Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 18, 2009

CONSERVATIVES VS. HAMILTON?.... President Obama will nominate District Court Judge David Hamilton of Indiana for the 7th Circuit with the big picture in mind. Hamilton, widely considered a judicial moderate, was chosen in part because his confirmation should be easy. A White House official said this week, "We would like to put the history of the confirmation wars behind us." Support for Hamilton from Indiana's conservative Republican senator, Richard Lugar, helps make this far more likely.

The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody reports today, however, that the religious right is, naturally, outraged by the choice.

Maybe the Obama administration should have nominated George Hamilton instead of David F. Hamilton. The hollywood actor may have an easier time at confirmation.... The conservative judicial groups believe President Obama's first judicial pick is a hard left liberal. [...]

Part of the problem on Hamilton is that there is a lot of red meat topics here. When you rule on sensitive issues like abortion and separation of church and state it becomes a magnet for conservative groups to galvanize against you. Let's face it. If he had some liberal ruling on an anti-trust case the yawn factor would be huge. But people pay more attention on abortion rulings.

Stay tuned. This thing may get ugly.

It might get ugly, but I kind of doubt it. Religious right complaints make Hamilton's confirmation far less likely? Not if recent history is any guide.

These same conservative activists pulled out all the stops to derail the nomination of David Ogden, the president's choice as deputy attorney general. The far-right groups made it seem as if things would "get ugly," but Ogden was confirmed, 62 to 28. (The Family Research Council, arguably the religious right movement's "powerhouse" in D.C., said it would "score" the vote on Ogden. It didn't make any difference.)

Likewise, the movement said under no circumstances could John McCain be the Republicans' presidential nominee. No one cared. It said Michael Steele was the wrong person to become RNC chairman. No one cared. It thought it could rally opposition to the Ogden nomination. No one cared. It thought it could derail Sebelius' HHS nomination, only to find its Senate allies endorse her.

Now the religious right groups are livid over the Hamilton judicial nomination. I suspect they're wasting their time again.

Steve Benen 10:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (12)

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Any push back on moderate nominees will just make their arguments appear stale the next time around. Hopefully they won't keep their powder dry.

Posted by: tomj on March 18, 2009 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

As the fringe Talibaptists and other Lunatic rligious groups slowly fade into insignifigance...and not a minute too soon.
Quick someone send them a news flash ..Bush no longer in Office...Cheney reduced to crying on Faux with Glenn Beck

Posted by: John R on March 18, 2009 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

David Brody's "uber-Sithish" thought processes operate on one meager line of xenophobic logic: If I didn't personally pick you, then you are my enemy....

Posted by: Steve W. on March 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that if they continue to act like every Obama nominee is the anti-christ, then no one will take them seriously when they really oppose somebody.
And I really don't know why they would expect a President who clearly supports abortion and gay rights to appoint judges who don't, anymore than they would expect Bush to appoint pro-choice judges. You lost, deal with it.
The courts are already filled with wingnuts as it is.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on March 18, 2009 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Stay tuned. This thing may get ugly.

I think that when the religious right gets involved with a political issue, it's by definition ugly. Just not the way they think it is.

Posted by: RSA on March 18, 2009 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I don't understand why Obama proposes moderates when the nutcases are going to call anyone they nominate a "hard left liberal" anyway. They might as well actually nominate hard left liberals so at least the christian right will be honest in their bitching.

Posted by: Shalimar on March 18, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Now the religious right groups are livid over the Hamilton judicial nomination. I suspect they're wasting their time again."

God willing.

Posted by: smartalek on March 18, 2009 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

The fundies can't be too happy right now, as it's obvious the Republican Party has chosen John Galt over Jesus Christ.

Posted by: dr sardonicus on March 18, 2009 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Picking Hamilton as the candidate for his first court nomination looks like an ingenious move by Obama. Some more failed nomination crusades by the true believers may end up inocculating the whole process against their railing.

Actually, I suspect that some in the Christian right may see that danger, but the vast majority in the movement just can't help itself.

Posted by: SRW1 on March 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Seems like just last November we had an election in which the Religious Right was proven entirely irrelevant. Stay tuned my ass, these people have been "ugly" since Reagan was president, let's get these appointments through and let the uglies cry in their grape juice, hopefully quietly and far away.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on March 18, 2009 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has gone back to the practice -- totally abandoned by Bush, much to the disgust of all sane citizens -- of consulting ABA and actually considering their recommendations. Which makes perfect sense, since ABA knows more about the quality of their lawyers than the religious right does. Separation of church and state and all that jazz -- ABA doesn't pronounce on matters religious and the religious right should stay from pronouncing on matters litigious.

Posted by: exlibra on March 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hey !!
Maybe Evan Bayh and his Bue Dogs can Straighten this out

They'll bring solutions to the table

Right, Evan ??

Maybe you could get on TV !!

Posted by: MSierra, SF on March 18, 2009 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK



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