While today’s Hamdan decision gives conservatives reason for despair, there is reason to believe that it could have good electoral effects. The damage done by the Court may be undone by Congress by simple legislation, and press releases already issued by Senators Cornyn, Graham, and Kyl make clear that they plan to do just that. In response to any legislation, expect the usual suspects from the left to hyperventilate about how Congress is stomping on the Geneva Convention. And the more they hyperventilate, the more the American people will distrust Democrats about national security issues.
Given recent scandals and stagnant poll numbers, the Democrats seemed to have an opportunity to capitalize in some measure in the coming elections. But their consistent overreaction on national defense issues (witness the recent cut-and-run bills) will prevent them from succeeding. And so, ironically, by celebrating too boisterously about the Supreme Court’s decision today and by resisting any attempt to reverse its bad effects, liberals may very well create the political conditions necessary to appoint more conservatives to the high court.