Saturday, July 30, 2005

A Bad Week for Catholics

This week, two CINO (Catholic In Name Only) Democrats who disserve on the Judiciary Committee embarassed themselves, their country, and their (supposed) Church with statements relating to the nomination of Judge John Roberts.

Senator Durbin went first. According to Jonathan Turley in Monday's LA Times, Durbin asked Roberts what he would do if the law required a ruling that ran contrary to Roberts' faith. Since Roberts' response is unclear, attention can rightly be focused on the question. No Senator of either party or any faith would have dared to ask such a question of a member of ANY faith other than the Catholic faith. Roberts' impecable record is beyond reproach, so the Democrats must find ways to create doubt about him. What easier way than to play on outdated anti-Catholic biases?

The Senator Leahy followed suit, becoming the first Senator to state publicly that he will apply a pro-Roe litmus test to Judge Roberts. Leahy went so far as to say that Roe is on par with Brown v. Board of Ed. Priests for Life's statement addresses this quite well (full disclosure: I work for PFL). It is laughable that the "right" to an abortion, which scholars on both sides of the abortion debate say is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, should be considered on par with those rights that are explicitly protected therein. Regardless of one's views on abortion, constitutional scholars should be embarassed by such a suggestion.

The two Senators thought that they would get a pass because both claim to be Catholic. Their voting records, however, show that they are Catholic in the same way that if a cow is born in a tree, it's a bird. Both Senators have ignored Catholic teachings in their public life. While the job of a judge is to apply the law as it is written, the job of a legislator is to bring his values to the fore. As such, it is clear that Senators Durbin and Leahy have had every opportunity to bring Catholic values to the fore in our national discussions. At every opportunity, they have shown that the teachings of the Catholic Church did not factor into their conscience formation and continue to be absent from their decision-making.

Senators behaving like this should not get a pass even if they are practicing Catholics. Senators Durbin and Leahy most certainly are not. Ideally, the two would seek to inform their consciences and reach better conclusions in the future. Until then, though, they should at least have the decency to publicly state that they no longer consider themselves Catholic rather than continuing to bring scandal on the Church by proclaiming to be Catholic with the same mouthes they use to actively oppose the core values of that same Church.

Byrd Season Opens

Today the NRSC unveiled its first ad of the 2006 cycle. (Remember, though, DO NOT CONTRIBUTE to the NRSC until every judge gets an up-or-down vote!!!) The ad attacks Sen. Robert "KKK" Byrd for the dramatic changes in his positions from his early years in the Senate, including but not limited to his shift against the American military. Sen. Byrd is the poster boy for term limits. He has been in the Senate far too long while maintaining many of his biases from his days as a leader in the KKK.

Unfortunately, it appears that the only candidate the GOP will get behind is Rep. Shelley Moore-Capito. Capito has a lifetime ACU rating of just 74%. While some may seek to justify this by West Virginia's union bent, the fact is that she differs from her state on the very social issues that make KKK so vulnerable. She has supported funding for UNESCO and the National Endowment for the Arts, opposed reporting illegal immigrants, and backed abortion and embryonic stem-cell research. In fact, Capito is the only pro-abortion House member from West Virginia.

Currently, Hiram Lewis is challenging Senator Byrd. Lewis finished the first quarter with an embarrassingly low $82,653 in cash on hand. Lewis may have a future in politics, as I hope he does, but the future is not immediate.

A better option would be West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland. Last year, Ireland was the only Republican to win statewide, pulling an upset over Democrat Ken Hechler. In an otherwise bad year for West Virginia Republicans, Ireland won by nearly 30,000 votes. Not only is she a proven winner in a tough environment, but she would also find it much easier to galvanize the social conservative coalition that anyone who hopes to unseat Byrd will need. In fact, energizing the conservative base could almost be enough by itself in a low-turnout, base turnout election. The only difficulty is that Ireland was just elected for the first time, which can often make it seem as though one office is just being used as a stepping stone to another. Even so, an Ireland candidacy could actually work better than a Capito candidacy. Republicans would not risk losing a safe House seat while conservatives could have the chance to elect another conservative Senator from a conservative state.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bill Frist: Sellout

According to the Drudge Report, Senator Bill Frist will announce in the morning his support for expanded funding for embryonic stem-cell research. Frist's change in position shows that either he is blindly ambitious and will say anything that he thinks is politically advantageous or he has a fundamental misunderstanding of the value of life. Either way, his position is not acceptable. This unfortunately fits into a pattern of the leftward shift of the Republican Party.

Over two millennia ago, Aristotle wrote about the importance of first principles. It is from these principles that all things flow and to which all things point. Chief among these principles must be a respect for life. M. Stanton Evans, whose book is advertised on this site, frequently gives a talk called "Why Liberals are Wrong About Everything". The case that he makes quite convincingly is that liberals are wrong about (almost) every issue because they start from the wrong place. Rather than focus on the root of any problem, liberals instead seek to treat the symptoms. For this reason, the problems just become worse and create even more symptoms, hence the out-of-control growth of the federal government.

While many will make the case that embryonic stem-cell research will only lead to a further demeaning of human life - rightly so - it is important too to address this problem itself. Embryonic stem-cell research comes down to this: persons cannot be used as objects. Respect for life must mean respect for life at every stage. It is never permissible to destroy human life for utilitarian purposes. If one accepts the scientific fact that life begins at conception, then this is the moral equivalent of killing ten year olds for scientific research.

So what's wrong with that? Science is supposed to serve man, not the other way around. Much could be learned if scientists decided to dissect you right now. In fact, the Germans learned plenty with their experimentation on Jews, but that does not justify it. Science is extremely important, and the goals of many of those promoting stem-cell research are noble. Indeed, finding cures for debilitating, perhaps fatal, diseases is extremely important. Having seen relatives who could potentially have benefited from the research that they seek to perform died before my eyes, I understand quite well how important research is. Unfortunately, though, promoters of embryonic stem-cell research have lost sight of the forest for the trees. The reason that research is important is that life must be valued above all else. Once research dehumanizes other persons, though, it ceases to live true to its own goal. The very lives of those whom they seek to treat are demeaned by the lack of respect shown for other life.

Some have argued that there is no difference between the two parties. To some extent, I concur. Even so, I maintain some hope that the Republican Party can continue to be a vehicle to pursue a conservative agenda. If, however, the Party loses sight of its most basic principles, it will destroy itself. There will be no difference. There will be no Republican Majority, in name or in fact.

This will likely be the only time I reference a frog on this website, but Alexis de Tocqueville once wrote, "America is great because America is good. If America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Unfortunately, America is moving toward the day when we will no longer be good. Half of marriages end in divorce. A third of pregnancies end in abortion. "Heather has Two Mommies" is permitted in schools while the Ten Commandments are not. To be sure, there are still plenty of good people, but this is a dangerous step toward destroying what is left of a respect for life in American culture.

Here's hoping that the President keeps his promise to veto the legislation and does not allow our nation to take this perilous step.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Armstrong Humiliates French, Part VII

Once again, Lance Armstrong, arguably the greatest athlete ever, has won the Tour de France. With all due respect to other great athletes, Michael Jordan, Eric Heiden, Wayne Gretzky, etc., no other athlete has been able to dominate a sport so convincingly over so long a time as Lance Armstrong. Today is a wonderful day, and a sad day as he wins the most grueling sporting event on earth for the seventh time and ends his career at the same time.

While he has won previous Tours by more time and with more stage wins, this year was arguably his most dominant. On two stages of the Tour, Lance was left alone to battle a number of his chief rivals. His teammates could not cover the attacks, but he did. Unlike in previous Tours, he did very little attacking. In Stage 9, Armstrong attacked on the slopes of Courchevel. He added to the time that he had put into his rivals in Stage 1 and solidified his lead. Even though the attacks came, there was never any serious doubt as to whether Armstrong would win. At various points throughout the Tour, it seemed as though other riders were attacking each other, but not Armstrong, convinced that he could not be broken.

Lance's seventh win extends France's dry streak in its own Tour. It has now been twenty years since Bernard Hinault won his home country's Tour, that time only because American Greg LeMond, his teammate, followed the team manager's instructions and surrendered his own likely Tour victory to help his teammate. After the Tour, Hinault said that he would ride for LeMond the following year. In fine French fashion, Hinault broke his promise and raced his teammate and was defeated. A curse?

Since Hinault's win, the French have become little more than a blip on the radar screen of the General Classification, the overall competition in the Tour. This year, Christoph Moreau, who finishied in 11th, was the highest placed French rider. Next year, the Tour is likely to come down to Lance's chief rivals from this year, Italian Ivan Basso and German Jan Ullrich. After that, Kazack Alexandre Vinokourov, Armstrong's Discovery teammate, appears poised to take the reigns. This year, the sole French stage win came on Bastille Day. Winning on Bastille Day has become the Tour for the French, as they are unable to seriously compete in the Tour's other competitions. If the French want to look for any source of pride, they must look into the distant past. Hopefully while looking back they will realize the many things that have led them down the path to insignficance.

For now, though, Vive le Lance and Vive le Tour!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Mudd, or Quicksand?

RepublicanSenate's only endorsed Democrat now leads Senator Mudd by 11 points according to a Rasmussen poll out today. Bob Casey, Jr. Is amazingly running a Senate campaign based solely on his father's name. He has stated his positions on a number of important issues, but remains very low-key. On the other hand, the incumbent has been all over the news, most recently to promote the nomination of Judge Roberts. Mudd is outraising Casey by about $4 million, but Casey's fundraising has picked up and it now appears that he will have enough to compete.

At a convenient time for Casey, DNC Chair Howard Dean is now pitching a willingness to accept pro-life Democrats. If Democrats are willing to overlook Casey's pro-life position, it now appears that he will have a smooth road to the Senate. Even so, appearances can be deceiving. Mudd is a strong campaigner. It is still over 17 months out, and Mudd's money advantage will come into play eventually. He will need to rely heavily on the President getting a boost in the polls.

The wild card in the mix is what becomes of President Bush's judicial nominees. If all of his nominees prove themselves willing to pay more attention to the Constitution than to bad precedent, especially on the matter of Roe, conservatives may be willing to forgive Mudd for his transgressions and turn out to keep the Republican majority. If, on the other hand, any of President Bush's nominees act more like Souter than Scalia, conservatives will at the very least not vote for Mudd, but quite possibly actually turn out to back Casey, a candidate who is tailor-made for Reagan Democrats.

While I am hesitant to bet against an incumbent of either party in any race, Casey clearly has an advantage here. Put this race in the "Lean Democrat" category.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

McGavick In, Republicans Wary

Thanks to a postor, who appears to be the candidate himself, RepublicanSenate has learned that Mike McGavick has formed an exploratory committee to take a look at the Senate race in Washington. McGavick is the first Republican to take an official step toward challenging incumbent Maria Cantwell. Cantwell is a far left Senator who simply does not belong in the US Senate.

Over at Sound Politics, Washington State's premire right-wing blog, conservatives are already debating how to treat a McGavick candidacy. Some argue that he is a liberal Republican, others say he's still better than Cantwell, and one or two even think he's the "real deal". For his part, McGavick appears to have no interest in clearing this up. The one "issue" he cares about is "sanity". You read that right. His primary issue is "sanity. Regardless of how insane many of our politicians may be, I doubt that any of them would acknowledge their own loonacy.

Make no mistake that Washington, though slowly trending Republican, remains a blue state and a difficult one for Republicans. Even so, the state has a small but active conservative community. Any successful nominee would have to have to have both the ability to garner grassroots conservative support while maintaining the ability to reach out to moderates. Admittedly, I do not know much about McGavick's views on real issues, but if "sanity" is what he plans to run on, I think everyone has to start scratching their heads and wonder if this guy is serious or if he just wants to see his name in the paper for the next year and a half.

Last year, Stephanie Herseth ran two House races against Larry Diedrich. She won both on her amazing ability to say something without saying anything. "Sanity" won't even cut it for that. McGavick missed a great opportunity today to say why he's running. Until he says otherwise, one would have to assume that it's one big ego trip.

I may yet endorse Gavick when he actually says something. Until then, though, I will have to just watch and wait.

Earlier this week, I said that Washington would be "Likely Democrat" with McGavick. Until he adds something to his platform of "sanity", it is "Safe Democrat" with him or without him.

Correction: Thankfully, republican sentinel was paying attention. The site previously linked for Mike McGavick was in fact most likely a lefty looking to make a buck by putting up a negative site. That site has been taken down. My guess, and it is just a guess, is that someone wanted to create a cheap negative site and sell it to him for a rediculous price. Sans the rediculous "sanity" issue, "Likely Democrat".

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Counter Play

After convincing everyone that he was going to tap Edith Clement, the President surprised everyone by selecting John Roberts, a white male. The President has made an excellent choice in his selection of John Roberts to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Roberts has received criticism from People for the American Way and NARAL, among others. As usual, their opposition is extremely encouraging.

Judge Roberts has done pro bono work for the poorest of the poor. He has established solid conservative credentials and has experience in both the executive and judicial branches, which will well-prepare him for the broad range of cases that will come before him. His wife was also a former leader in Feminists for Life.

When he was nominated to the circuit court, he said that Roe was settled law and that he would apply Supreme Court precedent. Troubling? No. Roberts understands and respects the law enough to know his role as a lower court judge. Fortunately, he also has the backbone to do the right thing when cases that involve bad precedent come before him on the Supreme Court.

I would write more, but it has been a long (but g0od) day at work. The President has truly come through in a big way in the first SCOTUS test of his conservative credentials.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Thank You, Mr. President

President Bush has reportedly assured conservatives that he will not choose Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace Injustice Sandra Day O'Connor. The President now seems to be zeroing in on women for the slot. The two most likely possibilities are Edith Jones and Edith Joy Clement. Jones has a record a mile long and has dealt favorably with a number of hot-button issues. Clement, however, specialized for a long time in maritime law and has not dealt with abortion, gay marriage, and the like. While my guess is that Clement would be a conservative, the Souter nomination makes it difficult to take anybody's word for it (please don't take mine).

Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown remain outside possibilities. Owen would surely be acceptable, but JRB is my favorite. Moreso than any other nominee, JRB would (and has) shout, "THE EMPEROR'S BUCK NAKED", and proceed to restore the Constitution, which has been amended by the Supreme Court to include foreign law, "mainstream views", and whatever O'Connor wants to be in it. Although I think that a non-lawyer, i.e. someone who did not spend $200,000 to be convinced that a short, dead document has in fact grown in inverse proportion to the forests that have been cut down to provide the paper for the on-a-whim amendments of nine tyrants in robes, would be best suited for the Court, Janice Rogers Brown combines legal "training" with a common-sense approach to seeing the Constitution for what it is.

Regardless of who the nominee is, we can all breathe a sign of relief that AGAG will not become JAG.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Rossi Declines

Recruiting failure? Not really.

This one is not Elizabeth Dole's fault. Dino Rossi has said for months that he is not prepared to move his family to Washington, DC. Today, he gave his final "No" to those who have been recruiting him for months. A recent GOP poll showed Rossi pummelling Cantwell but all other potential candidates trailing badly.

This is a severe blow to Republican hopes of expanding the Majority. Defeating Cantwell was always appealing, but this blue state requires everything to work out just right for Republicans. In 2006, that would involve first and foremost having the popular shadow Governor on the ticket. Now that he is out, Republicans have to hope that Mike McGavick, Safeco CEO, will enter the race. McGavick would be a longshot, but Cantwell polls at just 49% in a hypothetical race against him.

Call this "Likely Democrat" with McGavick, "Safe Democrat" with anyone else.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Abraham Bows Out, Brandon Last Hope

Today, Jane Abraham, the strongest Republican challenger to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, announced that she will not run for Senate next year. Abraham is just the latest in a series of potentially strong GOP candidates to take a pass on the race. Former Secretary of State, Rep. Candice Miller declined to run earlier this year.

Abraham's decision leaves Domino's Pizza executive David Brandon as the last GOP hope. The upshot with Brandon is that he can self-finance. Of course that's what the GOP expected when Party leaders recruited Pete Coors last year, and Coors footed only a small portion of his campaign bill. One would have to expect Brandon would self-finance, but it's not as certain as it had been in the past.

Stabenow's numbers have been improving of late, and her strong fundraising is starting to make her look much safer than many anticipated. If Brandon wants to make the run, regardless of how much money he has, he had better start soon. Even if he does, Stabenow looks a lot safer than she did just a few months ago. Chalk this up as another Dole recruiting failure. Likely Democrat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Last in Seniority

On Monday, Rep. Chris van Hollen announced on Monday that he will not seek the Senate seat being vacated by long-time Senator Paul Sarbanes. The announcement leaves two others, Rep. Ben Cardin and former Rep./former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume. While a three-way race would have split the white vote and opened the door for Mfume, a two-way race will be extremely difficult for him. Thus far, Cardin is clobbering Mfume in money and endorsements.

The Democrat Party is well aware of Mfume's problems and will do everything possible to ensure a Cardin nomination. While Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is a strong candidate, Maryland is deep blue. Everything would have to go perfectly for Steele if he is to have a chance. The chances of that are slim to none with at least two Supreme Court nomination fights between now and then. Maryland's social liberalism will make mobilizing against any Republican easy. Further, the Democrats will want to put away any potentially vulnerable seats with their current deficit.

Van Hollen's announcement comes as a disappointment to Republicans, who had hoped to make this one a race. Barring unforeseen consequences, Cardin will walk all over Mfume in the Primary and will win election to the Senate fairly easily. It appears as though Marylanders will concern themselves more with ideology than influence. Rather than elect a rising star in the GOP, they will elect Ben Cardin, who will rank 100th in seniority.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Roemer Accepts Reality

No, he hasn't become a Republican, but former Rep. Tim Roemer has finally realized what everyone else has known for some time, that Sen. Richard Lugar is safe no matter who runs against him. Democrats recently commissioned a push poll, giving results showing Roemer trailing Lugar by only 2 points. A Lugar poll, however, gave a slightly (sic.) more realistic view, showing Lugar with a 20+ point lead. Even Bayh aside, Indiana remains a bastion of conservativatism. Fortunately, though, Bayh's ill-fated Presidential ambitions suggest that Republicans could yet again pick up another seat that belongs to us.

Roemer, of course, came under heavy fire from Democrats for his pro-life position when he ran for DNC Chair. Democrats decided to give Republicans the gift of people-powered Howard. Apparently, Dean had not sufficiently embarassed the Democrats during the campaign and continues to give and give and give. Fortunately for the country and the Democrats, whether they know it or not, this saves Roemer's chances for office in the future should his Party decide to throw in the towel on abortion at the national level.

Lugar is no conservative. He has frustrated conservatives on stem-cell research, gun control, and hate crimes. Even so, he leans right and toes the line on other important issues, including abortion. Republicans in Indiana should do better in the future and put real conservatives in office. Even so, Lugar is much better than true RINOs like Chafee and Snowe. Conservatives need to turn up the heat on Lugar when he's in office, but all things considered, we have to be happy that Lugar will get reelected without an even remotely serious challenge. Hopefully six years down the road, though, this deep red state can upgrade.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

No Gonzales. Not Now. Not Ever.

Over at, Erick, who scooped the entire media with the O'Connor resignation, has the goods. According to his sources, the President will nominate Alberto Gonzales to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg after naming two conservatives to replace the Chief Justice and Sandra Day O'Connor. Simply put, this is not acceptable.

Don't get me wrong. I'm happy to hear, assuming this is true, that the President will begin making his imprint on the Court with two conservatives. It is absolutely essential that these two nominees have records respecting religious freedom, restoring Constitutional restraint on government, opposing the most convoluted decision in the Court's history, i.e. Roe, and giving more credence to the Constitution than bad precedent. Of course these nominees will be judged based on their full history. Their willingness to apply precedent when they had to do so is fine, but dicta and writings that show their disagreement with bad precedent will be important in showing their true colors. Almost every potential replacement, from Samuel Alito to Janice Rogers-Brown, meets this criteria.

Even so, conservatives did not put this President in place simply to make gains on the Court. We elected this President to nominate strict constructionists to the Supreme Court. Every Supreme Court nominee must be held to the same standard. Clearly, J. Harvie Wilkinson - whom it now appears is off the short list, and Alberto Gonzales fail to meet this standard. The President has no shortage of highly qualified, highly intelligent nominees, including Senators Jon Kyl and John Cornyn and Judges Samuel Alito, Miguel Estrada, Emilio Garza, Edith Jones, Mike Luttig, Priscilla Owen, Bill Pryor, John Roberts, and Janice Rogers-Brown, among others. This President has done well to fill the circuit courts with such constitutional scholars. Now he must do the same with the Supreme Court.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Push, Meet Shove

By now, you are well aware of the fact that Sandra Day O'Connor has finally resigned from the Supreme Court. While O'Connor caused much frustration to the right during her two decades on the Court, her decision to leave the Court and the job she loved for her husband is commendable.

Now, it is time to look ahead. The President promised during both campaigns to appoint strict constructionists to the high Court. Now, it is time for him to make good on his promise. Both and have had excellent coverage of the short list.

For the record, there are just two nominees who have been discussed who would be absolutely unacceptable. J. Harvie Wilkinson and Alberto Gonzalez have been bandied about for years. Both have shown hostility toward traditional values and would consider themselves bound by the judicial legislation for which the Court has been known since NRLB. Surely stare decisis has its place, but it is far more important to be faithful to the Constitution than faithful to the countless amendments that have been written by tyrants in robes who have shown such eagerness to extend their powers beyond the "cases and controversies" that come before them. If the President chooses either of these individuals, then the Republican Senate had better reject them.

Fortunately, the President seems to have gotten the message that conservatives are dead serious about the Court. If he blows this nomination, or any nomination, Republicans will suffer severe losses in 2006 and beyond. The Reagan Revolution will be over, and those who came over based on the socially conservative leadership of our greatest President will return either to the sidelines or the Democrat Party.

Now, the names supposedly on the short list are John Roberts, Michael Luttig, and Emilio Garza. Any one of these three, among others would be an excellent choice. The President must, however, make his decision based on neither race nor sex. This is not the Clinton administration. Republicans have the White House and 55 Senate seats. The President should nominate and the Senate should confirm the person who would make the best Supreme Court Justice for decades to come, be it a man or woman, white or minority.

This is the President's test. Pass and he could leave his Party with long-term majorities in Congress, the upper hand in the 2008 Presidential race, improve the Supreme Court dramatically, and change the country for the better by restoring the high Court to its limited role in our government. Fail and he would make improvement in our nation's culture and government impossible, validating the abuses of power by dictators in robes.

Now is the President's time. He must come through.