Friday, June 20, 2008

McCain tells Hillary supporters he was for Breyer and Ginsberg?

It's one thing to be a maverick, and another to be a total apostate (although whether McCain was EVER loyal to conservatism is debatable).

Johnny Mac reportedly met privately with Hillary supporters at his Virginia headquarters and, in response to a question about judges, said "he supported Bill Clinton with both Ginsberg and Breyer."

Although it is true that Ginsberg was confirmed by a Senate vote of 96 to 3 and Breyer in an 87 to 9 vote, it is jaw dropping that McCain would say, in 2008 and after Obama voted against John Roberts' appointment, that he supported the appointment of these two judges.

Ginsberg, co-founder of the Women's Rights Project at the ACLU, claimed that the Boy Scouts perpetuate stereotyped sex roles, so they must be gender-integrated or abolished. "Midshipman" should be changed to "midshipperson", and so on. Just two weeks before she gave opening remarks at a lecture series co-sponsored by the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund and to which she lent her name, as a sitting Supreme Court Justice she had supported the side promoted by this feminist lobby group in its friend-of-the-court brief.

Yesterday, the USSC decided in favour of the US Chamber of Commerce against union interests by a 7 to 2 vote. The two dissenters? Ginsberg and Breyer.

What, again, is the point of voting for McCain? To send a message to everyone who has waited patiently to immigrate legally to the USA that they should have entered illegally since they would ultimately be granted an amnesty in the end? To support someone who on Iraq and militarism generally has stood with the Bush neo-cons against paleo-cons like Pat Buchanan? To have a President who explodes in inarticulate rage on a regular basis? An Obama Presidency would be very well received internationally, and although international opinion, along with the opinions of Obama's key American constituencies (blacks, youth, and the educated) must be rejected if Obama's wrong on the issues, if that's to be done it should be crystal clear that Obama is, in fact, wrong. With Obama's recent excellent speech on fatherhood and his backing away from the anti-NAFTA rhetoric, there is reason to believe he might give more heed to moderating voices, like Austan Goolsbee on economic policy, than his Chicago activist days might suggest.

Now, it could be that Will Bower, the source of this McCain quote on judges, is less than totally reliable. As the Ben Smith blog post notes, he's the founder of PUMA ( "Party Unity, My A$$"), and (as claimed by fivethirtyeight)

On Wednesday, Bower attended Larry Sinclair's press conference, saw Sinclair literally accuse Obama of murder, saw Sinclair's lawyer wearing a kilt, saw Sinclair flee the room after the press conference because he was moments away from being arrested, and came away saying that Sinclair's story was "worth exploring".

UPDATE:

Bower now says on fivethirtyeight's comment section that

McCain said that he wants more justices like *Roberts* and *O'Connor*. He did not say that he *wants* justices like Ginsburg and Breyer. He simply stated that he supported Bill Clinton's authority to nominate justices, and that he (McCain) felt that Ginsberg and Breyer were far too qualified to be rejected for any ideological reasons.

This suggests that the Straight Talk Express hasn't completely derailed (and if there are further reliability questions, they'd likely be better put to Ben Smith than Bowers). McCain's suggestion elsewhere that Alito was too brazenly conservative for him, which I've noted earlier, indicate that a preference for Roberts and O'Connor is entirely plausible, especially before an audience of Clintonites. That he would prefer O'Connor to a Scalia is not going to impress conservatives, of course, but at least he voted for Roberts, which Obama did not. That Obama was unwilling to extend to Roberts what McCain was willing to extend to Ginsberg and Breyer certainly supports the argument that McCain is more centrist and bipartisan than Obama.

And McCain remains fundamentally more correct on some important policy issues.

2 comments:

Will Bower said...

Hello, Brian.

I'm the "Will Bower" you mention in your piece.

Just to give you a clearer picture, McCain had *so* much more to say about the Supreme Court. However, only my one little statement got any attention.

McCain said that he wants more justices like *Roberts* and *O'Connor*.

He did not say that he *wants* justices like Ginsburg and Breyer.

He simply stated that he supported Bill Clinton's authority to nominate justices, and that he (McCain) felt that Ginsburg and Breyer were far too qualified to be rejected for any ideological reasons.

As I'm sure you are aware, this age of sound bites is bewilderlingly amazing!

Thank you,

Will Bower
PUMA

Brian Dell said...

Thanks for your first hand clarification, which is something that is difficult to include or get in traditional media.

I've edited my post to indicate that any remaining doubts about your account of McCain's comments would be better applied to accounts of your account.

One can see in this case how the more sensational but less accurate in terms of context can be seized on while the more accurate but less interesting is ignored.