Sunday, June 12, 2005

Jeffrey Rosen on 'The Deal'

In the NY Times Magazine, Jeffrey Rosen of George Washington University has an article called Center Court that opines on the recent compromise that's been mentioned just a time or two in these parts. Rosen starts out promisingly enough:

Within hours of the compromise reached by a bipartisan group of senators last month that defused, or at least delayed, a showdown on judicial filibusters, interest groups on the right and the left were denouncing the deal in the most aggrieved terms. ''Is there anybody on our side who is happy?'' Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice, told The Times. Paul Weyrich, founder of the conservative Free Congress Foundation, was even angrier about the deal. ''Conservatives are going to be outraged over it,'' he predicted.

Yet even as interest groups were bemoaning the fact that a handful of centrists had narrowly prevented the Senate from blowing itself up, the country as a whole was applauding the compromise.
That sounds like a true member of the Coalition. Unfortunately, the promising beginning quickly goes awry, as Rosen begins to wax eloquent about moderate judges.

I don't think Rosen is drawing the right conclusions here. The compromise was not about moderate judges, but rather moderation in apocalyptic rhetoric. In fact, as a true-blue conservative, I would argue that the compromise enabled not only more conservative judges than would have otherwise been the case, but indeed judges who were more conservative individually.

In short, the deal was a disaster for the Left, and a huge win for the Right, as subsequent events have shown. We gave up literally nothing at all, and already five judges sit on the bench in a matter of days, after years of inaction, and it's not because the judges were moderate - far from it. Remember, even if the Democrats resort again to the filibuster, they were already doing that, and nothing at all prevents us from going nuclear in the future when the stakes are higher. That's what I call victory.

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