January 31, 2005


Democrats flash steel on Gonzales: Their opposition, to the point of alienating Hispanics, offers a preview of likely fight over judicial nominations. (Gail Russell Chaddock, 1/31/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

This week's expected face-off on the nomination of Alberto Gonzales to be the next US attorney general signals how aggressively Democrats on Capitol Hill will oppose the White House - even at the risk of alienating Hispanic supporters.

Long rumored to be a candidate for a Supreme Court vacancy, Mr. Gonzales enjoys broad support in the Hispanic community. His personal story - up from a humble home with seven siblings and no running water - is inspiring, and his confirmation would mark the first time a Latino has held a top cabinet position.

Hispanic groups ranging from the National Council of La Rasa, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Hispanic National Bar Association back the nominee. "This is a milestone for the community," says Lisa Navarrete, a spokeswoman for La Rasa.

Maybe George Bush and Karl Rove are evil geniuses. Getting the Democrats to torch their remaining ties to Latinos when all it would get them is a more conservative AG certainly smacks of Machiavellian brilliance.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2005 11:43 PM

The Dems have the long range strategic vision of suicide bomber.

Posted by: LUCIFEROUS at January 31, 2005 3:54 PM

Who would have thought back in early 2000 that the Democrats would be battling tooth and nail to rip "The Stupid Party" label away from the Republicans' grasp after all these many years...

Posted by: John at January 31, 2005 3:55 PM

The Dems have the long range strategic vision of suicide bomber. But perhaps it's just their inner swine emerging under stress. Who thinks there ever was any affection between the apparat and the supporting client groups? And now that the whole edifice is imploding why should the apparat not disdain the clients for their failure to prevent the disaster?

Posted by: LUCIFEROUS at January 31, 2005 4:00 PM

I don't mind if he goes down.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 31, 2005 5:07 PM

I think he should be defeated by Republicans and Democrats (although for the life of me I don't know why the Democrats would not want him) All indications have been that he is a typical liberal. Got where he is now thru affirmative action. First Air Force academy (where he washed out) then Rice University, and Harvard. He opposes parental notification in cases where a minor seeks an abortion. He's supported affirmative action at the U. of Texas law school.

And according to the article he advised, then Texas governor Bush, "not to follow the lead of California's Proposition 187 by cutting off illegals from public services, including education for their children" and even after all that Bush couldn't even get a majority of the Mexican vote in Texas in the 2004 race. I say dump him.

Posted by: h-man at January 31, 2005 6:18 PM


National Review summed up Gonzalez pretty well when they said he was unburdened by any particular political ideology except loyalty to the president (admittedly, this is an odd way for a conservative magazine to phrase things, since conservatives are supposed to dislike "ideology").

So the Democrats are gonna alienate the Hispanic community and reject a moderate a.g. nominee with a popular rags-to-riches storyline just to spite Bush? The president deserves a ton of credit for his accomplishments, but we shouldn't overlook the fact that the opposition has gone plum loco.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at January 31, 2005 7:49 PM

"...smacks of Machiavellian brilliance."
Oh, I don't know. I don't count outsmarting Dems as any great feat these days.

They always behaved like this, but were able to survive by dint of their fellow travelers in the media. They haven't quite grasped that things are different in the Net age.

Posted by: Tom at January 31, 2005 7:55 PM

It's a ploy by the Dems to get him rejected as Attorney General so Bush will then name him to the next open Supreme Court seat where he can "grow in office" the way Souter, Kennedy and O'Connor have.

The Dems never relied on any cunning, but instead on the Stupid Party's uncanny ability to capitulate just as it was starting to win (see 1995 budget battles, or Bush the Elder and taxes), and the brute force bludgeon of controlling the agenda via their toadies at the major media outlets. What we are seeing is, like the Soviet Union, just how weak they really are once the lose control.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 1, 2005 2:28 AM

No GOP senator (except that idiot Chafee perhaps) will cross the President on this. The President would consider it a personal insult. So, the Dems have no hope. This makes their decision to alinate Latinos not just misguided, but insane.

Posted by: Bob at February 1, 2005 9:55 AM

This is a peculiar strategy but not unheard of for the Dems. In their headlong pursuit of middle class social liberals, the Dems jettisoned organized labor around 1972. Thus, there hasn't been a serious debate about economic policy since early Reagan years. This decision enabled the Dems to cement their grasp on Hollywood money and MSM support, neither group was ever warm to organized labor. It got Carter elected, and it got the Clintons elected and it helped to maintain the Dems grasp on power to 1994 in Congress.

Today, the Dems look at the political battlefield and reach for the Pepto. They see that they are parsecs away from getting power in Congress, that in fact the GOP margins are going to increase. There is a solid 250 EVs that will go GOP in the Presidential race, provided they don't nominate Pat Buchanan or David Duke. Corporate money, a major source of Dem contributions, follows power only. If the Dems have no power, they get no corporate money. So, the Dems are stuck.

The GOP nominates Gonzalez. He is opposed by the usual suspects like the Hollywood Left, the gays, the peaceniks, the womyns groups, etc. The Dems can either support or oppose him. If they support him, they risk alienating their only economic lifeline left, the usual suspects. They've abandoned organized labor and the corporate money is fleeing to the GOP. Jewish money is about evenly split between the parties. If they oppose him, they risk alienating Hispanic voters of whom they got 60% last time.

They probably did the following calculation. If we support Gonzalez, the Emily's List types and the trust fund armchair Bolsheviks will cut back on the campaign funds, leaving us high and dry. If we oppose Gonzalez, that 60-40 becomes no worse than 35-65 or even 40-60. There aren't that many Hispanic votes, the total number of votes is about the same size as the Jewish vote. So, the loss isn't that huge. Not many Puerto Ricans or Dominicans will switch votes and California isn't remotely in play so we can afford it.

Posted by: Bart at February 1, 2005 10:39 AM

Chasing the money killed Howard Dean.

Posted by: oj at February 1, 2005 11:12 AM

Politicians chase after money like Mini-Me after chocolate.

Posted by: Bart at February 1, 2005 11:38 AM

Mr. Ortega:

They don't think that far ahead. They nominated Kerry, for Chrissakes.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 1, 2005 2:27 PM