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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

SCOTUS: Mission Desperation

The Bushies blew it. They were desperate and it shows.

A spirited debate is now underway, and John Roberts' intellect and steadiness are being touted across the aisle. But his choice was rushed -- to spin the RoveLiesDeathGate story right off the front pages and provide some breathing room to a desperately nervous White House.

Make no mistake this was a rush job. Dan Bartlett's nonsense claim that the expedited nomination was meant to mesh with a hurried Senate calendar is pure rubbish. Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation wasn't effective the moment she announced it -- but only when her replacement has been confirmed. The WH could've waited without risking an understaffed SCOTUS.

If the WH hoped that this status quo conservative would prompt a reassessment of Bush's legacy -- that this would finally peg him as the uniter that he's long promised he would be -- they're dead wrong. Only Rudy Giuliani can rule so autocratically and then bail out his reputation in the 11th hour. Of course, his high water mark came at a very low moment for the nation.

The WH actually should've aimed to polarize Washington with a semi-viable wingbot. The Democrats would have snapped into froth-at-the-mouth mode and made easy marks as the Party of No. And that could've been used to gird claims that Democrat attacks on Rove are simply par for the Donkey. Roberts gives Democrats the opportunity to look judicious and thorough without seeming rabid.

As well, the massive wing machinery assembled to promote W's choice was gearing up for a real wingjob, a bomb-thrower in the mold of Scalia or Thomas. Instead, W has offered up a man who actually respects the institution of the court and its precedents. Good grief. He may never become a swing vote, but it's not impossible that he could one day become W's version of Souter. Cornhuskerblogger can dream. And like I've said, likefatherlikeson.

The pressure's getting to them...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

CHB has it totally right. I was expecting a Scalia-type nominee so W could keep DC in a crazed state of Repubs vs Dems, over a long period of time. This would've given the GOP crazies exercise to keep them primed for the next election cycle and keep Karl and Liddy (and W and Cheney) out of Plame-gate stuff. Instead, W named someone who will keep the media's attention for a week at most (& until the actual Senate confirmation vote), at which time it'll go back to Plame-gate. What fun.

7/20/2005 8:57 PM  
Blogger strategery4 said...

OK, so are these guys evil or stupid? Ya gotta pick one. I mean, according to this theory they rush out Roberts to get Rove off the front page (b/c they're evil), but then the fuck up and pick someone who is insufficiently controversial so that it doesn't work (so they're stupid). I can see them being evil and stupid at DIFFERENT points in time, but this has a little damned if they do and damned if they don't quality (not that they shouldn't be damned on first principles).

7/22/2005 12:23 PM  

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