- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Wild pitch

Judge John G. Roberts Jr.’s baseball metaphor — the judge as umpire — “works so well that the liberal Boston Globe columnist Tom Oliphant promptly left the bullpen to kick sand at Judge Roberts during a time out on Jim Lehrer’s PBS special coverage [Tuesday],” Miguel Miranda writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

“After the questioning of only four senators (just after Boston’s favorite son, Ted Kennedy) and amid the most incoherent commentary I have yet heard on the Roberts nomination, Mr. Oliphant said this: ‘The umpire analogy went out the window and into the garbage can this morning. This is a very aggressive person who made it very clear that his vision of the umpire involves changing the strike zone, moving the fences in and out, moving the foul lines.

“People will often hear what they want to hear. Most conservatives heard something Tuesday morning quite different than Mr. Oliphant. On the upside, they heard a judge wanting to be careful not to ‘jolt’ the rule of law or the respect of the people for the courts. On the downside, with Judge Roberts’ every prudential answer on the rule of precedent, called stare decisis, e-mail alerts asked social conservatives to be understanding of his careful and accurate answers on the right to privacy, a sore point,” Mr. Miranda said.

“Mr. Oliphant was reading from a different page. With the most amazing liberal commentary yet, he explained that Judge Roberts showed ‘an expansive view of the judge’s power in terms of changing the Constitution by getting in the guise of saying what it means.’ Imagine that, a judge who will rewrite the Constitution by interpreting new meanings into it. Tonight Boston will be scandalized.

“Of course, we don’t have to imagine anything. Mr. Oliphant’s Captain Renault shock describes the past 50 years of judicial fiat and the most divisive court decisions since Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1856, the Supreme Court error that took a Civil War to correct. Mr. Oliphant’s knee-jerk description was exactly the opposite of what a conservative — I prefer constitutionalist — jurist will do. He will not rewrite the Constitution by reading into it new rights and powers.”

The know-it-alls

“Here’s a way to save money come the next natural calamity: Abolish the Federal Emergency Management Agency and give its job to the media, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other know-it-alls who accused Hurricane Katrina rescuers of incompetence, indifference or racism,”Dennis Byrne writes at www.realclearpolitics.com.

“The ‘critics’ obviously could have done it better, so the new emergency management czar would be Ted Koppel, the ABC News ‘Nightline’ anchor. His questioning of FEMA director Michael D. Brown indicated that Koppel believed that any buffoon could have done a better job. Being any buffoon, Koppel is perfect,” Mr. Byrne said.

“Jackson would run relief logistics, because of his impressive ability to transport himself to any place on planet Earth where a camera is rolling. Newsweek contributing editor and talk show mouth Eleanor Clift would single-handedly pilot a helicopter on rescue missions. Kicking on the automatic pilot, she’d lower herself in a harness to personally rescue thousands of rooftop survivors and fly them back to a rescue area, which she already had previously prepared with all necessary medical provisions, food, water and a big party. She can do this because she knows everything.

“CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who was praised for abandoning his professional role as a journalist to ‘advocate for the poor and dying’ because he had seen a dead body, would get a special job befitting his concerns: body collector.

“‘CBS News Sunday Morning’ Contributor Nancy Giles would be put in charge of triage, deciding who is cared for first. She had said that if the hardest-hit victims had been white, they wouldn’t have gone for days without food and water, and they would have been ‘rescued and relocated a hell of a lot faster than this. Period.’ With Giles in charge, we could rest assured that no white person, no matter how serious her plight, would receive care before any black person.”

No runoff

Democrats hoping to unseat New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Republican, averted a runoff for their party’s nomination when the runner-up conceded yesterday and threw his support to the top vote-getter in this week’s primary.

The move leaves former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer set to face Mr. Bloomberg in the November election. Mr. Ferrer would be the city’s first Hispanic mayor if he wins the Nov. 8 general election, Reuters news agency reports.

Mr. Ferrer, with 39.95 percent of the vote, came just short of the necessary 40 percent of the votes in Tuesday’s primary, setting up a runoff with the runner-up, Rep. Anthony Wiener, in three weeks.

But Mr. Wiener, with just 29 percent of the vote in unofficial results, announced he was putting the Democratic Party first.

“There is a time to campaign, and a time to come together. This is the time to put aside my opportunity for a runoff and to step aside,” Mr. Weiner told a press conference.

Coming in third in the race was C. Virginia Fields, Manhattan borough president, with 16 percent of the vote, and Gifford Miller, City Council speaker, placed fourth with 10 percent.

A foe for Kyl

Former Arizona Democratic Chairman Jim Pederson announced yesterday his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican incumbent Sen. Jon Kyl.

Mr. Pederson said he would fight for middle-class families, and contended Mr. Kyl has put the interests of oil, insurance, drug and tobacco companies ahead of those of most Arizonans, the Associated Press reports.

“Today, Arizona has one senator who’s fighting the broken politics of Washington,” Mr. Pederson said, referring to Republican John McCain. “And then we have Senator Kyl, who’s Exhibit A of the problem.”

Mr. Pederson, a commercial real estate developer, earlier this year stepped down as party chairman after a four-year stint.

While Mr. Pederson characterized Mr. Kyl as beholden to special interests, Republicans immediately branded Mr. Pederson as aligned with East Coast liberals in the Democratic Party.

Blogging first

Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, accomplished an important first in Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Speaking to Judge John G. Roberts Jr., Mr. Cornyn said: “Well, I happened to be looking at my computer last night, and one of the blogs — and it’s always frightening to see, to put your name in a search and look at the ways it’s mentioned. I suggest you don’t do that, if you haven’t, until this hearing is over, because this hearing is the subject of a lot of activity and interest in the blogosphere.”

On National Review Online’s “Corner” blog (www.nationalreview.com)Kathryn Jean Lopez observed: “I think it is safe to say that this is the first Supreme Court hearing where a senator references the ‘blogosphere.’”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.


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