Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Friday, July 01, 2005

Vote John Kerry!

Damn! Too late!

Well, I was advocating a Kerry vote back in November too and for one over-riding reason. Not because I thought Kerry would be a better guardian of the environment or that he'd do things very differently with regards to using the military to secure resources. No, the reason I wanted a Kerry administration was simply that I didn't want a born-again fundie like Dubya getting to choose a Supreme Court Justice.

And now he will. Which is a disaster in my view.
... a more reliable conservative could give the court a harder edge on social issues, which would affect the nature of American society for decades.


Blogger Andrew said...

It may be a disaster in your view, but a majority of Americans voted for Bush, knowing that he'd probably have the opportunity to replace at least 1 of the Supremes. They clearly want a more conservative view of social issues on the court. That's democracy.

2/7/05 09:44  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

Indeed it is democracy, Andrew. Leastways it's one very specific form of representative democracy.

But the fact that modern democracy can be responsible for disasters such as Dubya Bush being permitted to shape social policy for decades is one of the great arguments against it.

I'm not a democrat Andrew. This is why, back in November, I spent so long qualifying my calls for a Kerry vote; and why I advised anyone without a Green candidate in the UK elections to spoil their ballot.

2/7/05 10:11  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

PS: I should point out that the call for a Green vote was not a call for a Green government (I described them as a party incapable of successfully running anything larger than a 3-day festival). It was a merely symbolic thing... a demonstration to future generations that at least some of us understood the real problems facing our world.

2/7/05 10:15  
Blogger David said...

Even in President Bush's first term, there was speculation that Chief Justice Rehnquist would choose to retire. And although this caused some excitement that a republican president would get to nominate another judge to the bench, it really wouldn't have made a difference. C'mon, nominating a conservative to replace a conservative doesn't change the make-up of the court. In fact, at the time, it was speculated that Justice O'Connor would have been elevated to Chief Justice. Which would have given the court a more moderate face. But before the 2004 election, with failing health of, CJ Rehnquist, Justice O'Connor's husband, and even Justice Ginsberg (a liberal), the Bush administration may have found themselves sitting on a gold mine.

If CJ Rehnquist retires (or dies), the high court would have remained largely the same.

Justice O'Connor's departure could tip the court back to the conservatives... but you never know, President Bush could nominate a liberal/moderate in disguise (like Justices Kennedy and Souter)

Justice Ginsberg's departure would have been the meat and potatoes but it looks like she will hold out until the next administration. Rehnquist looks like he's trying to but he has got to be on borrowed time. He was expected to go before O'Connor.

2/7/05 13:37  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

David, the replacement of a conservative with a conservative is (if you don't mind the apparent tautology) essentially a culturally conservative thing to do. As such, from the point of view of someone such as myself who views radical change as necessary, it's a disaster.

That someone like O'Connor (who has been surprisingly liberal for a natural conservative) could very well be replaced by a judge who mirrors the values of the Bush Administration would be even worse.

Certainly it's possible that Dubya might appoint someone who doesn't share his views; but it's unlikely I fear.

2/7/05 14:28  
Blogger Graham said...

In response to Andrew:

I don't know if it is as simple to suggest Bush's ability now to secure the conservative balance on the Supreme Court is democracy in action. Kerry secured 48 of the vote in Nov 04... Bush 51%... and yet Bush's nominations will no doubt be staunchly right wing, if not evangelical, and the extent to which this will threaten abortion amongst all kinds of other issues, will not be representative of the election. If Bush's nominations reflected democracy he would nominate a moderate, as the US population is evenly divided.

4/7/05 06:18  
Blogger Andrew said...

Well he has to get his nominee through a Democratic filibuster, so the choice is likely to be semi-moderate at least.

4/7/05 21:53  
Blogger Jim Bliss said...

It'll be interesting to see what happens all right. Because this appointment will provide a lasting legacy and (in all likelihood) long outlive his office, Dubya may well decide to fight tooth and claw over this one. Even against the threat of a filibuster, Andrew.

Or he may value his legislative agenda more. I honestly don't know which way he'll go on this, and - let's face it - nobody else does either. My hunch is that he'll try for an ultra-conservative; but that's just because I don't like the guy.

I guess we'll find out soon enough.

4/7/05 23:06  
Blogger L said...

it's horrible just thinking about it.

5/7/05 03:11  
Blogger sygamel said...

I realize I'm well late to this thread, but I think it's unlikely a great majority of the Bush voters from last Fall want a SCOTUS Justice who sides with *social* conservative policy. You can blame some Bush voters for their myopia on certain pet issues, but not all of them (and for the record, I wasn't one of them -- I wrote in Howard Dean).

12/7/05 01:17  

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