August 29, 2007

Obama Picks Political Expediency Over Principle on Roberts Nomination

Excuse me, but wasn’t Obama supposed to be, as one of his friends puts it in an article in Monday’s Washington Post, “a new kind of politician?” Wasn’t he supposed to unite the country and lead us all into a new era of bi-partisanship in which we all hold hands and sing politically correct songs about diversity and tolerance?

Apparently, not.

According to the article Obama was actually ready to vote for the nomination of John Roberts until he was disabused of that silly notion by his veteran political consigliere and chief of staff, Pete Rouse. According to the Post, “[Obama] expressed admiration for Roberts's intellect. Besides, Obama said, if he were president he wouldn't want his judicial nominees opposed simply on ideological grounds.”

That sounds fair, reasonable and logical to me. But Rouse, who has been working inside the Beltway since Obama was in grade school, knew that Obama’s thinking was naïve:

“This was no Harvard moot-court exercise, [Rouse] said. If Obama voted for Roberts, Rouse told him, people would remind him of that every time the Supreme Court issued another conservative ruling, something that could cripple a future presidential run. Obama took it in. And when the roll was called, he voted no.”

Is kowtowing to Ralph Neas, Nan Aron and the extreme left-wing of the Democratic base part of the politics of hope?