Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008

A few thoughts

By Ed Garvey
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The debate was fine. As suspected, Hillary would not be confrontational sitting two feet from Barack. While her advisers urged blood and guts, the fact is you cannot pull it off in a debate. (One of her coaches, Madison's own Brady Williamson, was on stage.) The format doesn't allow for personal attacks. And while you can win on points, it is tough to knock-out an opponent. This ain't bean bags but it ain't boxing either.

Think about the memorable lines in all previous debates to make my point. Reagan to Mondale--I won't hold your age against you; Bentsen to Quayle, I knew Jack Kennedy, and you Senator, are no Jack Kennedy. I turned off the TV convinced that Obama has done it. He will be the nominee and he can handle anything McCain and his loopy radio talk show host can throw.

Speaking of McCain, he said he must convince the American people that "we are winning the war in Iraq" or he will lose. If that is the case, he will lose. Almost 4,000 soldiers killed; 60,000 wounded; $498 billion spent thus far; $275 million per day; 700,000-one million Iraqis killed; 4 million refugees--all this from the National Priorities Project. And the rebuilding of the devastated country has not even begun.

Cost to Wisconsin? $8.3 billion. The equivalent cost of 1.3 million four-year scholarships! Winning? Winning? Are you nuts?

Maybe electing the Court is not a good idea afterall. When the WSJ promoted an appointed Court, I jumped on it like a hungry dog on a bone. But without public financing of Supreme Court elections, we get the Court WMC buys. Could we do worse? I doubt it. And the WMC candidates would not even make it to first base in a serious vetting process for Circuit Judge or Assistant Attorney General. The resume of Michael Gableman is pedestrian at best. I don't mean to be a snob, but we do want bright and accomplished lawyers on the Supreme Court.

He attended Hamlin Law School--not exactly the Harvard of the Midwest; and his resume lists no honors. Then, apparently not getting a job offer from a law firm upon graduation, he became an adjunct professor at, you guessed it, Hamlin, and did some clerking for a few years.

With his resume, as put on the internet by WMC, he would not get an interview for an opening at the Department of Justice, and now he wants to be a Supreme Court Justice? Ah, but worry not says WMC--lots of policemen and sheriffs like him. Whoa Nelly! The Missouri Plan is looking good.

Has anyone heard from the Bar President, Tom Basting, or his Commission? If so, let me know. He might have some answers.
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