Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 5, 2005
BLOG: Quick Links 10/5/05

*Duff McKagan of Guns n' Roses goes back to school to get an education in finance (via Kevin Cott). This does't sound like fun:

McKagan's drug abuse was so severe that his pancreas exploded, causing third-degree burns inside his intestines and stomach.

*Lileks: "Calling the contractors to find out why no one showed up is never as cathartic as you think it will be."

*Harriet Miers, Number 67.

*This would be a tough test to have to take for a clerkship.

*Kevin Drum makes sense on why the Democrats need the middle more than Republicans do. He quotes EJ Dionne:

According to the network exit polls, 21 percent of the voters who cast ballots in 2004 called themselves liberal, 34 percent said they were conservative and 45 percent called themselves moderate.

Drum, writing before the confirmation of Roberts and the Miers nomination:

These numbers have been rock steady for decades, and their meaning is simple: energizing the base just isn't enough for Democrats. Even if every hardcore liberal in the country votes Democratic, we have to win about three-quarters of the moderates to gain a majority. That means we have to win support pretty far into the conservative end of that moderate center, and people like that simply aren't going to respond to anti-war rallies and screaming campaigns against John Roberts.

This is one reason I haven't blogged much about Roberts. The liberal blogosphere has made opposition to Roberts practically a litmus test of "getting it," of understanding that liberals can play every bit as hard as conservatives. But you know what? It's the netroots that doesn't get it. They think unyielding opposition to Roberts shows how tough we are, but what most Americans see - including all those moderates whose votes we need - is a guy who seems conservative, but also mild mannered, intelligent, and well qualified. It's true that he took nonresponsiveness to whole new levels during his confirmation hearings, but let's face it: that particular Kabuki dance started after Robert Bork flamed out spectactularly for being a little too forthcoming to Senate questioners. Roberts just refined it a bit.

The fact is, by every previous standard of Supreme Court nominees, Roberts is well qualified for his position. Is he conservative? Of course he is. But that's because the American public elected a conservative president and a conservative Senate. If we want better nominees, that's what needs to change.

And the way to change that is to change the minds of centrist voters who are tiring of George Bush and the Republican party but still wary of Democrats. They may say they're fed up with Bush, but when it comes time to pull the lever on election day they also need to feel like it's safe to vote for a Democrat. Right now they still don't.

Of course, the corollary is that the GOP needs its base more than the Democrats do - which is something Bush seems to have forgotten with the Miers nomination. I'm not sure which is the more depressing possibility: that Bush, Cheney and Rove didn't know that this nomination would provoke a furious reaction from the base (which was entirely predictable), or that they didn't care. It was one thing to blow off the base on an issue like steel tarriffs, which are pretty small potatos to most people and could be explained in terms of obvious political benefits. But the Supreme Court is, for a large segment of the GOP, the #1 or #2 issue in presidential elections, often trailing only national security and/or taxes.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:45 AM | Blog 2002-05 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Bush, Cheney and Rove didn't know that this nomination would provoke a furious reaction from the base (which was entirely predictable), or that they didn't care.

My money's on "don't care."

Posted by: Mr Furious at October 5, 2005 10:03 AM

you might be confused about who the base is....

Posted by: anon at October 5, 2005 12:31 PM

Wow, that trivia quiz Boggs gives potential clerk definitely helps keep your ego in check. I didn't add up my score but it wasn't good.

Posted by: LargeBill at October 5, 2005 1:34 PM

That test is brutal. Even my dad who is a 70 year old English prof and therefore could nail all the literary questions would still get a failing grade. Who passes that thing?

Posted by: jim at October 5, 2005 2:01 PM

danno,

Regarding the trivia quiz, answer to #10 is incorrect. 1 in 1024 is the right probability. 512 for 9 flips. Ken from Jepordy would fail that trivia test.

jt


Posted by: jt at October 5, 2005 2:35 PM

The answer to #10 is 1 in 512. Since it only says the coin has to land on the same side (not 10 straight heads/tails) the first toss would be 100%, then the 1/10^9, giving you 1 in 512. Damn trick questions.

Posted by: cse at October 5, 2005 7:30 PM
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