16 January 2008

If You Feel Compelled to Vote for Sen. Obama . . .

. . . I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that Sen. Obama will win the Democratic party's nomination. I know that runs counter to current convential wisdom, but as this becomes a two person race, Sen. Obama's positives will become greater just as Sen. Clinton becomes swamped by her negatives.

There's a huge segment of folks who feel compelled to vote for The Obama, for The Obama shall wash away your past sins of prejudice. I think that was one of the dynamics at play in Iowa (which was helped by the public nature of a Caucus), and this dynamic will strengthen rather than recede as the race goes on.

Rather than counsel you against voting for The Obama, I won't challenge your need for feeling good about yourself, but I will ask that you do one small thing for the country should your compulsion to elect Sen. Obama overwhelm you.

Please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar, a cherry, and a pink pony on top, please split your ticket. If you must give back the executive branch to the Dems, then for pity's sake ensure that both the House and Senate are controlled by moderate Republicans.

If the Dems get a fillibuster proof Senate, plus keep the House, and add the executive branch to their spoils, then you can add the judicial branch over the next 20 years minimum to their prizes as well.

In that scenario, expect Breyer, Ginsberg and Stevens to all retire before the 2010 election. You'll have 'progressive' jurists in their 40s or early 50s entrenched on the court, and with current life expectancies, you can expect them to remain on the court for close to half a century.

Do we really want a "living constitution" to be the dominant view of the Supreme Court from now till 2050? If any of the current conservatives leave the court or fall ill over the next 8 years, then expect the entire judiciary to resemble the Ninth Circuit. Rather than a judicial body, the Supreme Court would become a supra-legislature, unelected, unresponsive to popular will (not always a bad thing, admittedly), and free to impose policy from the bench.

Is that something that appeals to you?

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