Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Though the American public may not be glued to the play-by-play, the Republican National Committee is keen on the much-ballyhooed confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Among other things, the Republicans want to know the following:
Can you assure the public that you know the difference between serving as a political adviser and making decisions as a judge?
Based on your past history, should the American public be concerned that your role on the bench will be to protect President Obama's policy agenda?
Are you going to follow your own advice and answer questions directly, avoiding 'platitudinous' statements and political spin, so this hearing takes on more than 'an air of vacuity and farce'? the RNC asked, referring to a 1995 University of Chicago Law Review article that used those and similar phrases to criticize then-recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
KISS AND MAKE UP
This magazine has not always agreed with Sen. John McCain's judgments is an understatement. For a few years at the start of the decade, not an issue went by, it seemed, without our feeling obligated to criticize the Arizona Republican.
But there are three considerations that militate against dumping McCain for his primary challenger, former congressman J. D. Hayworth. The first is that McCain has usually been on the conservative side of national controversies. He has never voted for a broad-based tax increase, he has voted for every conservative on the Supreme Court, and he has a long pro-life record. By itself, this voting record does not compel conservative support for him: Hayworth had a conservative record, too. But it does make the case against McCain less compelling. He may not be Marco Rubio, but he's not Arlen Specter, either.
Second, when McCain is right, he can have a terrific impact. McCain has a credibility on national security that few other Republicans can match. It is entirely possible that without Senator McCain, we would have left Iraq in ignominy. Few legislators ever accomplish as much good as McCain did through his leadership on the surge. Conservatives should be grateful for this service and appreciative of the wisdom and fortitude that made it possible. This accomplishment, in our judgment, more than makes up for McCain's mistakes, the impact of which has also been major (as in the cases of campaign-finance regulation and interrogation policy).
- From Monday's endorsement by the National Review of the re-election campaign of Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG
Yes, there are tabloid tales that newly single Al Gore has misbehaved with a masseuse, may be trying to hide his personal assets and is selling his cable-TV channel. But he still has the blessings of the Democratic Party, and has resurfaced in the fundraising and Bush-blaming role for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
After eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration, America is now beset with major challenges: A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an economic downturn that has put good people out of work, and a crisis that I have dedicated my life to solving - global warming, Mr. Gore advises loyal Democrats in a new fundraising letter.
Oh, and he wants the money by Wednesday.
While four months can be a lifetime in politics, the reality is, it is just about 18 weeks until the elections in November, says Regina A. Corso, director of the Harris Poll. In those 18 weeks, there are a lot of outside events that can occur which cannot be predicted. There is always that 'October surprise,' which can shift an election. …