Using Bees To Effect Vengeance
Friday, July 01, 2005
Mark Schmitt on The O'Connor Vacancy (sounds like a Ludlum novel):
"What we saw with the recent circuit court nominations, especially Janice Rogers Brown and Priscila Owen, is that the social conservatism, which we can take for granted in any Bush nominee, is the packaging by which a nomination is sold to the base. Inside the package, the content is usually a radical libertarian economic philosophy that should make religious conservatives uncomfortable. The challenge in the next nomination will be to open the package and show the contents, rather than getting distracted by the wrapping. That's the first nomination fight of the 21st century."
Interesting stuff as usual, but my concern is that social conservatives are social conservatives precisely because social issues are more important to them than economic ones. Therefore they will make that tradeoff every time --especially if they think Roe v. Wade is going to get overturned. Conversely some economic conservatives may be (for instance) pro-choice, but that issue isn't as important to them as (for instance) lower taxes or reduced regulation is. That's the tradeoff they've accepted -- otherwise they wouldn't be Republicans at all.
The Republican party is a marriage of convenience, whereby social conservatives and economic conservatives trade away their second tier priorities to maximize the chances of realizing their first tier priorities. It has served them both very well.
Roe v. Wade is obviously going to be the focus for a while. I don't know what's going to happen, but I recommend reading this contrarian take from a liberal on why overturning Roe v Wade wouldn't be so bad. It originally ran in The Atlantic, but I'm linking to a reprinting on a Democratic blog since they've archived the legit version....
Anyone who has read the opinion knows that Roe v. Wade exhibits flat-out dodgy reasoning and is a very slim reed on which to hang abortion rights. Hopefully we can do better.
Update: for economic conservatives above, feel free to switch out "defense hawks" etc....the point remains.
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