Today's Blogs

Oh, My Darling Clement In?

Bloggers debate whether President Bush will nominate Judge Edith Clement to the Supreme Court. They also discuss Rep. Tom Tancredo’s suggestion that the U.S. bomb Mecca if American cities are attacked and struggle to define the legacy of Gen. William Westmoreland.

Judging Edith: President Bush will announce his Supreme Court nominee at a press conference this evening. The top candidate is Edith Brown Clement, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Many bloggers cite her thin voting record. CQ Weekly columnist Craig Crawford suggests at Crawfordslist that the White House will nominate Clement because “[s]he has so little experience on the bench that liberals will have a tough time attacking her record,” and that even conservatives will have trouble knowing what to make of her.

Most conservatives are peeved with the idea that the White House might choose a relative moderate. “My gut instincts tell me that it is a bad idea to try to go with a stealth candidate (e.g., David Souter) when there are many ‘known-quantity’ originalists out there for the President to choose from,” writes Jay Anderson at the Catholic blog Pro Ecclesia.

“[G]iven that abortion is always the main sticking point when it comes to judicial nominees, her seemingly moderate position may cause special interest groups on both sides of the issue to launch media blitzes against her nomination,” reasons the blog at Washington, D.C., radio station WMET1160.Lawdawg, a first-year law student at the University of Georgia, thinks that Clement is a wise choice because “elements of both sides are showing some disdain (and distrust) of the nomination. It’s what I like to think of as a good old-fashioned compromise. … And isn’t it about time Bush did something that was both moderate and laden with common sense?” he posts at The Juris Doctor.

For more on Judge Clement’s decisions, click here. Read her profile on Slate’s Supreme Court shortlist. Read what bloggers have to say about her here.

Bomb Mecca?: Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado, has drawn criticism for his remarks on an Orlando talk-radio show. When asked how the United States should respond if terrorists strike American cities, Tancredo suggested “taking out” Muslim holy sites, including Mecca.

Conservative Slublog worries that the remarks will get picked up in the Middle East. “Tancredo needs to apologize,” he argues, “and the White House should issue a statement of displeasure making it clear that the congressman is off the reservation here.”

“Although I’m likely to get skewered for saying this, I agree with Tancredo,” writes Texican at the military and foreign-affairs blog One Hand Clapping. “We are fighting this war with kid gloves. Seems we learned nothing from Vietnam.” John Weidner at the conservative Random Jottings thinks bombing Mecca is a bad idea, but “[o]n the other hand, it is very good for certain people to be aware that America is much more dangerous than our normal behavior might lead them to believe. For their own good. … I think a better threat would be that the next 9-11 will result in two more ‘Iraqs.’”

Read more about Tom Tancredo here. You can listen to his radio interview here. Read the transcript here.

Old Westy: Gen. William Westmoreland, who led American forces in Vietnam from 1964 to 1968, died Monday at age 91.

“He was tall and lanky and just had an aire of power about him, probably due to the fact that his fatigues were always pressed and his boots were highly polished,” remembersEcho9er, a retired U.S. army sergeant major. “[W]e were witness to the man who really brought air mobility as we now know it, to the battlefield.”

Chicagoan driftglass condemns Westmoreland as “relentlessly and insanely optimistic (translation: ‘a liar’) about how well the war was going and how it could be won. … He was adamant until the very end that if only he’d been allowed to expand the war into the surrounding countries … Final Victory would have been ours.” The left-of-center Saint Eyebeat concurs: “Westmoreland invented the strategic mistakes in Vietnam that are being repeated in Iraq.”

Shamgar, an Iowa grandfather writing at River Rat Ranger, is adamant that Westmoreland was right all along. “[H]e insisted quite correctly that we did not lose the Vietnam War, we were only guilty of having abandoned our allies, the South Vietnamese. … [H]is hands were tied by the government and he was not allowed to do the one thing that would have won the war … invade, seize territory and hold it.”

Read other memories of Gen. Westmoreland here.