The Moose praises a Solon.
It is not often that a politician from either party surprises the conventional wisdom and votes his conscience even though it could carry a political price. The ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee did just that yesterday when he indicated that he would support the President's nominee for Chief Justice. Senator Leahy pleasantly and bravely defied the special interests and indicated that he would support Roberts. It was act of genuine courage and strategic sagacity.
Senator Leahy performed a great service for the Democrats, as they will now have enhanced credibility to oppose the next Bush nominee for the more consequential vacancy. It will be far more difficult for the elephant to claim that the donkey is crying wolf if the party opposes the nominee for the O'Connor vacancy.
Senator Leahy perhaps has the far-fetched dream that one day a Democrat may actually occupy the Oval Office. That Democratic President may offer nominees for Supreme Court vacancies. And the Senator smartly understands that it would be folly to make it near impossible to garner any future Republican support for such a nominee or set a standard for approval that is impossible to meet.
No doubt, Senator Leahy will be pilloried by the interest groups and the blogosphere for his brave action. They will call him a "sell-out" or even worse - the cruder among them could even hurl a Cheneyism. He might even have to endure the praise of a few Republicans.
The Moose urges the Senator to wear the opprobrium as a badge of honor. In an environment where statesmen are an endangered species, he committed an act of statesmanship.
Bully for him! --