Andrew Hyman, at ConfirmThem.com, takes issue with my claim that “the mistreatment of one or two nominees does not make a campaign issue.” The reason for my claim is that the treatement of one or two lower-court nominees is sufficiently below the radar to be irrelevant for most campaigns. One of the reasons the judge issue worked in 2002 and 2004 was because there was large number of nominees who were being slowed down — at one point ten judicial nominees were being filibustered. This transformed the issue from an inside-baseball fight over a single nominee (or two), to a pattern of obstructionist conduct by one party in the Senate. Thus, I maintain, if there is not a backlog of nominees awaiting confirmation due to Democratic opposition, it will be difficult to motivate many voters on the issue.
To understand the American gun-control debate, you have to understand the fundamentally different starting positions of the two sides. Among conservatives, there is the broad belief that the right to own a weapon for self-defense is every bit as inherent and unalienable as the right to speak freely or practice ... Read More