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Arnold’s Big Decision

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Gov. Arnold was a guest on the program today. You can read a transcript of the enitre interview over at Radioblogger, but the key exchange, in my view, came at the end of the conversation. The confirmation of Janice Roger Brown to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has created a vacancy on the California Supreme Court. Brown was the most conservative member of California’s highest court, and though she often was obliged to dissent, she was a voice for serious scholarship from the right side of the legal spectrum in a state inceasingly overwhelmed at every level by left and hard left thinking.

Her replacement matters a lot to center-right conservatives, and Arnold’s choice will be a huge deal to the center-right troops whom he will need in the fall of ’06 if he declares for re-election.

It would be the smartest, and easiest thing in the world to nominate former Congressman, state legislator and judge James Rogan, who’s up from the streets life story is inspiring to all people who know it.

It will be a disaster if Arnold picks a “centrist” or a time-serving state or federal judge.

If the Los Angeles Times is happy with the appointment, Arnold will have stumbled. Badly.

Conservatives have little to show for their support of Arnold to date. Things would have been worse under Davis, yes, but the blowback might have been enoguh to trigger statewide realignment. This is the opportunity Arnold needs to use to say “thanks” to his supporters on the right while at the same time doing the courts a favor by keeping alive a vibrant strain of legal reasoning, which though in the minority at present, represents a significant slice of California thinking. Here’s the excerpt:

HH: Will you be appointing the new Justice on the California Supreme Court before the election?

AS: I don’t think it will be before the election, but I mean…

HH: Are conservatives going to be happy, Governor?

AS: We are right now going through the process, and it is, as you know, it’s always very important that we appoint the right person, the most competent person, the person that really has skills and experience.

HH: But it’s got to be a conservative. I mean, Janice Rogers Brown was the most conservative member of that court, and if you come in with a moderate, aren’t the conservatives going to sit on their hands for you, Governor, next year?

AS: You can count on it that we will do the right…we will pick the right choice, and that we will do the right replacement.

UPDATE: Judge Brown is schedule to hear about 25 cases in the next two months. Her opinions will be closely examined as she has to be on the president’s short list for the next vacancy, along with Judges Luttig an McConnell.

I have been searching for the record of the swearing-in of Judge Brown. If you have a link, please send it along to hugh@hughhewitt.com.

Forget Red/Blue: The Fat States v. The Skinny States

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States ranked by percentage of their population classified as obese 2002-2004 Average (the data from 2004 is in the parenthetical):

1 Mississippi (29.5) 28.1
2 Alabama (28.9) 27.7
3 West Virginia (27.6) 27.6
4 Louisiana (27.00) 25.8
5 Tennessee (27.2) 25.6
6 (tie) Texas (25.8) 25.3
6 (tie) Michigan (25.4) 25.3
6 (tie) Kentucky (25.8) 25.3
9 Indiana (25.5) 25.2
10 South Carolina (25.1) 25.1

The skinny states:

1 Colorado 16.8
2 Massachusetts 18.4
3 Vermont 18.7
4 Rhode Island 19.0
5 Utah 19.6
6 Conneticut 19.7
7 Montana 19.7
8 (tie) Wyoming 20.8
8 (tie) Idaho 20.8
10 Nevada 21.1

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The Vietnam Addicts

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The voting continues at Ruffini’s place.

The Boston Globe’s always wrong Derrick Z. Jackson wants Chuck Hagel to be the new William Fullbright. (Would that include supporting segregation, Derrick, and Fullbright’s votes against the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965?)

Kevin Drum wants someone to be the new Eugene McCarthy.

But there’s a reason why Hagel has less than 150 votes of more than 12,600 cast at Ruffini’s place.

It is the same reason why Drum’s phone isn’t ringing with requests for him to consult on the Hillary campaign.

Dissatisfaction with the war isn’t the same thing as a desire for retreat and defeat. It is sorrow over the loss, and weariness over the prospect of decades of such conflict.

But there is no mass mobilization of the sort that marked the Vietnam era, no campuses shut down, no weekly rallies and raised fists.

In fact, there seems to be the opposite, judging from election results which are the best test of a country’s genuine will. The retreat and defeat caucus got hammered less than a year ago, and were silenced by the Iraqi elections in January, but they are not easily dissuaded of their own virtue or persuaded by facts and tallies.

No matter how many elections they lose, or how many elections the Iraqis and the Afghans hold, or how many al Qaeda are captured or killed, the left will always be against the war and for retreat.

The good news is that the American electorate isn’t stupid, and that new media exists where it didn’t in 1969.

Ruffini’s Straw Poll

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Instapundit offers this anaysis of Ruffini’s August, 2005 straw poll:

RUDY GIULIANI IS KICKING BUTT in Patrick Ruffini’s 2008 Republican straw poll. What’s really interesting, though, is that the results are pretty robust notwithstanding the different flavors of blogs. Giuliani is a huge favorite among InstaPundit readers (McCain is a distant second). But he also holds the lead (albeit narrowly) among Hugh Hewitt readers, who are on the social-conservative side and who didn’t favor him last time around. He also leads among Michelle Malkin readers and among Power Line readers.

FreeRepublic readers favor Tom Tancredo, which probably says something about the GOP’s vulnerability on immigration. And Condi Rice seems to lead pretty much everywhere in the “fantasy candidate” category. I think this makes her a very plausible VP candidate.

Interestingly, I’m pretty sure that a similar poll of Democrats would show a similar lead for Hillary Clinton. Is there some sort of New York magic at work? Forget a “subway Series” — could we have a “subway election” in 2008?

Glenn is spot on, to a point. It is a Guiliani-Allen race –in the late summer of 2005– and will stay that way until the fall of 2007. Senator McCain and Senator Hagel have zero chance of being the GOP nominee because GOP primary voters will be very loyal to W, and those two senators haven’t been.

And when John Thune or Tim Pawlenty decide to test the waters, well, all bets are off.

Of course, the front runner would be Jeb but for his last name, and that doesn’t really bother the base at all. Perhaps he will change his mind…

And if Lynne said to Dick, “okay, honey, if that’s the way it has to be…”

You read it here first. Straw polls are fun, but the variables are too many to say more than “Hmmm.”

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