Saturday, May 30, 2009

He's President and he gets to...yada yada.

Tit for tat may seem childish but is actually a highly effective strategy for maximizing the outcome of a prisoner's dilemma-type game.

I've heard a lot of the following type sentiment when it comes to the latest opening on the Supreme Court:

Obama is the President and he is free to choose who he wants. All Senators should vote based only on the qualifications of the candidate.

I am all for this idea, so long as both sides play by the same rules, but do they? Senator Obama didn't, so he has no rational expectation for the qualification standard being used here.

Senator Obama voted No for both of these gentlemen. A quick analysis of why he did this.

Did he think they were unqualified? No.

He was vague as usual, but did mention the the changing ideological face of the Supreme court. So, ideology is fair-game--at least when practiced by Democrats.

So, if Republicans think that Judge Sotomayer will change the ideology of the court (in a bad way) they should be free to vote against her, even if they think she is qualified.

I think we can go even further than this. I don't think President Obama voted against both Roberts and Alito because they would change the ideology of the court: They didn't replace liberal members of the court. I think he was more interested in maintaining his ideological purity in order to win the Democratic party's nomination. He couldn't very well vote to confirm while Clinton voted against.

So, we have Obama's standard: Vote your political interest. Republican Senators, do what the President did--vote whichever way makes you look good to your voters.

It is nice when self-interest and justice are so well aligned.

Update via Instapundit:

First President in US History to Have Voted to Filibuster a Supreme Court Nominee Now Hopes for Clean Process

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