"It's real simple. If invading Iraq was a bad idea because it enraged Al Qaeda and handed them fodder for recruitment propaganda, then invading Afghanistan was likewise a bad idea because that, too, enraged Al Qaeda and handed them fodder for recruitment propaganda. If military action provokes retaliation, and retaliation must be avoided, then any and all military action must be avoided always and everywhere. Fighting the enemy anywhere at all will produce exactly the same result: they won't like it and will want to fight back. That always happens in war. Otherwise it wouldn't be war.

"And we're still assuming (solely for the sake of argument) that Islamists only commit terrorism in retaliation, which is demonstrably false."

Quiet Before the Storm?

Am I the only person who worries that the reason Democrats have been restrained about the nomination of Judge Roberts is that this will make them look more legitimate when they erupt later on?

This quote from Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University, makes me think that Roberts is not going to be palatable to them:

"'The pro-life and pro-family movement has never demanded anything more, but is unwilling to accept anything less, than constitutionalist judges ...,' law and ethics specialist Robert George told reporters in a July 20 conference call. 'By constitutionalist judge, what we mean, and have always meant, is a judge who recognizes the distinction between interpreting the law and making the law and, together with that, understands that in a system of limited government, judges too are under the rule of law. They don't simply make up the law. They are constrained by the constitutional limits of their own power and they must avoid usurping the power of the elected representatives of the people and thus violating the constitutional principles of deliberative democracy that we have.

"'It's clear from the record that Judge Roberts is a constitutionalist judge,' said George, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. 'That means that the president has kept faith with his pledge to appoint such a person to the Supreme Court ... so this is an appointment the pro-life and pro-family movement should applaud.'"

Faith of the Nominee

Loose Canon couldn't help but notice that the treacle quality of the comments on the role of religion in the life of Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts in a New York Times profile. Here's the patch I have in mind:

"Friends of Judge Roberts and his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, a lawyer at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, say they share a strong faith. 'They are deeply religious,' said Fred F. Fielding, the former White House counsel for President Reagan, 'but they don't wear it on their sleeves at all.'

"The couple are members of the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Md., a Catholic congregation that includes about 1,500 families. Like many Washington-area churches, its members have included prominent political figures. Thomas O'Neill, the former speaker of the House known as Tip, as well as Edmund Muskie, the former United States senator, secretary of state and presidential candidate, once attended, said Gary R. Davies, a church deacon. More recently, L. Paul Bremer III, who served as the United States' administrator in Iraq, was a member.

"The church, Mr. Davies said, is not particularly political, though it does organize two or so busloads of members each year to participate in an anti-abortion rally marking the Roe v. Wade decision. 'I have never heard anyone talk about politics,' Mr. Davies said. 'It just does not belong.'

"Some who know Judge Roberts say he does not let his personal beliefs affect his legal views. 'He's not going to allow political or theological interference with his opinions,' said Mark Touhey, a partner in the Texas law firm of Vinson & Elkins."

Okay, let's try to understand this: You're "deeply religious" but it has absolutely no impact on your legal views? Loose Canon doesn't want a Supreme Court Justice who's likely to try to impose dogma on the country. But she doesn't want a schizophrenic either.

It's a good sign that Roberts belongs to the John Carroll Society (famous for orthodox and stimulating Friday talks by Monsignor Peter Vaghi) and that his wife has been on the board of Feminists for Life.