Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sometimes the logic is so bad it's difficult to rebut

I first saw this line of thinking about a week ago from Flash at Centrisity:
I guess all that talk about the President having the right to pick whoever he wants, every nominee deserves a fair hearing and an up or down vote, doesn't mean anything unless it is the person you personally want.
Today it has been echoed by David Broder in the WaPo and picked up at The Daily Kos.

His record entitles him to the serious consideration and questioning he will undoubtedly receive from the Judiciary Committee. But after Bush acquiesced in the conservative movement's uproar denying Miers her chance for an up-or-down Senate vote, or even a hearing in that committee, there is no plausible way the White House can insist that every major judicial nominee deserves such a vote.

That was the rationale behind the threatened "nuclear option" in the Senate, the mid-session rule change that would have banned judicial filibusters. If the mass of Democrats and a few Republicans who may be dismayed by Alito's stands on abortion and other issues can muster the 41 votes needed to sustain a filibuster under current rules, they now have precedent for using their power.

Paul at Powerline made a half-hearted swipe at knocking this nonsense down yesterday. I fully understand why more didn't go into it. This argument is literally so stupid that one really shouldn't need to bother.

The conservative position has always been that the president is entitled to have his nominee receive an up-or-down vote. If the president decides to withdraw his nominee, then of course that person loses his or her right to such a vote. I don't recall anyone arguing that Miers should not have an up-or-down vote as long as she was the nonminee. We simply urged that she withdraw or (in the case of some conservatives) that Bush withdraw her. Liberals likewise should feel free to urge Alito to withdraw and to implore Bush to rescind his nomination. If that fails, they should give Alito an up-or-down vote.
Let's say I'm applying for a job at Company X. Company X has a policy that everyone who applies is granted an interview. If I decide to withdraw my application before the interview, has Company X denied me an interview? Wouldn't it be ludicrous for people within Company X who were opposed to the "interview all applicants" policy to use me as an example that they, in fact, are right that all applicants AREN'T interviewed?

This is like the difference between not allowing someone to vote in an election and that person CHOOSING not to go to the polls then calling that person disenfranchised. Oh yeah, that distinction is also lost on liberals quite often.