Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito: Tempering the Optimism

The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito has been met with unbridled enthusiasm in conservative circles. This is understandable in light of the Miers debacle. Clearly, Judge Alito's resume qualifies him for the Supreme Court. If he were on the Court for several of its disastrous decisions, such as Griswold, Roe, and Eisenstadt, he almost certainly would have shown proper restraint. Such are the makings for a good Justice. Sadly, though, those decisions have been made. The Supreme Court has rewritten the Constitution beyond the point of recognition, and many argue that judicial restraint requires judges to adhere to the rulings of the Court regardless of how much those rulings depart from the text of the Constitution and the intent of its framers.

Fortunately, most indications are that Judge Alito will live up to his nickname, Scalito, and depart from precedent where precedent departs from the Constitution. The most promising indication that he would do so comes from his dissent in the Casey case in the Third Circuit. Chief Justice Rehnquist cited Alito in his dissent, in which he, like Alito, voted to uphold Pennsylvania's spousal consent provision. Alito has also shown himself to be a great friend of religious liberty, siding with practitioners of various faiths and arguing that the government could not discrimination against religious practice and viewpoints.

The question then becomes, "What does Judge Alito view as proper behavior for a judicial conservative on the Court, adherence to the Constitution or adherence to precedent?" Alito's track record gives no indication as to the answer. This is not a fault, nor is it evidence that he would side with previous decisions of the Court rather than the Constitution itself. Even so, until conservatives get an answer to that question, we should take a cautious, albeit optimistic, approach to this nomination. I would urge my good friends who have eagerly endorsed this nomination to take a deep breath and think about whether they might be getting a little ahead of themselves.

Judge Alito may well be the best that we can get. For that matter, he might be the best circuit judge in the country. He could well vote with Justice Scalia even more frequently than Justice Thomas. Before marching in lock-step on this nomination, though, we should be careful to make sure that a Justice Alito would be willing to undo the severe damage done to the Constitution by the Supreme Court. I am hopeful, even confident, that he will do so, but conservatives have been burned too many times to get behind this nomination without finding out how he will treat previous decisions that clearly depart from the Constitution.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Miers Winners and Losers: '06 Edition

  • Rep. Tom Tancredo - No he's not in the Senate and no he would not have had to vote on the nomination, but Rep. Tom Tancredo is the biggest winner in this mess. As mentioned in the previous post, several Senators did the right thing, killing the nomination behind closed doors, but Rep. Tancredo was the only elected member of Congress to oppose the nomination outright.
  • Rep. Mark Kennedy - Rep. Kennedy was between a rock and a hard place. The President put him in the awkward position of having to rally conservatives by not endorsing the nomination and not hurt himself with the establishment by opposing it. Kennedy breathed a tremendous sigh of relief when the withdrawal was announced.
  • Sen. Jim Talent - The Missouri Senate race will be ground zero of the culture war next year. Gov. Blunt has already created a rift with Missouri Right to Life by supporting embryonic stem-cell research. The last thing Talent needed was a vote on the President's nominee. Vote for Miers and anger conservatives. Vote against Miers and be considered a traitor by Bush loyalists. Now, he need not choose.
  • Michael Bouchard - After entering and then exiting the race against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), rumor has it that Bouchard will reenter the race this week. If he does so, it appears as though he will now be able to use the nomination of a strict constructionist as an issue against the incumbent.
  • Sen. Samuel Mudd, M.D. - With friends like the President, who needs enemies? Mudd angered the base by campaigning for Arlen Specter against a conservative challenger. As Toomey backers feared, Specter made statements that told the President in no uncertain terms to nominate someone who was more concerned with precedent than the Constitution. It now appears that Specter did not get his way, which will help Mudd - if it is still possible - to mend the rift with conservatives.


  • Sen. Lincoln Chafee - Speculation abounds that the President will select Judge Samuel Alito, nicknamed "Scalito", to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Alito is a conservative and, equally important from Chafee's perspective, an Italian. If Chafee votes to confirm Alito, he will be attacked in the general election as a "Bush Republican". If he votes against confirmation, Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey can attack him for opposing the second-ever Italian Supreme Court nominee.
  • Sen. Mike DeWine - First, he participated in the Gang of 14 agreement. Then, he spoke highly of the ill-advised nominate. Now, he is lamenting the fact that the clearly unqualified Miers did not make it to her hearings. When he finds himself in a hole, DeWine never fails to keep on digging. The OH-2 special election had more to do with conservatives staying home than liberals turning out. If McEwen enters the primary, DeWine is toast. If not, he will have to work 25/8 to convince conservatives that he is worth voting for in the general election.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Profiles in Courage

Readers of this blog know that I have called Republicans to task for their betrayals of conservatism. Such criticism, though, makes praise all the more meaningful. The members above, Senator Sam Brownback, Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator Jon Kyl, Senator Tom Coburn, Senator Norm Coleman, Senator David Vitter, Senator George Allen, and Senator John Thune demonstrated tremendous strength during this process. Some of their statements were public. Others we will never hear about. As young Senators, they took a tremendous risk in standing up to the President and Party Leadership in favor of principle. In a body in which seniority is king, these men risked the very things that lead to reelection to ensure that only qualified Supreme Court nominees get confirmed.

Just over a decade ago, Republicans in the Senate were unwilling to fight President Clinton on Supreme Court nominees. When President Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she was confirmed by a vote of 96-3. His next selection, Stephen Breyer, was confirmed by a vote of 87-9. At the time, there was no evidence that either would feel restrained by the Constitution. Since then, no such evidence has emerged.

This is a new day. Almost every newly elected Republican Senator in the last few cycles has moved the caucus to the right. Today, they demonstrated that they are more committed to conservative principles than blind loyalty to any individual. The conservative movement has reached a new level, as it is now obvious that, while plenty of work remains, we can govern rather than simply have more seats. We have more work ahead of us than we have behind us, but the courage demonstrated by these men shows tremendous promise by demonstrating that we can expect higher standards from our elected conservatives. It is time to let the President know that we expect him to meet the same high standard set by these principled Senators. Please also let the Senators know how much you appreciate the courage that they have shown.

If you think that another Senator deserves to be on this list, by all means say so in the comments.

Ireland Out; Catlett Only Hope

Elizabeth Dole's latest failure is her inability to convince West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland to challenge Sen. Robert KKK Byrd. Though she would only have been in office for two years, Ireland proved her political metal when she defeated Ken Hechler by nearly 30,000 votes, making her the only victorious GOP candidate in any statewide race last year. She is a solid conservative but has an approach that makes her tough to demonize, especially running against a crotchety old man like KKK. The departure leaves former West Virginia University basketball coach Gale Catlett as the last remaining person with any real chance of defeating Byrd. Even he would be a long shot. This is just the latest in a series of Dole's failures. Hopefully the Republican Caucus will remember this the next time they choose an NRSC Chair and be more careful with their election.

Congratulations White Sox

I was remiss not to post this last night. In spite of terrible umpiring throughout the post-season, the White Sox' sweep of the Houston Astros showed clearly that they are the best team in Major League Baseball. After a long wait, the south side finally has something to get excited about.

Harriet Miers: Worse than We Thought


Up until now,the primary complaint among conservatives has been than there was no evidence of Miss Miers being a strict constructionist in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Supporters of Miers have shown exactly zero evidence that she would strictly apply the Constitution. Now we find out that she doesn't understand the difference between the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance.

In perhaps the dumbest comment in DC since Rep. Major Owens said that sharks were still dining on slaves thrown overboard in the 1700s, Harriet Miers, the best nominee the President could find while blindfolded in a private meeting with her, said in a 1993 speech, "We undeniable [sic] still have a justice system that does not provide justice for all as provided by the Pledge of Allegiance." Earth to Harriet: the Pledge of Allegiance is not in the Constitution. It provides words, albeit nice words. It has the same legal value as Grimm's fairy tales. Others have commented on the typos and ungrammatical comments by the supposedly meticulous nominee, but this takes the cake.

Thankfully, Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has shown the courage that has yet to be seen in Senate Republicans. He has announced that he does not think that Miers is sufficiently intelligent to serve on the Supreme Court. This is not a personal insult to her, but not everybody is capable of everything. I'm not fast enough to win Olympic gold in the 100m, nor am I sufficiently informed to speak intelligently on US relations with Madagascar. This doesn't mean I can't do anything, but I am simply not cut out for everything. If you are so inclined, take a moment to thank Rep. Tancredo for his courage.

Equally troubling, and intriguing, is that the quote comes from a speech in which Miers confirmed the fears of conservatives that she does not share our philosophy. For example, she said, "where science cannot determine the facts and decisions vary based on religious belief, then government should not act". As a Supreme Court justice, Miers would not be in a position to determine what the government should do. Instead, she must determine whether the government can do certain things. Her personal opinions about the right course of action should be irrelevant. Her apparent willingness to equate the Pledge of Allegiance with the Constitution strongly suggest an inability to distinguish between these two points. As if this were not enough, the White House has used her supposed personal beliefs, including her religion, as a primary means of supporting her nomination. This action in and of itself is entirely inappropriate for judicial nominees, but in this case, it has caused even more trouble. If Miers's personal beliefs indicate how she would rule, then we now have every reason to believe not only that she will not arrive at her conclusions through proper reasoning, but that even her conclusions will be wrong.

The late-breaking good news is that there is no news on her overdue do-over questionnaire. It is bad enough that members of both parties returned the questionnaire like an angry college professor whose student did not address the topic on which he was supposed to write the paper. If questions about her intelligence and philosophy were not enough, this fuels the fire that she cannot function effectively as a Supreme Court Justice. The easiest part of the nomination process is the written questionnaire. Miers gets to use any cheat sheet she wants. It is effectively an open book test that can be pre-graded by some of the top legal scholars in the country. Scratch that. It can be pre-graded by people similar to Miers, which speaks volumes of the qualifications of the lawyers in the Bush administration. Even with plenty of time and all the help she could have wanted, Miers failed with flying colors.

Fortunately, this lateness suggests of a possible imminent withdrawal. Tomorrow afternoon could be the ideal time for the announcement, as special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald is expected to announce indictments in the Plame leak investigation. While it would be a nightmarish day for the White House - substance of the indictments aside - a withdrawal timed to coincide with the announcement of the indictments would force the media to divide coverage, thus limiting the damage. It could also allow conservatives to reunite with the President at a time when his approval ratings among non-Republicans would be likely to drop. Here's hoping that my next post can be about the Miers withdrawal.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Fortuitous Failure

Yet again, Sen. Dole has failed to recruit the best, nay, best remaining candidate for a Senate campaign. Vermont Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie has decided against a primary challenge to businessman James Tarrant. When Jumpin' Jim Jeffords announced his retirement, the GOP quickly turned its attention to Gov. Jim Douglas, a liberal Republican whom most thought offered the Party its only real shot. Like almost every other strong non-incumbent, Douglas opted against a bid.

After that, attention quickly turned to Dubie. Dubie is a fairly popular, fairly conservative Republican who could do well in Vermont politics for years to come. The race against popular Rep. Bernie Sanders would have been an extremely tough test for Dubie. Coming into the race, Sanders brings with him a decade and a half of experience working for the extreme left-win in the US House. This is not to suggest that Sanders is insincere, but Karl Marx would have been proud. Such a record serves him well in Vermont politics, and it gives him numbers in the mid-50s against any Republican challenger.

Having said this, Dubie's decision hands the nomination to James Tarrant, who is likely to finance his own campaign. Tarrant's bid is a long shot, but, as Jon Corzine has proven, it is possible to buy viability, and Vermont's size makes viability cheaper than it is in New Jersey. More importantly, though, his ability to self-finance makes it possible to force Democrats to spend precious resources in the state, thus taking money from their pick-up opportunities in the semi-vulnerable GOP seats in Arizona, Tennessee, and/or Mississippi. Especially in mid-term elections, these resources are critical for GOTV operations.

In short, Tarrant is unlikely to win the seat, but the departure of Dubie and subsequent Tarrant nomination increase the likelihood that Democrats will have to spend some time and money in Vermont that they would rather spend elsewhere.

Steele In; Cardin Leads

As Serge points out in a comment to the previous post, Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele has entered the race to replace retiring Sen. Paul Sarbanes. Dave Myers took issue with my last post on this one, and this expected development lends itself to offering some clarification on a few points. First, though, in case anyone missed it, a poll came out today confirming what I had said regarding Steele's chances against the Democrats. No, polls taken a year out are not the be all and end all, but with Steele's name recognition, they are a pretty good indicator of where things stand.

What Dave apparently missed is that I do, in word, support Steele. He's an excellent candidate and would make a great Senator. By all means, if you're in or near Maryland and have some extra time on your hands, or if you have unlimited funds to spent, put some into this race. A word of advice on doing so, though. Don't work for Steele until the primary. If you're dead set on trying to elect Steele, then you should be doing everything you possibly can to help Kweisi Mfume win the Democrat primary. He finished the third quarter with less than $100,000 on hand and needs all the help he can get. If and only if Mfume wins the primary, this race becomes top-tier.

That having been said, resources are not unlimited. Choices must be made. This is not a novel concept but an age old rule. When the campaign committees determine how to spend their resources, they do not give out money equally or tie it to the expense of the race. Instead, they put races into one of six categories: vulnerable own party, vulnerable opposition party, semi-vulnerable own party, semi-vulnerable opposition party, safe own party, safe opposition party. About half of all Senate races fall into the final two categories. Parties use this order of priorities, and races in the final two get nothing. The reason for this is that the limited resources must be put into races where they are most likely to change the outcome of the race.

Using this categorization, the Maryland Senate race would fall into the category of "semi-vulnerable opposition party". For those who have limited resources, my advice - make of it what you will - is to do what you can to help candidates in the first two or three categories. If you are, for whatever reason, only able to lend a hand with races in the fourth, by all means go ahead. You might get lucky. At the very least, you might not win that race but force the Democrats to spend money where they would rather not have to do so. All things being equal, though, it is essential to use resources where they can make a difference. You will not see the GOP pouring money into Jeanine Pirro's campaign because she can't win. The same can be said of several others. The prospect of unwinnable races is not a fun one to accept, but a quick glance at the Kos efforts from last year shows just how much can be wasted instead of being well spent.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New Nominee? '06 Republicans Hope So

Yesterday morning, Erick posted over at ConfirmThem that the White House is asking outsiders to come up with a new list of nominees. Catholic lure says that the Pope isn't sick until he's dead. The same can be said of political candidates or nominees. When sources close to a candidate say that he is "reevaluating", it means he's dropping out. When sources close to a nominee say, "We're not going to yank her nomination, but if we did...", it's all over. It is no secret that I oppose the Miers nomination. What is less readily visible is that several Republican who have not said so publicly do as well.

No fewer than eleven Senate races could hinge on whether the White House withdraws Miers in favor of, oh, let's just say, someone in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Incumbents Conrad Burns, Mike DeWine, Jon Kyl, Samuel Mudd, and Jim Talent will all need strong turnout among a base that supports the GOP largely because of the judiciary. Ed Bryant, Gale Catlett/Betty Ireland, Rep. Katherine Harris, Rep. Mark Kennedy, Rep. Chip Pickering (?), and Pete Ricketts will all need rallying points. The second coming of Sandra Day O'Connor would, to the contrary, tell those very people that elections don't matter.

Sen. DeWine is especially interested in withdrawal, as he came under heavy fire for participating in the unprincipled Gang of 14 agreement. Should Miers be confirmed, which is now about as likely as Wyoming winning the Rose Bowl, DeWine would be singled out for his participation, which many, including me, would argue led to this terrible nomination. If conservatives were to stay home in droves, as they did with the House special election earlier this year, DeWine's career will be over. The Ohio seat is critical to the Democrats' attempts to take back the Senate.

So, the White House much choose: does it energize the base by withdrawing Miers, going to war with the Democrats over a good nominee and winning, thus entering the 2006 elections with momentum and a wedge issue on which the voters side with the GOP? Or does it instead push forward with the Miers nomination, go to war with its own Party, see Miers defeated in humiliating fashion, become a lame duck early, and potentially lose the Senate Majority next year? The decision is in the President's hands. Fortunately, it now appears that he has chosen the former.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Breaking News: White House Hires Baghdad Bob

According to sources close to the situation, the White House is preparing to announce the hiring of Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, aka Baghdad Bob, to handle public relations for the nomination of Harriet Miers. Al-Sahaf earned the respect of fellow public relations specialists for his service during the United States invasion of Iraq, faithfully serving his government by talking about the accomplishments of the Iraqi defense against the American infidels. His ability to replace evidence with propaganda without shedding a tear or cracking a smile is rivaled only by former infidel President William Jefferson Clinton.

The decision comes at a time when the White House is seeking to launch a Republican Guard-like defense of the Miers nomination. Although opposition forces have entered the White House, the administration continues to deny such reports. Some long-time allies have even turned their guns on their leader, feeling that he has abandoned them for his own selfish interest.

The White House decided that al-Sahaf's unique experience with a nearly identical situation makes him the best person to lead its press operation. Though he officially begins his work for the administration on Monday, most think that he played a role in crafting White House political director Sara Taylor's response to reports of conversations regarding a possible withdrawal. Taylor said that such reports are "absolutely not true". These words closely resemble al-Sahaf's words during the 2003 invasion: "They are not in Baghdad. They are not in control of any airport. I tell you this. It is all a lie! They lie! It is a Hollywood movie. You do not believe them!"

Sources say that the assignment is only temporary and that the White House expects results similar to those of the last crisis in which al-Sahaf was involved.

Aerial Assault

Facing BYU's unconventional 3-3-5 defense, Charlie Weis put together a game plan that, for the first time this year, did not include a ground game. Instead, he relied on junior quarterback Brady Quinn on nearly every play. Quinn put up Heisman-like numbers, going 32/41 for 467 yards and a school record 6 touchdown passes. He had some help from Maurice Stovall, who set two school records with 14 receptions and four receiving touchdowns, and Jeff Samardzija, who tacked on 152 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Irish dominated the game from the beginning of the second quarter, outscoring the Cougars 42-13 after the first. The game was sealed by an 83 yard interception return for a touchdown by Tom Zbikowski as the Courgars were threatening. The win improves the Irish to 5-2. Weis & Co. now have two weeks to prepare for the Tennessee Volunteers, who lost 6-3 to unbeaten Alabama.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

FEC Reports Wrap Up

The Hotline reports on third quarter fundraising with a complete summary of the important numbers. These are the most significant stories.

Illinois' third Senator is definitely running for President. Surely this surprises no one. Even so, her incredible fundraising puts the record-breaking President to shame. Clinton has nearly $14M in the bank. With Jeanine Pirro's recent missteps, that could be enough to finance Clinton's Senate campaign even with the several media markets in the state. If her fundraising holds true, she could end up with a $60M jump on the rest of the Democrat Primary field in 2008. That could leave likely candidates such as Kerry and Edwards scratching their heads about whether their climb is just too steep.
Orrin Hatch is Safe. The big news here is not so much that the Democrats would jump at a snowball's chance in hell, but that what could have been an interesting primary won't be. Challenger Steve Urquhart finished the quarter with less than $4000 on hand and raised just over $8000. So anemic is his fundraising that had his parents maxed out on contributions, he'd have more money than he does now. His spin is that he has focused on the ground game and will now turn his attention to fundraising. The fact is that this "race" is over.
Florida is a missed opportunity. When Rep. Katherine Harris entered the race, the major advantage to her candidacy - the one major advantage - was that she would be able to raise funds easily. Or so we thought. Harris has less than half a million dollars in the back. Nelson has 13-times that much. He also outraised her by a better than 3:1 margin in the third quarter alone. For challengers, it's not about having as much money as the incumbent, but having enough money to get your message out. Harris doesn't have that.
It's about time to say "Sen. Cardin". One of the best GOP pick-up opportunities was missed as Democrats got smart and have effectively cleared the field for their strongest candidate. Cardin raised over $700,000 in the third quarter and has nearly $1.9M in the bank. The primary challenger most likely to give him trouble, Kweisi Mfume, finished the quarter with less than six figures in the bank. Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is a great candidate, but defeating Cardin in Maryland is an extremely tall order.
Lott is about to take up shuffle board. Sen. Trent Lott raised just $26,690 in the third quarter. It is possible that the destruction of his home was simply a distraction from his fundraising. More likely, though, he has made the determination that it's time to move on. Rep. Chip Pickering (R) is his likely successor.
Mudd's Done. Bob Casey, Jr. raised half a million dollars more that Sen. Mudd, bringing his coffers over the $3M mark. Without having done anything, Casey has built an advantage in the high teens and is polling over the 50% mark. The Miers nomination, which some argued was made to appease RINOs like Specter, reinforces the rift that Mudd created with conservatives when he campaigned for Specter. There are also reports that RNC money that had been earmarked for Mudd is now being spent in New Jersey. It's tough to count any incumbent out at this point, but this is about as close as any race to being over.
Conservatives can take a scalp. In Rhode Island, Sen. Lincoln Chafee actually finished fourth in third quarter fundraising. He raised less than half of what Steve Laffey raked in and, after a full term, has slightly less than double the funds of a candidate who has been in the race for just over a month. Help bury Chafee and show the NRSC, which is now running ads against Laffey, that we mean business by contributing whatever you can afford to the Senator-to-be.

There are other stories. As expected Ed Bryant and Rep. Mark Kennedy both turned in very strong quarters. Patty Wetterling's candidacy is hanging on by a thread. And Sen. Maria Cantwell has successfully climbed out of a deep financial hole to likely save her career. While significant, none of this is too surprising. If the fourth quarter is as good for conservatives as the third, the GOP caucus will likely move right whether Republicans gain seats or not.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Steele In: Does It Matter?

Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, an excellent candidate by all accounts, will announce next week that he will seek the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-MD). Steele is an intelligent, black, fairly conservative politician whose opposition to the death penalty could help him reach out to voters who traditionally vote Democrat. If a conservative can win in Maryland, it's Michael Steele.

Unfortunately, though, his prospects are dim. By any account, the environment is not favorable for Republicans. Scandals, real and fabricated, have damaged Republican chances nationwide. Last year, the President carried the Catholic vote in Maryland thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Maryland Catholic Conference reminding Catholics to vote their values. Regardless of how good of a job the Conference does, that becomes a very tough sell after the Miers nomination. Maryland Catholics, by and large, are not economic conservatives, so if the Miers nomination makes values a wash, it is highly unlikely that Steele will be able to maintain that advantage.

Further, the third quarter fundraising reports show Rep. Ben Cardin, the Democrats' strongest candidate, leading the way with nearly $2M on hand. His chief rival, Kweisi Mfume, comes in well behind the second-tier candidates, reporting less than $100,000 on hand even though he was the first candidate to declare his candidacy. Mfume could've been a very strong primary candidate by driving up black turnout in Baltimore. At this rate, he'll be lucky if he can afford bus fare to get to the polls himself.

Had Steele faced the racist Mfume in the general election, he would have had an excellent chance of routing Mfume among whites while neutralizing the Democrat's advantage among blacks. While Steele may still do relatively well among blacks, there is nothing extraordinary about Cardin that would cause him to underperform among blacks. He also won't scare white voters as Mfume would have. If Steele were running in almost any other state, he would have an excellent chance of winning. Unfortunately, though, Maryland is Maryland. The President's approval rating in the state is an abysmal 33%, and Democrats will be extremely eager to nationalize the race. Maryland's proximity to Washington will make it easy for Cardin to attract Democrat allies to the state early and often. By contrast, Steele will want to avoid the GOP heavy-hitters at all costs, something that is not easy to do when much of the state is in the Washington, DC media market. This race is "Likely Democrat" verging on "Safe Democrat". Unless the national scene changes dramatically before next November, it is exceedingly difficult to see Steele pulling off the upset.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Scientist or Novelist?

As the debate over Harriet Miers rages on, damning information continues to come out. Today, Arlen Specter reports that Ms. Miers is a supporter of Griswold, arguably the worst decision the Supreme Court has ever made. Griswold is based on judicial creativity, not rigor. The seven Justices who constituted the majority were novelists who cast aside the solid information before them, the written Constitution, in favor of their own whims.

Supreme Court Justices are called to be scientists. There is a right answer in every case, and it is their job to sort through the dense details to ascertain the proper ruling. Miss Miers is clearly unable or unwilling to engage in such rigorous activity. Instead, she endorses the theory of substantive due process, which absolves the Supreme Court of its solemn duty to apply the Constitution as written and usurps the power of legislatures to determine the rights of individuals and legislatures through duly enacted laws, including the Constitution.

Once again, I repeat that President Bush pledged to nominate justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Both have rejected this theory in no uncertain terms, instead opting to be faithful to the text of the Constitution. Miers is not in that mold, and anyone who says otherwise is either dishonest or foolish. It is time for the President to withdraw this nomination. (Hat tip to Andrew at ConfirmThem, who has now come into the light.)

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Bad Omen

Yesterday, Robert Novak pointed out yet another problem with Dr. James Dobson's analysis of the Miers situation.

Starr's choice
In choosing Kenneth Starr to vouch for the social
conservative credentials of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, Dr. James
Dobson picked a man who 24 years ago as a Justice Department official did the
same for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
Former Whitewater prosecutor Starr, now law school dean of Pepperdine University, appeared on conservative activist Dobson's radio program Wednesday. Starr called Miers ''a very, very strong Christian [who] should be a source of great comfort and assistance to people in the households of faith around the country.'' In 1981, Starr advised President Ronald Reagan of O'Connor's pro-life stance and ignored her pro-choice record in the Arizona Senate.
The talk with Starr on Wednesday's program was overshadowed by a long segment in which Dobson denied receiving inside information from the White House about where Miers stands on Roe vs. Wade.

Yet again, there is another reason to worry. As the saying goes, "Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Anthony Kennedy's priest told conservatives were told, "He's a good Catholic. You have nothing to worry about." With Sandra Day O'Connor, it was, "She's solidly pro-life." Sen. John Sununu vouched for now-Justice David Souter, telling a pro-life convention that she was one of us. Now, we have one of the very same people who offered assurances about previous nominees giving us the same line. If conservatives fail to ensure that Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement is a conservative, then we deserve whatever we get. Sign the National Review petition to tell POTUS it's time to get serious about the Supreme Court and withdraw Ms. Miers.


Thanks to an illegal push by USC running back Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart managed to save USC's 27/8 game winning streak, dropping the Irish 34-31. NCAA rules prohibit players from pushing a ball-carrier into the endzone, something Reggie Bush clearly did. Equally controversial was the fumble that led to the call. Sans a fortuitous bounce, the Trojans would have left the House that Rockne Built with a loss that would have surprised only themselves. Irish coach Charlie Weis called one of the greatest games in college football history, leaving the men of Troy to rely on a few big plays on offence. The Irish held the ball for nearly 40 minutes, thus limiting USC's opportunities. The sad fact is that the game was decided by bad officiating. Thankfully, though, observers realized that, and the Irish remain in the AP top 10 and drop only to #12 in the coaches' poll. Don't be too surprised if there is a rematch in Pasadena, as the teams separating the greatest rivals in all sports face tough schedules in the latter half of the season.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Crux of the Problem

The mantra of candidate Bush was "in the mold of Scalia and Thomas". The mantra of President Bush is, "Trust me". Today, though, we have further proof that the President must not be trusted.

Apparently, President Bush took Ms. Miers' religion into account in her selection.
“People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers,” Bush told reporters at the White House. “They want to know Harriet Miers’ background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. And part of Harriet Miers’ life is her religion.”

Article VI of the Constitution clearly states, "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." It appears as though the same man who wants conservatives to trust his judgment on the judicial philosophy of someone who has no track record on constitutional issues has not read the very document that he expects her to apply. To be sure, there is nothing wrong with choosing an evangelical to serve on the Court, but a potential nominee's religion should not appear on her resume. If the President thinks that Ms. Miers' religion qualifies her for service on the Court, then he himself clearly does not understand the Constitution.

What's more, character should be a given in Supreme Court nominees. Judges are permitted to serve during good behavior. If they cannot be expected to refrain from bad behavior, then the should not be nominated in the first place. Nobody, save perhaps Dr. Dobson, actually cares about the religion of Ms. Miers. The three central issues in determining whether a person belongs on the Court are intelligence, experience, and judicial philosophy. Ms. Miers religion tells us nothing about any of those three categories, and by all indications, she is lacking in each of them. The fact that the President is reduced to emphasizing her religion clearly illustrates that he has no better arguments on the other three points. It is time for him to reconsider. Perhaps he'll be able to find time to read the Constitution before selecting the next nominee.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dobson's Fatal Mistake

You heard it here first!

Dr. James Dobson has spent far too much time in the conservative movement to be considered one of the good ol'' boys. It could be said that, when the DC establishment does the right thing, Dobson speaks for it. When the DC establishment goes awry, Dobson speaks to it. But, as with the Pope, Dobson's dedication, honesty, and humility do not make him infallible in all matters.

As I speculated earlier, Dr. Dobson has based his views on hearsay and Miers' personal views. (Hat tip: Erick at

First, because Karl Rove had shared with me her judicial philosophy which
was consistent with the promises that President Bush had made when he was
campaigning. Now he told the voters last year that he would select people to
be on the Court who would interpret the law rather than create it and judges
who would not make social policy from the bench. Most of all, the President promised to appoint people who would uphold the Constitution and not use their powers to advance their own political agenda. Now, Mr. Rove assured me
in that telephone conversation that Harriet Miers fit that description and
that the President knew her well enough to say so with complete
Then he suggested that I might want to validate that opinion by talking to people in Texas who knew Miers personally and he gave me the names of some individuals that I could call. And I quickly followed up on that conversation and got glowing reports from a federal judge in Texas, Ed Kinkeade and a Texas Supreme Court justice, Nathan Hecht, who is highly respected and has known Harriet Miers for more than 25 years. And so, we talked to him and we talked to some others who are acquainted with Ms. Miers...
What did Karl Rove say to me that I knew on Monday that I couldn't’t reveal? Well, it’s what we all know now, that Harriet Miers is an Evangelical Christian, that she is from a very conservative church, which is almost universally pro-life, that she had taken on the American Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a policy that would not be supportive of abortion, that she had been a member of the Texas Right to Life. In other words, there is a characterization of her that was given to me before the President had actually made this decision...

In fact, Dobson even said that he was not told anything that has not since been made public. Miers's supporters had hoped that when Dobson would speak out, he would tell us something that we did not already know. They hinged their hopes on Dr. Dobson, trusting his judgment. Now we see that in this case, his judgment is simply wrong. Their desperate, but understandable, attempts to believe that there must be something more that Dobson knows have now been obliterated.

The White House has nothing left. Their greatest ally, their great hope for convincing conservatives, has spoken, and the only thing that it changed is that the rest of the table now knows just how weak the White House's hand is. Conservative Senators now know that they will have nothing to hang their hats on, nothing to defend a Yea vote. It is time for Ms. Miers to do the right thing and withdraw herself.

Coalition of the Illin'

I'm a bit behind the curve on this, but MachoNachos has formed the Coalition of the Illin' in response to Patrick Ruffini's Coalition of the Unprincipled, er, Chillin'. This works nicely as e-discontent mixes with Senate discontent. Countless other blogs have similarly come out against the disaster that is the Miers nomination. Most notably, the normally excessively partisan Polipundit has come around on the nomination.

The spewing of anger on the internet should send a clear message to the White House. Those of us who take time each day out of our busy schedules to engage in this sort of activism are typically not those calling the shots. Nor are we reflective of the public at large. We are, however, involved. Some of us work professionally in politics. Others make contributions to candidates. Still others are the ones who speak at events, stamp envelopes, make phone calls, make lit drops, etc. We are the ones who make the difference in close elections. We are also the ones who are not involved in politics, by and large, because of our egos. Our reaction to the nomination suggests that Ms. Miers is not an acceptable pick and that the Party had better take us seriously. If not, the GOP will be flying solo real soon, because we'd sooner spend time with our families and other pursuits thango to the mat for people who forget us once in office.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Responding to Dobson

Dr. James Dobson is a distinguished conservative leader. He praises public officials when they do the right thing, and lets them hear from him when they veer off course. He has dedicated his life to conservative, Godly causes, and he does his homework.

Dobson spent last weekend speaking at length with people who know Ms. Miers. He spoke with her pastor, people in her Church, Karl Rove, other people at the White House, etc. It is quite understandable that he could have gained confidential information in those discussions. He could well have gained information about her policy views, her religious views, her personality, her strength, her ideology, and her reasoning. Based on what he has said publicly, it seems as though these were the areas covered in his discussions. Having researched as much as he could, Dobson reached the conclusion that Ms. Miers would make a good Supreme Court Justice. Fair enough.

Due to his history, Dobson has earned the right to have conservatives give heavy weight to his opinion. It is heartfelt and honest. He has even said that, if he is wrong, the blood of those who will lose their lives as a result will be in part on his hands. He is humble and cautious, but he thinks Ms. Miers would serve well.

Unfortunately, though, nothing that Dr. Dobson has said publicly says anything at all about her judicial philosophy. He has said nothing about her being an originalist or a textualist. He has said nothing about her views on stare decisis or the role of the Court. He has said nothing about her ability to engage in intellectual discussion with her Court colleagues. He has done nothing to refute claims that Ms. Miers is indecisive and highly subject to be swayed by pressure. He has done nothing to link her personal, and perhaps political, beliefs on abortion and whether she would overturn Roe, Griswold, and other unconstitutional decisions.

Any time a conservative finds out that he disagrees with Dobson, it is time for him to rethink his position. I have done so. I have looked a Dobson's statements, listened to him on the radio, thought carefully about his arguments, and have found nothing at all that gives me any comfort whatsoever. Dobson may well be right about Ms. Miers if she were running for political office, but the nature of the Court is very different. She is strictly bound by the laws enacted by others, and we have no way to determine how she would approach her job with that in mind. If a Supreme Court decision is unconstitutional, which governs new rulings? Does she believe in substantive due process? How expansive is her reading of the commerce clause? On these counts, Dobson offers nothing.

With all due respect to Dr. Dobson, his statements leave far too many questions to be convincing. I do not doubt that he believes that he is doing the right thing, and I cannot fault him for it. Even so, respecting Dobson does not require agreeing with him.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Connecting the Dots

Sen. Elizabeth Dole has been a colossal failure in her position as the head of the NRSC. Perhaps part of the problem is her inability to complete simple children's games. Last week, we learned that Dole has been reduced to begging her colleagues to contribute more to the Committee. Her Senate colleagues are not the reason that fundraising is lagging. There are other, more important, factors.

Now, the NRSC has begun an ad campaign to defend the most liberal member of the Senate against a more conservative challenger. Among other things, Lincoln Chafee did not vote for President Bush, opposed the Bush tax cut, and, most importantly, participated in an unprincipled agreement that compromised the Constitution by tagging the constitutionality of filibusters to the whim of 14 Senators. He is the epitome of RINO. It is because of people like him that the President had an excuse to nominate the least qualified Supreme Court nominee since Abe Fortas. Now, for no other reason than the "R" after his name, the NRSC is running ridiculous negative ads in an attempt to make it seem that Steve Laffey is the liberal in the race.

The NRSC is losing the fund race because its "Leadership" simply does not understand that donors have principle even when politicians do not. We have an agenda, not a Party. Conservative support, financial and volunteer, comes from people who view the Republican Party as a vehicle to advance conservatism, not the other way around. Until Senator Dole and the rest of the Party "Leadership" can connect these dots, they will continue to trail in fundraising, deservedly so.

Justice Miers? Not So Fast!

When John Roberts was nominated to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist, the nomination quickly became a juggernaut that could not be stopped. Republicans and Democrats realized that, while some questions remained unanswered, he had a distinguished legal career worthy of service on the Supreme Court. While my test is different, Judge Roberts clearly met the standard that Republicans have set out with their near-unanimous support of recent Supreme Court nominations by Presidents of both parties. Harriet Miers does not.

Ms. Miers can be confirmed if and only if simply being a lawyer is sufficient qualification for service on the Supreme Court. The White House has bragged about her term as head of the Texas Lottery Commission and head of the Texas Bar Association. That's all well and good, but is making sure that nobody tampers with a bunch of ping pong balls really a qualification for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court? As to the Texas Bar Assocation, a staffer close to the situation put it well when he said, "They brag about the fact that she was the head of the Texas Bar association. That doesn't make me enthusiastic. That makes me nauseous."

Thankfully, several Republican Senators have either remained silent or have made statements that indicate that Ms. Miers has something to prove, especially with regard to judicial philosophy. Republican Senators Jeff Sessions, Sam Brownback, Tom Coburn (Judiciary Committee members), Wayne Allard, George Allen, Jim Bunning, Richard Burr, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Larry Craig, Jim DeMint, Elizabeth Dole, Pete Domenici, Mike Enzi, Chuck Hagel, James Inhofe, Johnny Isakson, Trent Lott, Lisa Murkowski, Richard Shelby, Olympia Snowe, John Thune, and George Voinovich have all indicated that they simply do not know enough about Ms. Miers to make a determination at this point. Still more have not yet made any statement regarding the nomination. The fact that this sixty year old woman does not have a paper trail itself speaks volumes of her level of qualification.

Republicans control the Senate, and the White House for that matter, in no small part because voters trusted them to ensure that the Supreme Court in the future would consist of highly qualified jurists with a clear judicial philosophy. The President has failed to live up to his end of this deal. Now, Senate Republicans must step up to fulfill their responsibilities to the voters and to the Constitution by rejecting this nomination.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Democrats Smell Blood

Just two days after President Bush selected the least qualified person he could find to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Rep. Sherrod Brown has changed his mind on challenging Sen. Mike DeWine (RINO-OH). Rep. Brown is an extreme liberal, but unlike Paul Hackett, he's an establishment liberal. The left wing blogsphere is not happy about the announcement, but they apparently fail to realize that Brown offers them a much better opportunity to take the seat than Hackett. Unlike Hackett, Brown has experience winning and offers some political know-how. He will not surround himself by left-wing loonies that could inspire the conservative base to turnout in spite of their distaste for the incumbent and the rampant culture of corruption in state government.

Brown's personal situation has changed, but that is not the only reason that he entered the race. Midterm elections are, even moreso than this past election, centered on base turnout. The conservative base in Ohio will be, as William Kristol is, "disappointed, depressed and demoralized". This national sentiment of conservatives is exaggerated in Ohio because of the other problems particular to the race, some his fault, others not.

Democrats smell blood for good reason. The Republican base is fed up after having been betrayed because W selected a friend, an unqualified friend at that, for what is sadly one of the most powerful positions in the federal government. The President opened a door for the Democrats in Ohio, Missouri, Montana, and possibly Arizona with this terrible selection. If Republicans do not want to utter the words "Majority Leader Reid", then they had best fulfill their constitutional duty to reject this unqualified nominee.

The Senate's Role

When the Founders wrote the Constitution, they had the foresight to see that those put in positions of power would, like anyone else, be flawed. They further saw the potential for these flawed men to severely damage the Republic if their power was without limits. As such, they established a system of checks and balances that ensured that no one branch of the government could enjoy too much power over the other two. In this system, the President is empowered to nominate men and women to the Supreme Court. As such, he is entitled to a good deal of deference from the Senate. The Senate is not a co-nominator. Even so, the Senate has a role in ensuring that the President selects qualified nominees for service on the federal bench. In this case, the Senate must exercise its authority to reject an unqualified nominee.

The nomination of Harriet Miers is precisely the type of appointment that the Founding Fathers had in mind when they determined that the Senate should have to confirm the President's nominees. It is amazing to anybody who has been paying attention that the President managed to keep a straight face Tuesday morning when he said that Miers was the most qualified person for the position. Clearly, there were several more qualified nominees at the President's disposal: Judge Michael Luttig, Judge Samuel Alito, Judge Janice Rogers Brown, Justice Maura Corrigan, and Sen. Jon Kyl to name a few. It is impossible and unnecessary to say who would be the "most qualified" nominee, but it is easy to say that it is not Ms. Miers. In fact, she is not qualified.

On what is this statement based? There are a few simple criteria that should be used to determine whether a person is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. While not an exhaustive list, this is a rough guide:
  1. Has the person demonstrated superior legal intellect?
  2. Does the person's record demonstrate a respect for the limitations placed on the Court by the Constitution?
  3. Does the person's record demonstrate a respect for the limitations placed on the other branches of government by the Constitution?
  4. Does the person's record demonstrate that he understands that the Constitution must be applied as written rather than as the person might want it to read?
  5. Does the person's record demonstrate a proper understanding of judicial restraint, including the fact that any past decisions of the Supreme Court that departed from the Constitution exceed the Court's authority, are illegitimate, and are unworthy of respect?

For Ms. Miers, the answer each of these questions is clearly "no". Ms. Miers may well be a very nice woman. She may be highly intelligent. She may be a judicial conservative. She may be a strict constructionist. She may not be any of these things.

The federal government has only three branches and the Supreme Court has only nine members. It is far too risky to confirm a nominee who has shown none of the qualities mentioned above. Doing so would a) send a message that judicial conservatives need not apply, b) lower the bar for the Supreme Court, c) render the Senate irrelevant in the selection of Supreme Court nominees, and d) place someone who has not demonstrated the above qualities on the Court.

If you agree, please take a moment to contact the following conservatives on the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask them to oppose the confirmation of Harriet Miers: Sen. Sam Brownback, Sen. Tom Coburn, Sen. Jon Kyl, and Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

You Bet Your Life?

For anyone whose support for the GOP depends largely on its opposition to abortion, or other social issues for that matter, that is the question to ask yourself. Are you willing to bet your life that Harriet Miers is in the mold of Scalia and Thomas? If the answer to that question is no, then why are you willing to bet the lives of tens of millions not yet born? Why are you willing to bet marriage? Why are you willing to bet religious freedom? Why are you willing to bet continued domination of public policy by unelected tyrants in robes?

I am the first to say that it should not be that way. Laws should be presumed constitutional while judges determine whether the application thereof passes constitutional muster. Nobody should hear about what the Court does, much less care, because its rulings should apply only to the parties involved. We need judges willing to say that the emperor is buck naked, because the status quo is a far cry from what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.

Given the current situation, though, we must at least have Justices who respect some limits on the Court. They must understand that the Constitution is not a list of recommendations but a binding legal contract. Only two of the current justices understand this and act accordingly. A third may, but we do not yet know. As a result, the Court has unilaterally amended the Constitution, adding a "right to privacy", a "right to abortion", a "right to sodomy", "freedom from religion", and a "right to repossess private property" for any purpose. These are no small matters and go to the heart of who were are as a country. Sadly, there is no chance of the other two branches enforcing the limitations on the judiciary, so we must find justices whom we can trust to adhere strictly to the Constitution without the other branches exercising their checks and balances. So ask yourself, "Am I willing to bet my life on Harriet Miers?" I have my answer. What's yours?

Thanks George

As conservatives - real conservatives, not President Bush - lament the selection of an unqualified, untested, (judicially) unknown White House Counsel Harriet Miers, Gary Miller over at KvM begins the discussion of just how much of a political disaster this is for the Republicans who will face voters next year. When people who were never involved in politics before started taking time out of their busy lives to drop leaflets, make phone calls, and stuff envelopes for Governor/President Bush, they did so based largely on his campaign promise to select Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. So the question is, which one is Harriet Miers, Scalia or Thomas?

Prior to this nomination, the Democrats has about as much chance of retaking the Senate as President Bush had of translating Aristotle's Metaphysics from the Greek. Now, though, the Democrats have gone from having zero chance to having about a 50% chance depending on just how badly things go on the Roberts Court.

Here's a broader look at the races that have changed as a result of the nomination:

  1. Pennsylvania - Let there be no doubt that the blame for this selection rests squarely on the shoulders of "conservative hero" Rick Santorum. During the primary, Santorum cut ads for Specter and threatened Toomey backers, knowing full well that Sen. Specter would be the problem that he turned out to be. During the first round of questioning for Judge Roberts, Specter spent 28 of his 30 minutes promoting his pro-abortion litmus test. That is one of the reasons that the President felt the need to steer clear of well qualified, well established, well known judicial conservatives. Santorum was in trouble before this selection. Now? Stick a fork in him, he's done, and deservedly so. Lean Democrat to Safe Democrat.
  2. Ohio - The President's selection shows just how damaging the G-14 agreement was. Rather than needing 50 votes + the Vice President, POTUS needed 60. Thanks Mike! Since the Democrats will likely nominate a far left Kos Kandidate, DeWine's not dead, but he's still very sick. Lean Republican to Lean Democrat.
  3. Minnesota - Rep. Mark Kennedy sadly looks to be one of the innocent victims of this disaster. Western neighbor Sen. John Thune has been cautious in his comments, but he will not face the voters for another five years. Through no fault of his own, Kennedy's chances have been severely, if not fatally, damaged by the pick. In a state that's as purple as they come, every voter counts. In 2004, 24% of voters based their votes on "Moral Values". POTUS carried them 77-21. With the exception of terrorism, that was the most decisive issue in favor of the President. If the 24% drops to 20%, the Democrats will save a seat that should have been ours'. Toss-up to Likely Democrat.
  4. Missouri - Sen. Jim Talent, a strong conservative, expressed trust in the President but did say that her record needs to be thoroughly vetted. Should he determine that she would not apply consistent jurisprudence, he may vote against her. State Auditor Claire McCaskill declared her candidacy in rural Houston, MO, an attempt to reach out to voters who vote Republican on values issues. With values issues neutralized, these voters are more likely to either stay home or, worse, vote on farm subsidies. Talent was a heavy favorite. That is no longer the case. Likely Republican to Lean Republican/Toss-up.
  5. West Virginia - Sen. Dole had already blown this one, first by going after a candidate who could not capitalize on the very values issues that have shifted the state into the Republican column at the Presidential level, then by not getting her. Hopefully Gale Catlett will challenge Sen. Byrd. Even if he does, voters now see that the difference between the parties on social issues is not sufficient to give up on Senator Pork. Likely Democrat to Safe Democrat.
  6. Montana - Sen. Conrad Burns is a good conservative, but it's not his social conservatism - save guns - that got him to Washington. The nomination hurts Burns on the margins, but in a state as small as his, any revolt is a bad thing. Likely Republican to Likely/Lean Republican.
  7. Nebraska - Incumbents seldom lose. When they do, it's usually the perfect storm of red state/blue Senator or blue Senator/red state, a good candidate, and Presidential popularity/unpopularity. The first criterion is fine. Dole blew the second, making Nelson's reelection prospects better than they needed to be. Now the President has let down the voters who make Nebraska beat red. Republicans had a fair chance before the nomination. That is no longer the case. Lean Democrat to Likely Democrat.
  8. Florida - Rep. Katherine Harris was in bad shape before Miers. Now she's done. The big split in the last Senate race was between those who attended church services weekly or more and those who did not. Martinez won a squeaker on the strength of those who attended weekly or more, 36% of voters, by a 2:1 margin. Will a Presidential capitulation on the most important issue to those voters reduce their proportion of voters by 10%? Count on it. Likely Democrat to Safe Democrat.
  9. Michigan - Rev. Keith Butler is a third-tier candidate. If he was to have any chance against Sen. Stabenow, he had to win union members on social issues. With the Miers choice, that won't happen. Likely Democrat to Safe Democrat.
  10. Arizona - Sen. Kyl won't likely lose. Even with a Democrat Governor, the state is deep red and not changing any time soon. With the issue of judicial tyranny on issues like abortion and gay marriage, though, this definitely hurts Kyl's ability to reach out to Hispanics on values issues. Kyl has a chance to save this opportunity by holding Miers' feet to the fire during the confirmation hearings and voting against her if she fails to convince conservatives that she is not in the mold of justices Scalia and Thomas.

James Carville often says, "If you see your opponent drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil." Instead, the President threw Schumer & Co. a lifeline.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush's Court

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Shock and Awe

The first three Irish wins of the season were due largely to the Irish ground game, but today belonged to Brady Quinn. Quinn went 29/36 for 440 yards with three touchdowns, picking the Purdue Boilermakers apart like a turkey on Thanksgiving. In doing so, he became only the third quarterback in Irish history to throw for 400+ yards in three career games. The hustle play of the game was made by Chinedum Ndukwe, who chased down running back Kory Sheets after a 38 yard gain, stopping him on the one yard line. On the following play, linebacker Brandon Hoyte caused a Jerod Void fumble, which was recovered by Irish cornerback Mike Richardson. The Irish then drove 98 yards for a touchdown, extending the lead to 14-0. That 14-point swing changed the game and from that point on, the outcome was never in doubt. The Irish now have two weeks to prepare for Southern California, to whom we have lost by 31 points in each of our last three meetings. Should USC drop Arizona as expected next week, that will be the game of the young century. Go Irish!