Bench Memos

Re: Harry Reid

As Kathryn anticipated, Harry Reid has announced his intention to vote against Judge Roberts’s confirmation. Reid is the nominal leader of the Senate Democrats and generally more moderate than all but a handful of them, but it’s an open secret in the Senate that he has no real influence. The fact that he has been forced by the Left to oppose Roberts makes it reasonable to expect that 35 to 40 Democrats will vote against Roberts.

Reid did make clear that he would oppose a filibuster. That’s too bad, as a filibuster would provide a good opportunity to eliminate the obstructionist tactics of a party that has proven itself unfit for governance.

By the way, I’m grateful to Reid for making me a prophet. In late July, nine days after Roberts was nominated, I offered this set of predictions:

1. By a large margin, the American public will recognize that Roberts deserves confirmation.

2. Left-wing groups will nonetheless push Senate Democrats to vote against Roberts, so he will probably receive no more than 60-70 votes in favor of his confirmation.

3. The American public will therefore increasingly understand that Senate Democrats are not reasonable and will discount their screeching about the next nominee.

4. The next nominee, no matter how conservative, will not be perceived as markedly more conservative (or less deserving of confirmation) than the John Roberts that Americans come to know from the documents that are made available.

Most Popular

PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

How Democrats Can Blow It in 2020

Donald Trump probably can’t win the 2020 presidential election, but the Democrats can lose it. What I mean is that in a contest between Trump and a generic Democrat, Trump would almost surely lose if the current political climate holds through 2020. According to a Fox News poll this week, 38 percent of ... Read More
Film & TV

Clint Eastwood’s Unforgettable Curtain Call

At 88, Clint Eastwood seldom appears on screen anymore and last acted in a movie in 2012’s mediocre Trouble with the Curve. So the final images of The Mule may be the last we see of him at the movies. If so, what an exit: understated perfection, with a playful hint of subverting his screen image. The Mule is ... Read More