Hmmm. Seems like the religious right finally cottoned on to a point made here only a couple of weeks ago – that Montana Governor Marc Racicot is an enlightened, smart, unbigoted conservative, who has made overtures toward gay rights in office. Robbie George, a smart Natural Law theorist at Princeton, is the man responsible, according to the Washington Post this morning. I wonder if Robbie reads the Dish. We’ve had several lively and cordial debates over the years, so it wouldn’t surprise me. But Robbie’s intellectual skill is matched by his somewhat pristine Catholicism. He is so concerned with upholding Thomistic natural law that he once publicly declared there was a state interest in discriminating against masturbators! (Along with Gale Norton, he’s an alum of the Colorado 2 decision, which was ultimately reversed by the Supreme Court). That’s why, according to the Post, we’re stuck with Ashcroft – by far the least tolerable of Bush’s appointments. On the one hand, I’m relieved that the far right has only been given one plum, at Justice, and that Dan Coats’s animus against gay and female soldiers was one reason he didn’t make it to the Pentagon. On the other hand, it’s depressing to think that an able, talented, loyal conservative like Racicot could be barred from appointment as A.G. simply because he believes that homosexuals should enjoy equal protection of the laws. Not a good omen, is it?