July 26, 2005 [LINK]

Rove uproar begins to fizzle

Matthew Cooper laid out everything he knows about the Rove-Wilson-Plame flap in last week's Time magazine: "What I Told the Grand Jury." The key points were already known to the public, but they bear repeating: Rove never used Valerie Plame's name, and he "never once indicated to me that she had any kind of covert status." If it weren't such a potentially weighty matter, I'd be tempted to say that this case is closed. Rove is probably off the hook for criminal charges, at least. If anyone is to blame for his wife's cover being blown, it is Joseph Wilson, who made himself the center of a political firestorm, practically begging for scrutiny into his personal connections to the intelligence services. In townhall.com, Michael Barone (via Power Line blog) pointed out that the Senate Intelligence Committee's bipartisan report "concluded that Wilson lied when he said his wife had nothing to do with his dispatch to Niger," and tended to support charges that Iraq sought to buy uranium in Africa, which Wilson loudly denied. Hardly anything in the intelligence world is ever black or white, however. Barone concludes:

The case against Rove -- ballyhooed by recent Time and Newsweek cover stories that paid little heed to the discrediting of Wilson -- seems likely to end not with a bang but a whimper.

Don't worry, the Mainstream Media will find something else to harp on before long...

The Roberts nomination

At first glance, President Bush's selection of John Roberts to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court seemed like a masterstroke. He's conservative but amiable and nondogmatic, with no apparent skeletons in his closet. The initial knee-jerk reaction against him exhibited by many Democrats -- most notably Sen. Chuck Schumer, but also many leftist pundits and bloggers -- was almost comical. Perhaps this was the work of "boy genius" Karl Rove, suckering the opposition into revealing their obstinate refusal to cooperate on major issues.

Now, however, we learn that Roberts was (apparently) a member of the Federalist Society, composed of lawyers and legal experts who believe in our country's original constitutional principles and view the American court system as deeply biased toward the Left. Sinister cabal? No, just people who oppose policy-setting activism by liberal judges. Unfortunately, Roberts raised needless doubts by stating that he doesn't remember if he belonged to that group, stretching credulity and acting as though he had something to hide. (see Washington Post) The big underyling question, of course, is abortion, which doesn't rank high among my priorities. I detest screening potential judges on the basis of whether they pass a "litmus test" on a particular issue. I will say this, however: the Roe v. Wade decision was a travesty in the way it fabricated a constitutional basis for the decision out of whole cloth, and in the way it created a new "right" (which is properly a legislative function) by judicial fiat.