Judges: Indications that John Fund might be telling the truth about McCain regarding the Alito issue

By Spiral Posted in Comments (49) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

At this point we don't really know whether John Fund or John McCain is telling the truth in this recent dust up over judicial nominations. But we do have a record of McCain taking "maverick" positions on judicial nominations.

Back in April 2005 judicial nominations were a hot issue because the Democrats filibustered several conservative judicial nominees. So, Chris Matthews of MSNBC asked John McCain about the nuclear option and judicial filibusters:

MATTHEWS: The president of the United States gets to pick federal judges. What should be the standard that the opposition applies to whether they let it come to a vote or not?

MCCAIN: I think that they should let them come to a vote, but I also think that before the nominations are formally introduced, the way they used to do it, they would kind of run the traps of the— senators, particularly those on the committee and say, "Are these acceptable or unacceptable?" and if they were unacceptable they wouldn’t send them over and if they were acceptable, then they would move forward.

We used to have this thing called a blue slip, where if it was a judge from your state, you could and if you objected they didn’t take it up. And by the way, when Bill Clinton was president, we effectively, in the Judiciary Committee, blocked a number of his nominees.

MATTHEWS: But bottom line, would you vote for what’s called the “nuclear option,” to get rid of the filibuster rule on judgeships?

MCCAIN: No, I will not.

MATTHEWS: You will stick with the party?

MCCAIN: No, I will vote against the nuclear option.

McCain was basically saying that before he would nominate someone to the federal courts, he would ask Senators whether a potential nominee was "acceptable or unacceptable." This very likely means that if Chuck Schumer, Pat Leahy, Dick Durbin and Ted Kennedy didn't find a potential nominee acceptable and threatened to filiubster, McCain wouldn't go forward with that candidate.

Here's what a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee said about McCain's announcement that he would vote with the Democrats on this crucial issue.

NRLC’s Douglas Johnson commented, “McCain engages in a ludicrous pretext when he suggests that he wants to preserve the right to filibuster a liberal Supreme Court nominee. The idea that Senator McCain would offend the liberal newspaper editorial boards and the other media-entertainment elites whose approval he so assiduously cultivates, on an issue of that sort, is implausible in the extreme.”

Even though we don't know if Fund or McCain is being accurate on this controversy, we do know that NRLC's Douglas Johnson is correct that McCain values the opinions of liberal newspaper editorial boards and liberal US Senators. So, perhaps we shouldn't assume that John Fund made this whole thing up and we should instead take an open-minded position on this.

there is a very easy way to see if he would nominate Alito. Did he or did he not vote to approve him when his nomination was in the Senate? If he did, then obviously he finds Alito to be an acceptable judge. I think there is parsing of words so that a controversy can be created where there isn't one.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor

The Provocateur

54 out of 55 GOP senators voted for Alito.

But there is a big difference between voting for a nominee as a Senator and nominating that person as President.

McCain voted for former ACLU General Council Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Ted Kennedy staffer Stephen Breyer when they were nominated by President Clinton (as did about 90 percent of the Republicans).

McCain was one of only 3 Republican senators to announce that they would vote with the Democrats on the nuclear option to bypass Democrat filibusters.

So, McCain, on the nuclear option issue, was to the Left of Arlen Specter. That's significant.

96 Senators voted for Ginsberg because they had this apparently naive belief that elections matter, and Ginsberg was qualified for the job. Same basic thing for Bryer.

Complaining that McCain voted for Ginsberg is pretty much the worst argument you could make.

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

My objection isn't with McCain's Ruth Ginsberg vote. It is with the argument that because a US Senator votes to confirm a nominee to the federal courts that this indicates that he is liberal or conservative.

It doesn't have that kind of predictive value, unless you think that McCain will fill one vacancy with a Ruth Bader Ginsberg clone and fill another vacancy with a Sam Alito clone.

You have to dig a little deeper, in my opinion, otherwise you might think that a President Arlen Specter would nominate John Roberts or Sam Alito because Arlen Specter voted for both of them and actually played a more prominent role in their confirmations than did McCain.

If Specter had a 100% pro-life voting record, and had voted for Robert Bork, I think that might be a good indicator.

McCain has and did.

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

find out what judges (if any) that McCain voted against? Seems like he was just an old buddy Senator that went along to get along...

Formally known as Deagle... "Golf is a way of life..."

That he was responding to. He voted to confirm Ginsberg. So what? He voted to confirm Alito. So what? That doesn't give you any indication of who he would nominate.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Eh? by zuiko

How about "Did he or did he not vote to approve Ginsberg's nomination?" That's a pretty meaningless straw you have grasped onto there. Who he voted to confirm tells us nothing about what kind of judicial nominations we would see out of a President McCain.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Johnson of National Right to Life denounced McCain on nuclear option.

Did you even read that quote or link?

... [T]here is a very easy way to see if he would nominate Alito. Did he or did he not vote to approve him when his nomination was in the Senate? If he did, then obviously he finds Alito to be an acceptable judge.

McCain also voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. How does that play into your theory?

Spiral may overdo it, but he does have a point. If John McCain is as dedicated to bipartisanship as he claimed to be when leading the Gang of 14 (and his statements above), how can one be certain he won't seek Democratic pre-approval for a Supreme Court nomination?

If You Liked George Bush's "New Tone™", You're Gonna LOOOOVE John McCain's "Bipartisanship™" ...

"This very likely means"? I really can't see how. He only said he wouldn't be voting the "nuclear option" (that's why we got the Gang of 14 deal) that the President shall weight the acceptability of a nominee.

--------------------

From April 2007:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18337220/from/ET/

He told his audience in Columbia Thursday how happy he was that the Supreme Court last week upheld the law to “outlaw the terrible and odious practice that’s called partial birth abortion. I am proud that happened; I am proud of the Congress and proud of the president. But I’m also proud of the fact that (Republican senator) Lindsey Graham and I –- with five other Republicans joined with seven Democrats” to design an anti-filibuster deal that allowed Bush nominees John Roberts and Sam Alito to win confirmation.

McCain called them “two of the finest justices ever appointed to the United States Supreme Court.”

As McCain made a point of telling the audience in Columbia, “there may be as many as three vacancies on the United States Supreme Court” in the next presidential term. “It’s going to be a very, very important responsibility of the next president.”

His judges, he implied would be in the mold of Thomas, Alito and Roberts and, he vowed, “would strictly interpret the Constitution.”

--------------------------

From March 2007
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTMxOWRkYjgyNDhjOTU5ZTY2OWU2ZTg2ZmU...
Ponnuru: Are there any members of the current Supreme Court that you particularly admire or regard as a model?

Sen. McCain: Eh of course, Antonin Scalia. He’s a lot of our conservative models, I admire how articulate he is, but I also from everything I’ve seen I admire Roberts as well.

I think it’s vital to strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States and have a record of that. Not just a statement of it, but a record of it.

--------------

So, he is on record saying he admires Scalia as a model. Any doubts?

do you have any evidence that supports what Fund wrote?

1. McCain, 2. Thompson, 3. Giuliani, 4. Romney

...with this post?

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

Spiral qualified the post here:

At this point we don't really know whether John Fund or John McCain is telling the truth in this recent dust up over judicial nominations.

Then offered a pattern of behavior... Charles (after stating this was untrue in another post and proven to be wrong in this one) is baiting here.

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

It seems to me the diarist is baiting if he's trying to say Fund is irrelevant here, by using Fund in the title.

Is the claim here that Fund's piece is fake but accurate?

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It seems to me the diarist is baiting if he's trying to say Fund is irrelevant here, by using Fund in the title.

I don't think the diarist is claiming anything. I think the piece gives and opinion of and a pattern of behavior for taking the Fund piece at face value!

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

I'd say tune in to the Mark Levin show andinterview with John Fund, which is tonight, if I'm not mistaken.

They are both very unbiased guys in this issue.

Again, McCain is on record, various times, saying he regards Alito as a model. He fought in the Senate to get him confirmed.

What I see here is an infamous dirty trick.

opposing amnesty, too. And?

Given that McCain has taken the ACLU position on waterboarding and closing Gitmo, why is it such a stretch to think that he would take the ACLU position on judges?

After all, when Democrats were filibustering conservative judicial nominees, McCain's response was

I will vote against the nuclear option.

This was in line with Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer, not Rick Santorum and Jeff Sessions.

So, when he says he would "check with the Senators" it's important to realize which senators McCain is talking about.

I know who I find more credible. Has Fund been caught making stuff up in the past? Why should I believe McCain's denial?
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Have you ever caught McCain making things up?

Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean they are a liar.

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

I'm not going to.

**"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." - John McCain"**

Oh bullcrap. You can't point to one instance of him lying and you know it.

You're just going to trot out "Amnesty" or some other term that obviously means different things to different people and try to say that he's "lying" because of it.

Clear minded people of goodwill wouldn't do such a thing.

Grow up.

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

McCain lied back in March of 07 when he told Bill Bennett “There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today,” and he told CNN that "General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed Humvee."

Both were untrue at the time!

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

Lets pull out the dictionary and look at the definition of the word "walk" and argue about it for 50 posts! You asked for it now.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

he could "walk" while the vehicle was in motion through the city.

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

About his record on taxes, immigration, etc. I got plenty of reasons not to trust the guy. First of all simply because the guy is a politician and it is in his best interest to lie about this. I don't see the same motivation for Fund to just all the sudden start reporting made up stuff that never happened.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

You can cite a million reasons why you personally might not trust the guy, that's your own personal inclination, but you cannot cite a single time he lied.

I double dog dare you.

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

So there's no point in even going through it. Everything depends on what the meaning of the word is is. Or is taken out of context. Or is technically accurate (while being extremely misleading). Charles is busy trying to dissect the word collect in another thread in defense of McCain right now.

Newsflash: There's not a candidate in this race that is 100% honest. That's the nature of politics. There's also not a statement or deed that can't be explained away by that candidate's bots. That also seems to be a sad fact of life.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

I'm a Rudy supporter. At least I was, I'm leaning in McCain's direction because Rudy doesn't seem viable anymore.

I also voted for Bush in the 2000 primary and would again.

And saying that "all the candidates lie" is the same kind of poisonous thinking that's infected politics and made it such a dirty sport. It isn't true, it doesn't have to be true, and you haven't shown me that it is true. You simply cannot prove he lied because he didn't.

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

in his personal life there is some stuff. No need to go there.

Point is NOBODY is as clean as you are saying. Never telling a lie is impossible. Well there was one.

...or positions of an argument when it's politically expedient?



For the record I don't think McCain "lies" willfully. I think he's just let himself be sold a bill of goods and is willing to say anything to get elected.

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

Is this you, or is someone copying you? I just thought this was strange.

http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/01/18/mccain-lies-...
January 18, 2008 6:43 PM
jm_rice said:
Taxes are for financing government, not regulating the economy. We decide what government should do -- infrastructure, defense, redistribution of wealth -- and then pay the bill on April 15th. It's that simple.

Claiming to use taxes like the Fed uses rates has always been the demagogue's game. Saying that cutting taxes helps the economy is like saying that corporate welfare "creates jobs." Of course the GOP would say that. Consider the source.

Anyway, I don't think McCain "lies" willfully. I think he's just let himself be sold a bill of goods. I still think he's honest. It's just that I don't think he's very bright.

**"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." - John McCain"**

...before I was finished editing and linking.

Founder and contributor to The Minority Report and Editor for The Hinzsight Report

Hoping for good judges from McCain? You are going to wake up with a lump of coal in your stocking.

His good friends on the judiciary commitee are going to pick his nominee's. The ones with a D next to their names. Bet on it.

According to NRO's Corner Blog which is going to post audio later, John Fund was on Mark Levin's radio show and says he has multiple sources on this and he stands by his story and the quote.

Mark Levin's web site allows you to download podcasts of his radio show. But I don't know when tonight's show will be available.

Great. But can he present just one?

Katherine Lopez over at the Corner said that she's heard the same thing from people who were at the meeting. Apparently its the hot rumor in DC.

Also apparently Fund has said he has multiple sources from the meeting who confirm the quote.

They that are with us are more than they that are against us.

Also notice that McCain hasn't actually denied the story but instead has said stuff about not being sure what the story is based on. When politicians talk like that, it usually means that they think the story might be true.

Where he did an outright denial that MSNBC quickly disproved and spent the rest of the night crowing how they caught him in a lie.
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Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself. - Milton Friedman

Actually, yes, he is denying it.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=Yjc5NmYxZWZkZjY0NzQxNGNhYWFiOTV...

He specifically says he A. Sees no difference between the two, and B. He's "Proud of people who wear their conservatism on their sleeve."

What else do you want him to do?

John Bolton for President
"FEAR THE 'STACH!!!"

McCain, rapidly becoming the Republican version of Bill Clinton, made a non-denial denial: it was worded to give the impression it was a denial, but he studiously avoided making a flat out denial.

Byron York of National Review called McCain to ask specifically about Fund's report. If McCain wanted to deny the report, he could have said flat out "I never said that. I never said that Alito was too overtly conservative for me to appoint." Instead, through several questions, the closest McCain can come to a clear denial is "And maybe as an aside, why would I say anything derogatory about somebody like that?"

It sounds like McCain wants to be able to deny lying in his denial, in case there's a tape of his remarks.

Formally known as Deagle... "Golf is a way of life..."

 
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