March 7, 2006

Rudy Giuliani is the most popular politician in the country.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll.
The Quinnipiac poll asked voters to rate politicians on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher numbers representing more favorable opinions. Giuliani's mean score was 63.5, according to the poll.

Obama got a mean score of 59.9, McCain 59.7 and Rice 57.1.

"Not only do Mayor Giuliani and Sen. McCain get the best ratings, but their numbers are uniform across the country," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

President George W. Bush's rating was 44.1. Vice President Dick Cheney got a 41. Former President Bill Clinton was at 56.1

Four Democrats who are considered potential presidential candidates in 2008 were also mentioned in the poll's top 10: Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards received a 50.8, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner scored 50.7, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 50.4 and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin 49.
You know you want to talk about the '08 election. Go ahead!

60 comments:

Alan said...

The article seems to repeat itself. :)

Anyway, Giuliani has my support. A pro-choice conservative is what the GOP needs. Although it may be a few years late.

AllenS said...

I don't mind going first:

Blech.

AllenS said...

Or even second.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MadisonMan said...

Oh for Pete's sake, I wrote Obama Barack the first time through! (laugh)

I'm struck that the politicians with the lowest ratings are the ones that we hear about most often -- Dubya and Cheney. I think it's inevitable that as more is learned about any politician, their ratings will decrease. Seriously -- how much does anyone really know about Obama Barack Obama, for example, other than he's a telegenic man who's been annointed a Democratic Savior by the Main Stream Media? The same can be said of Condi. Many of the politicians with high ratings are still enigmas. Give them time and their ratings will fall.

The danger of polls like these in that they limit the ability of unknowns to raise money for nationwhide campaigns. Who will donate money to a campaign if "The Polls" don't mention them? Is that just throwing away your hard-earned money?

How would Carter or Clinton or W have performed in such a poll two years before they were elected? Do polls such as this really do anything worthwhile other than employ pollsters (which may or may not meet your definition of worthwhile).

Alan said...

Madisonman,

Bush rated pretty high which afforded him time *not* to say anything regarding actual issues. He coasted into the Republican nomination practically without saying a word. My bet is Guiliani won't say much either if he's serious about running.

Ann Althouse said...

Alan: Whoops! Sorry. I fixed it...

Ann Althouse said...

"My bet is Guiliani won't say much..."

That doesn't sound like Giuliani! One thing we like about him is that he can talk and does talk. Remember how great he was at the Republican Convention in '04? And, of course, on 9/11. I'd love to have a President who could really talk straight to us. I can't remember ever having a President that could do that. And my clear memories go back to LBJ.

AJ Lynch said...

The country really needs a candidate who is not a magnet for partisan vitriol. IMHO McCain is the answer.

Hopefully, he could help return the election cycle to the old 4-year mode.

Dave said...

The abortion wars preclude Giuliani ever receiving the Republican nomination.

Add to that the fact that he was unfaithful to his wife and has publicly embraced gays as friends, and, well, the idea that conservative activists will nominate him to be the Republican candidate is as far fetched as creationists claiming they have disproved scientific theories of the origins of the universe.

hoosthere said...

I think that the conservative wing is a bit more nuanced than you, Dave, or other commentators give it credit for.

I believe that people will sublimate some of their domestic policy fears which Rudy could raise, and see the larger picture of a pragmatic politician who projects a strong America. In my opinion, this is why people voted for Bush in the last two elections as they did: He clearly believes in a strong America, and voters (perhaps subconsciously for many) deeply want to agree with that assessment.

And Rudy could go a long way to assuaging those fears by taking on a running mate such as Rice or Allen.

And I agree with Ann...what's so refreshing about Giuliani is his candor and plain-spoken eloquence. After gritting our teeth through eight years with man whose big-picture ideas seem good, but just stinks at talking, it will be a refreshing change for the country to have a Rudy in office...who carries similar beliefs, but just says them better.

But come on...Giuliani/Rice? Unstoppable.

Freeman Hunt said...

is as far fetched as creationists claiming they have disproved scientific theories of the origins of the universe.

So his nomination is likely?

jakemanjack said...

Back when he was Mayor, Rudy Giuliani cleaned up New York City. No small task. Considering how blue NY is - you'd think that liberals could step out of their uni-think and appreciate that little fact.
Guiliani is a wonderful speaker, and I think we as a country, long for that right now.

Most folks who were not paying attention to Bush before 2000 and during the 2000 campaign missed out on the fact that he actually gave some very solid speeches. Bush is just horrible off-the-cuff and is nervous in front of an openly hostile in-house press corps.

Also, leadership sells.

Whining, blaming and complaining all the time is not the key to the white house. (hint to democrats)

Goesh said...

Who could not like Rudy? Calm and strong in the eye of a terrible storm and not afraid to rub shoulders will all kinds of different people and being able to find some common ground with them counts for alot these days. Common Ground Rudy, that's my man.

Jake said...

Giuliani has the advantage of not being a Senator. Senators have little chance in being elected President. Only two Senators have been elected President in our history although dozens have run.

Alan said...

Ann Althouse,

I hope he talks; this country needs a strong leader who can lead from the soap box. It's painful to watch GWB speak. He has too much of his father's whine.

I only meant Giuliani won't talk if he doesn't need to with his high poll numbers. But if you think his speaking will help, I'm all for it. :)

I don't go back to LBJ. My first vote was for Reagan, and I thought he sounded sort of sappy. I kind of remember Nixon...he seemed to speak with authority--a quality much needed today.

hoosthere said...

I wonder what the more left-leaning Althouseguests think of Giuliani and Rice?

Maxine Weiss said...

What is going on with Joe Lieberman?

The shabby way the Democrats have treated him and Hadassaha.

Ann: I'm relatively new here. Would you repeat your thoughts about Joe Lieberman?, and whether you think the Democrats are foolish for not showcasing a proven winner.

Peace, Maxine

Pea

MadisonMan said...

I wonder what the more left-leaning Althouseguests think of Giuliani and Rice?

I am curious about Giuliani's health. He did withdraw from the Senate campaign because of prostate cancer -- which cancer killed his father, as I recall.

As far as the teaming of G&R -- do they like each other? I'm not sure I recall any shared moments between the two -- which means little, given my memory. And will Republicans -- conservative Republicans -- really cotton to a team that includes a twice-divorced Easterner and an unmarried black woman? When I envision a true "Red State" voter, I don't see someone picking such a slate. However, it would depend on who the Democrats nominate, and that party hasn't exactly shown a gift for strong nominees in the recent past. Maybe they'd pick the lesser of two evils. I've done that enough in the past.

G/R would be a strong ticket, appealing to some left leaners, I suspicion. But is such a ticket palatable to fundamentalists? That's the bigger question, IMO

hoosthere said...

It's palatable to me, and I've been tarred with the fundy label once or twice.

But that's just anecdotal.

I just think that "fundamentalists" are generally not the bigots that they get made out to be. Of course, it's much their/our own fault. But I just think that religious conservatives are more politically pragmatic than most people give them credit for.

Alan said...

Dave,

It's time the abortion issue is hashed out in the GOP. I don't think the majority of Republican voters have the same views as the pro-life fringe. What we've seen is pro-life pundits (Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, etc.) in a a circle jerk with their pro-life fringe who buy their books. The GOP have been giving these same fringes lip service because of the huge audiences of these pundits. But the sobering problem is many within the pro-life fringe have gained elected office, as witnessed by the recent South Dakota law outlawing abortion and the making of the Shiavo matter a federal case. Republican voters have looked the other way and not taken serious what pro-life means to these fringes. Someone, Giuliani, needs to steer the GOP out of crackpot alley and back toward limited government. Reproductive and "end of life" decisions should be made by the individual, not by government. That message, IMO, would resonate with conservatives who believe in limited government.

Giuliani '08!

Simon said...

I'm not much thrilled with this prospect, but I will reluctantly agree that McCain is the best choice so far apparent for the GOP in 2008. I have concerns about him and disagreements with him, but I trust him to do the right thing across the broad ambit of the Presidency, while I would have grave concerns about Rice or Rudy, particularly about the kind of judges they might appoint. I am extremely aware that before 2016, Bush and his successor(s) may get to appoint replacements for Stevens, Scalia, Souter and Ginsburg; this is not a task to hand over to someone we have every reason not to trust.

hoosthere said...

Careful Alan, you're sounding a little bitter in your easy denunciation or pro-life "crack-pots". What gets lost in that debate is that opposing abortion is an honorable position, when you accept the givens that life in the womb is independent from just the body of the "host".

But the point is that pro-lifers (myself included) are generally more able to tolerate dissent for pragmatic purposes than others. If you heard how Hannity genuflects all over Rudy, even with his views, you would know what I'm talking about.

In general, we need to stop calling each other crackpots, in my opinion, and start believing that people are good-hearted, but with different bases of assumptions about how they view the world. And the Republicans are better at this, I think.

Dave said...

Regarding the "nuance" of the conservative wing of the Republican party: recall that it is activists, often ideological in nature, who nominate candidates in both parties.

I don't see who ideological activists can be "nuanced," be they liberals or conservatives.

Alan said...

Hoosthere,

I think anyone who's not conservative a crackpot. :) And, IMO, believing in the almighty power of G-vernment to make reproductive and "end of life" decisions for the individual ain't conservative.

hoosthere said...

Well, Alan, I guess we disagree about abortion law.

But that's okay. The Republican big tent in action!

And Dave, you're probably correct, but my contention is that party activists are more obsessed with holding their fingers in the air to gauge the wind, and there yet remains much favorable wind blwoing in Rudy's direction, even from religious types.

vbspurs said...

Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York and the genius of American Life

Must-read, before 2008.

As hoosthere said, Giuliani/Rice, unstoppable. She might even get Giuliani California.

Cheers,
Victoria

Simon said...

Careful Alan, you're sounding a little bitter in your easy denunciation or pro-life "crack-pots". What gets lost in that debate is that opposing abortion is an honorable position, when you accept the givens that life in the womb is independent from just the body of the "host".Bravo!

I would agree with Alan ("believing in the almighty power of G-vernment to make reproductive and "end of life" decisions for the individual ain't conservative") were it not for the fact that abortion is not, in my view, simply a reproductive decision. If government (and I mean primarily state governments here) can criminalize murder - and I have yet to meet a libertarian so extreme s/he denies this - then it can criminalize abortion. The difference between pro-choice and pro-life turns essentially on precisely whether abortion is nothing more than a reproductive decision; if it was, I would fully agree that it seems against small government conservative principles to permit government to invade that decision, but I do not think it is a reproductive decision.

Matt Barr said...

I am curious about Giuliani's health. He did withdraw from the Senate campaign because of prostate cancer -- which cancer killed his father, as I recall.

He was diagnosed as the campaign was beginning. Once diagnosed, you need to be treated immediately (he had the same surgical procedure as my father) but once you are, the odds of the cancer recurring have gone drastically down since the days of Giuliani Sr.

I recall McCain having a cancer thing going shortly after the 2000 primaries. Am I recalling correctly, skin cancer or something?

brylin said...

Other polls have shown strong support for Giuliani (as I have pointed out from time to time in comments on this blog). See here, here and here.

Simon said...

Brylin - Hugh Hewitt and Pat Ruffini both supported the Harriet Miers nomination, so I'm not inclined to take advice from the likes of them on potential Presidential candidates.

me said...

"when you accept the given that life in the womb is independent from just the body of the "host"."

Hoosthere...I am not a "host." My mom was not a "host." Women (even those who menstruate, i.e., are fertile) are people, not "hosts."

me said...

P.S. If you like such terminology, shouldn't it be "hostess"? :)

hoosthere said...

I couldn't agree more heartily, "me" (I say that to myself all the time). A mother is not a "host" (hence, scare quotes).

The reason I used that word because I believe it is the natural, logical result of seeing the embryo as something which should be removed at the whim of the mother. Like a bad parasite.

Obviously I disagree with that stand, not just on the grounds that a baby is not a parasite. But don't you think the language is eerily similar among pro-abortion advocates? How else to explain the rallying cry: "The government should not interfere with a woman's body"? That sure sounds like arguing that the mother can, and should be allowed to remove the embryo, much like she would remove a parasite.

I didn't mean to have to explain that word choice in such detail, but since you asked...

MadisonMan said...

How else to explain the rallying cry: "The government should not interfere with a woman's body"?

So is it your position, then, that the government should interfere with a woman's body?

More importantly, in the context of this discussion, is that the position that Rudy Giuliani or Condoleeza Rice will take and if it is, will conservative Republicans enthusiastically support the ticket?

Is all political discussion destined to becomes a discussion about abortion? If it is, it's gonna be a LONG 2+ years until the general election.

brylin said...

Simon, Fair enough. But listen to a couple of Giuliani's speeches, including the September 11th speech, which can be found here, then give us your opinion.

me said...

"Obviously I disagree with that stand, not just on the grounds that a baby is not a parasite. But don't you think the language is eerily similar among pro-abortion advocates? How else to explain the rallying cry: "The government should not interfere with a woman's body"? That sure sounds like arguing that the mother can, and should be allowed to remove the embryo, much like she would remove a parasite."

I come at it from a different standpoint -- forced birth advocates treat the woman as a host to an embryo, making her uterus the forced host for a fetus she does not want to sustain using her body.

hoosthere said...

MadisonMan,

My position is that abortion is not ONLY a matter of a woman's body, but that of the developing human being inside. In which case, the government's position becomes, ah, conflicted. Hence our debate.

I couldn't agree more about the debate...but not just because the issue isn't important. I pray about it often. But I just don't see much new ground being trod.

I'm farily pessimistic about politics, in general, these days. so much of it is just so angry.

Can't wait for the Rapture.

Just kidding, folks. But I tire of the same old arguments having the same, miniscule effect on hearts and minds. These issues really only get clarified outside of the realm of ideas, and in the real world of pain and experience.

But unfortunately, there are millions of lives and experiences that don't even get the choice in the matter.

me said...

"Is all political discussion destined to becomes a discussion about abortion? If it is, it's gonna be a LONG 2+ years until the general election."

:) Yes, it does seem that way right now doesn't it? But, abortion law has been settled since 1973 -- and now one 85+ y/o man is all that stands between a state by state frenzy of new restritive abortion laws. So, it is a very big deal for women, as states are gunning to get Roe overturned and arrest doctors and women for murder. Who here remembers what the discussion/media coverage was like back in late 60's/early 70's when states were liberalizing their laws? Was it as all-consuming as it is now?

As to Condi/Giuliani: Never happen. You might get one of them on the bottom of the ticket, but not on the top. Who votes in the primaries? The base. Will the republican base get excited about two pro-choicers? No. McCain Giuliani MIGHT work, but it seems like at lot of the top Repubs hate McCain.

Simon said...

Brylin,
I'm not saying they're necessarily wrong, it's just that....How can I put this: if Alan Dershowitz told me that there were twenty seven amendments to the United States Constitution, I would feel the need to check, just to be sure. Likewise, with Hewitt. I'm not saying Hugh will never be right, just that his conduct vis-a-vis Miers creates the strong (if rebuttable) presumption that he is wrong. I don't mean to sound like I'm carrying a grudge, but the Miers nomination was a defining moment, as far as I'm concerned: one either stood with the movement, or with the man. Hugh stood by the man.

Others wavered, and eventually came down on the right side; some were on the right side from day one. Still others remained on the wrong side and realized in the cold light of hindsight - somewhere around the moment that Justice Alito walked into the House chamber at the end of January - that they'd been on the wrong side and admitted it. But as far as I'm aware, Hugh has never apologized, never recanted, and never shown any sign that he wouldn't do it again. People - and not just the President - lost reputations and trust over that episode, which will take a long time to heal.

I would have no hesitation in supporting either Condi or Rudy for President if the President did not nominate Judges; I do not believe the Federal Government has much role to play in the abortion debate (see Ninth Circuit strikes down Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban, 1/31/06), so other than the judges question, I could live with a moderately pro-choice President. But until Roe is not just dead but buried, it remains necessary to maintain strict concerns over who gets appointed to the Federal bench. I don't trust Bush to appoint formalists; I expect(ed) him to appoint smart conservatives, who are in turn more likely to turn out to be formalists than those that a President Kerry would have appointed. But I do not expect Rudy or Condi to appoint either, while I do trust McCain to the same extent that (pre-Miers) I trusted Bush.

Johnny Nucleo said...

I agree that in ordinary times neither Condi nor Rudy would have a chance. But these are not ordinary times. Hillary and the war change the game.

Simon said...

"Me":
"abortion law has been settled since 1973"

I disagree with that statement as strongly as when our hostess made the assertion, IIRC, two months ago. In my view (see previous link or About the unitary executive and settled law, 1/11/06), the idea that Roe is "settled law" is frankly preposterous. I'm still hoping that our hostess might provide some elabortion at some point on what exactly it is that she thinks so qualifies it, but in the meantime, I'd love to know how anyone else figures it is "settled."

I would suggest that you are right that "it is a very big deal to women" - those who have not yet been born all the more so.

amba said...

Simon:

"I would agree with Alan ("believing in the almighty power of G-vernment to make reproductive and "end of life" decisions for the individual ain't conservative") were it not for the fact that abortion is not, in my view, simply a reproductive decision.

Call it beginning-of-life and end-of-life decisions, then.

amba said...

I tire of the same old arguments having the same, miniscule effect on hearts and minds. These issues really only get clarified outside of the realm of ideas, and in the real world of pain and experience.

Wise words. And it's why I think persuasion is a major part of the campaign to reduce, not criminalize, early abortion.

jakemanjack said...

I think people are sick of the abortion issue and exhausted talking about it.

There are more issues on the table in this country than abortion.

Hopefully, the emerging strong candidate(s) of 08' will be known as more that just pro or anti-abortion.

ChrisO said...

"In general, we need to stop calling each other crackpots, in my opinion, and start believing that people are good-hearted, but with different bases of assumptions about how they view the world. And the Republicans are better at this, I think."

I must respectfully differ, and not because I think that Democrats are necessarily better. But as one who's opposition to the war has caused me to be labelled a traitor to my country (something I take very seriously, desopite the fact that so many Republicans treat it as a parlor game) more times than I can count, I find it hard to accept the description of Republicans as being less likely to label others "crackpots." Democrats can certainly do their share of name calling, but Republicans in particular seem to delight in judging their opponents in psychological terms. There are few Democratic equivalents for "Bush derangement syndrome" and "unhinged." Rather than simply accuse Cindy Sheehan of being out of touch, misguided or even disloyal, more often than not Republican critics fall back on psychoanalyzing her,and coming up with all sorts of mental illness diagnoses for her.

In general, though, I think there's very few attributes that apply to "Republicans" or "Democrats." Voting for the same candidate doesn't mean we have similar personalities.

As for Giuliani, I'm not surprised at the poll. He's been able to pretty much coast on his (admirable) performance on 9/11. Notice how three of the top four finishers are relatively unknown to the public. Even Rice is very much a mystery to most people. That's why the campaign season often ends with a very different outcome than was expected. Presidential campaigning is grueling, and there's no way to know how Rice or Giuliani will stand up to it. And though you may want to credit the conservative base with being nuanced, I'll be interested to see how they react to a candidate who moved in with a gay couple after his divorce. I mean, they must have their limits.

As for McCain, despite my differences with his policies, like many people I've always admired him as a straight shooter. This last election season, however, the way he sucked up to Bush made it clear that he's as pragmatic a politician as the next guy, willing to sell out to get elected.

me said...

Roe is "settled law" in that the court has repeatedly reaffirmed it in the face of many challenges. Since 1973, a woman has had a right to have an abortion and when the states have tried to take that right away (instead of merely restrict it), they have not been permitted to do so. Seems settled to me. The Court may always reverse itself -- but until it does, Roe is settled law, like other 30 y/o precedents.

Simon said...

I disagree entirely. An area of law does not become settled merely because the case is reaffirmed - as was noted during both the Roberts and Alito hearings, Plessy was cited and reaffirmed for over fifty years, and never once became settled law. In the post that I linked to above, I compare Roe's claim to be settled law to another case that was arguably wrongly decided as an original matter, Miranda, concluding that if any case exemplifies "settled law", it is Miranda, and none of the reasons for which it is so could sustain a similar claim for roe. Thirty years later, Roe is still bitterly denounced by anywhere from a third to a half of the population, is widely agreed to have been wrongly-decided as an original matter, and continues to be routinely challenged in every conceivable forum. If Roe is settled law, I'm a banana.

MadisonMan said...

Thirty years later, Roe is still bitterly denounced by anywhere from a third to a half of the population

I freely admit I do not know which population you are citing here (half of all Evangelicals?), but I never recall seeing a poll that in any way comes close to the assertion that half of the US bitterly denounces Roe. How on Earth could someone like pro-choice Rudy be elected if that were the case?

Chris said...

The war changes everything, and the presence of Hillary-"The Other", on the Democratic side would make either Rudy or Condi easy sells to the Republican base. Democrats do not understand this, so they assume that Republicans would only want to nominate the likes of Sam Brownback.

Sheesh!

Twill said...

me said...
abortion law has been settled since 1973

I sprayed South African herbal tea all over my keyboard reading that line.

Oh, me. Doesn't one wish...

Roe has been held to have the effect of preventing any meaningful restriction on abortion, even after viability. (In case you were going to ask, held by both (a) pro-choice advocates, and (b) courts.)

Polls are pretty consistent across the last twenty years, although they vary a lot based upon exact wording used. About two-thirds of the populace favor abortion being generally available, and about two thirds of the population favor reasonable restrictions on it.
(I happen to belong in that middle third, although I understand the outlying two pretty well.)

So, to the degree that Roe actually does prevent reasonable restrictions, it is quite unpopular. And there is some evidence of it being a widespread belief among both conservative and liberal legal circles that it was a badly written opinion. I would hesitate to speculate on the percentages, though.

Twill said...

Given a choice between Giuliani and McCain, most of my right-wing friends would take Giuliani's humor and self-deprecation (and mild pro-abortion stance) over McCain's dour hubris (and lukewarm pro-life stance) five days out of seven.

He might lose the pro-life "base", but I think his crossover appeal would probably mitigate that fairly well. And given that the opponent is likely to be Hillary, the base might not even sit on their hands.

As far as Condi, she would be a total plus to the ticket among conservatives and Republicans. (Unless they are scamming me because of my admirable ability to tan, which is always a possibility.) Personally I think her voice is a bit whiny for a sister, but I'd vote for her anyway.

me said...

I appeal to Ann:

Roe IS settled law, isn't it, o law professor? :)

hoosthere said...

ChrisO,

Thanks for your comments, and they are probably true.

The last thing that good-hearted people should do is call each other crackpots, and it's terrible that people have called you a traitor for your honest opposition to the war.

I think when people creep up to the "traitor" smear, it's clearly unfair for it to be tarred onto those such as you. It is interesting, though, that the sort of rhetoric that gets thrown in the direction of our current President is generally unfair, and at times, traitorous, don't you think? (Please hear that I am not calling you a traitor, and would want to avoid that charged term).

There is a different between a person being a traitor, and traitorous rhetoric, though, don't you think? And though I am not interested in dredging up all the crappy comments made about our President, don't you think that he has been smeared with rhetoric that could be called such? The whole canard that he willfully lied to send troops to their death is a riseable charge, and I believe that conservatives take deep offense. And then, numbness sets in at all of the crazy talk, which, unfortunately, seems to have crept into common Democratic parlance.

I felt the same way when we conservatives said such inflammatory things about Clinton, though the circumstances are clearly different. Neither have been good for the country.

me said...

Saying horrible things about Bush is not traitorous rhetoric. People who criticized Bush or Clinton heavily, harshly, beyond the pale, etc. were trying to get people to think differently about them because they honestly believed they were doing bad for the country. That is not traitorous rehtoric.

ChrisO said...

hoosthere:

Without rehashing a lot of topics that are off-topic for this thread, I fail to see how criticisms, even sharp criticisms of a President are traitorous. I happen to think that the Bush administration is fundamentally very dishonest. I think Bush's first reflex is to say whatever comes to mind that will make him look good, and worry about veracity later. The word "lie" is a strong one, and most clever politicians know better than to be put in a position where they said 'A" when the truth was actually "B". That's where the concept of plausible deniability comes in. That's why you make reference to mushroom clouds, rather than coming out and declaring that a country has nuclear weapons.

The bottom line is, if you really think (as I do) that the President is harming the nation, and creating negative situations that will have longstanding effects on this country long after he's gone, it would be disloyal not to speak up. Democrats certainly rallied behind a President they despised immediately after 9/11 because it was the right thing to do, and Bush played them for suckers for doing it. Rather than appreciate the gesture, he has used war and the threat of terrorism to try and intimidate any opposition to his policies. If you believe that, as I do, it's disloyal not to criticize him.

A corrolary for me is in the abortion argument. I'm pro-choice, and I've always felt there are a lot of mean-spirited arguments made by the pro-life group. But I also remind myself that, if people truly believe abortion is murder, and that babies are being killed by the millions, how can they be expected not to speak up? As extreme a position as it seems to me, it's hard to expect people to say "Sure, babies are being murdered, but it's all just politics." I have to respect the passion they feel about the issue.

Of course, I still take issue with a lot of their tactics. Pictures of bloody fetuses and harassing women at clinics are never acceptable, in my book.

Simon said...

"Me":
"I appeal to Ann: Roe IS settled law, isn't it, o law professor? :)"

I sense doubt. Let me add some more for you. ;)

A case does not attain that status merely through the passage of time, or the number of times it is reaffirmed, or (in my view, at least) any reliance interests that may have been built on it. As Gary Lawson points out in Delegation & Original Meaning, "[t]he Supreme Court has rejected literally every nondelegation challenge that it has considered since 1935" (id., text accompanying note 6), yet the nondelegation doctrine refuses to lie down and die. It is still routinely litigated, despite over seventy years of abject and almost complete failure, and an attempted coup de grace by the Supreme Court in Mistretta, it is still not settled law.

A case becomes "settled law," in my view, when it is broadly accepted despite any reasonable doubts that might have attended it at the time it was handed down. Marbury is settled law; McCulloch is settled law. It's very likely that Slaughterhouse Cases is settled law, although I think its completely wrong and should be neutered. Despite misgivings about cases like Gideon or Miranda, either in their results or their reasoning, I think those cases are settled law, not least because they are almost universally accepted, and even while it is arguable that the Constitution does not mandate their results, it is certain that is does not foreclose those results.

But no such case can be made for Roe. That is was wrongly-decided as an original matter is broadly understood, even by those who broadly support the result and underlying doctrines (such as Roe actually HAS an underlying doctrine); John Hart Ely, for God's sake, wrote that Roe was "not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be." So it was wrongly-decided, and not even in a cute gray area way like Gideon: the Constitution not only does not mandate the result in Roe, it cannot support it. Nor is the decision widely accepted. Consider South Dakota's new law, or the Nebraska statute struck down in Stenberg, and then ask yourself: how many states have passed laws in the last five years trying to establish segregated schools? How many have tried to abolish their public defenders? How many of them have passed laws voiding the exclusionary rule? I'm willing to bet you won't find a single one. Roe is defended - to the extent it is defended - purely and exclusively by that section of society which loves its result so much as to blind themselves to its shortcomings, and on no grounds other than their policy preferences, which should give immediate pause to anyone who understands that the whole point of having a written constitution is that the Court cannot sustain something purely because people like it. Truth be told, it is hard to imagine a precedent less worthy of being called "settled law" than Roe.

hoosthere said...

ChrisO,

I can absolutely identify with your sentiments, and I can respect your position. I'm glad you are able to see both sides of things, clearly. Good comment.

hoosthere said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
chuck b. said...

I posted here several months ago that I thought Giuliani could win in '08 and several commentors disagreed with me. One of them said I must be smoking crack. Where are they now?