Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Moderate Conservative?

The more we learn about John Roberts, the less moderate he seems. There’s his closeted membership in the Federalist Society, his support for the Bush Administration’s questionable detention and interrogation tactics, his close ties to the Catholic Church, and the Regan-era documents revealing his unsympathetic stance on civil rights. The list goes on.

And it’s getting longer.

Tomdispatch.com has an excellent piece about Roberts’ participation in the hijacking of the 2000 presidential election. The gist of the story is this.

On July 21st, Brent Kallestad of the Associated Press reported that Roberts, contributor of $1,000 to the 2000 Bush election campaign, had ponied up his own money for airfare and, in the midst of the contested Florida recount, voluntarily flown down from Washington to offer advice to the Republicans, and more specifically to Governor Jeb Bush.
Take five minutes and read the entire article.

The “he was just working for his clients” defense doesn’t apply here. In this case, there’s no need to engage in the tricky process of untangling Roberts’ personal beliefs and professional duties. Acting as a Republican partisan, Roberts took it upon himself to help put George Bush in office. It’s as simple as that.

Unlike the morally dicey issues of abortion and religion, this is straight politics. Democrats need to draw the line somewhere. No judge, whether appointed by a Democratic or Republican president, would be perfectly impartial. But that doesn’t mean Democrats in Congress should simply accept a party loyalist with a documented history of lackey-ism as the best they’re going to get.

--Matthew Mccoy