I know of women that dont get enough money and I know of men that live in the poor house because they get hit to hard. Obviously the system works to a degree, but not well enough. I know a few dead beat dads, and I also know A few dead beat moms that wont get off the couch and get a job. I do believe that it must be very difficult for a single mother or father but the bottom line is take the correct responsiblity for your actions.

  143. 143
    Tillyosu says:

    The reason Bush’s numbers have been slipping is because he hasn’t been very assertive in fending off the attacks of the minority of liberal crybabies in this country. Hurricane? Blame Bush. Gas prices? Blame Bush. CIA leak? Blame…Libby? Then blame Bush. Here we are seeing the real Bush that was elected in ’04. Don’t throw a fit because he won’t meet you half way…the majority of Americans don’t want him to.

  144. 144

    …I think it goes both ways.

    Most everything does, so the question is whether it goes both ways equally, and in that connection a careful examination of the facts shows that it doesn’t. Men and children are much more disadvantaged by America’s child support and child custody laws than women, simply because of voting bloc strength and successful advocacy.

    Can you name even one fathers’ rights organization with the visibility of NOW, the Feminist Majority, or the domestic violence lobby?

  145. 145
    Shygetz says:

    Can you name even one fathers’ rights organization with the visibility of NOW, the Feminist Majority, or the domestic violence lobby?

    Can you name one white rights organization with the same clout as the NAACP? Wow, that must mean that whites get the shaft! Can you name one mother’s rights organization (not women’s rights in general, but mother’s rights in specific)? I can’t off the top of my head (although there probably are some if I looked them up), but I can name Fathers and Families and the National Coalition for Free Men without looking (and I know there are more I can’t remember). Terrible logic at work. It must be Richard again…

    Most everything does, so the question is whether it goes both ways equally, and in that connection a careful examination of the facts shows that it doesn’t. Men and children are much more disadvantaged by America’s child support and child custody laws than women, simply because of voting bloc strength and successful advocacy.

    Men and children are “disadvantaged” by America’s child support laws. But it has been that way since the 19th century. Man, women sure had great lobbying back in the 1800s. Since the 1970’s, the swing has begun towards men–increased paternal rights in child custody is the new rule, not a remnant of the old. Hell, it predates a woman’s right to vote, much less any strong lobbying organization. But Richard just makes shit up as he goes along…much easier that way.

  146. 146

    My logic certainly does look worse when you reverse the order of my asserions, Shygetz-for-brains. But anybody’s would.

    Try again without distorting what I said.

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