I'm amazed at all the preparation and money and thought and blood and sweat and tears that went into prepared for a Supreme Court nomination, and that this is the best we can come up with so far:
A prominent abortion rights group launched a television ad yesterday that accuses Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. of siding with violent extremists and a convicted clinic bomber while serving in the solicitor general's office, an accusation that Roberts's supporters immediately condemned as a flagrant distortion.
The ad, sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice America, focuses on Roberts's role in a case involving whether a 19th-century anti-Ku Klux Klan statute could be used to shut down blockades of health clinics by abortion protesters. The solicitor general's office filed a friend-of-the-court brief siding with the clinic protesters, including Operation Rescue. The high court ruled 6 to 3 against the health clinics in January 1993.
I'm of two minds about this. I'm one of the ones always complaining that the left is not shrill enough, that we don't fight dirty enough, and that republicans have a tactical advantage because they're so unscrupulous. But when our side runs an ad that says this,
"Supreme Court nominee John Roberts filed court briefs supporting violent fringe groups and a convicted clinic bomber," the ad states. The ad concludes by saying, "America can't afford a justice whose ideology leads him to excuse violence against other Americans."
something that doesn't seem to be true, I get really pissed off. There's no evidence that Roberts excuses violence against other Americans, or that Roberts' brief (did he actually write it? it's not clear from the article) is his actual opinion.
This is rhetoric worthy of republicans. All you have to do is change some of the wording and you end up with the-left-wants-to-blame-America-first style rhetoric. It's pointless. It doesn't contribute to our political discourse. It doesn't tell you anything about John Roberts. And it certainly won't defeat his candidacy.
What it will do is provoke a round of the who-can-feign-outrage-more-convincingly game and ignore the real issues. With friends like these...