Thursday, July 07, 2005

Two Retirements Means Bigger Fight

The happenings of London are important, but the talking heads are doing their usual job of squeezing this story for every ratings point. Thus, I'll talk about something else.

First, Sandra Day O'Conner has already stepped down, and now Rhenquist may retire as well. Poor Bush is in a dreadful pickle.

"Adding to the tension is word from court sources that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist also will announce his retirement before the week is over. "

The Republican base, at least the religious right, will not settle for anything less than two anti-abortion justices. The Democrats will never allow this if they can help it. Even Lincoln would have a tough time navigating this mess. It goes without saying that in regards to Bush, Abraham Lincoln he ain't.

Drudge is reporting that the often over-looked Democratic senator from New York is ready to play hardball.

"Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Schumer got busy plotting away on the cellphone aboard a Washington, DC-New York Amtrak -- plotting Democrat strategy for the upcoming Supreme Court battle.

Schumer promised a fight over whoever the President’s nominee was: “It's not about an individual judge… It's about how it affects the overall makeup of the court.”

The chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was overheard on a long cellphone conversation with an unknown political ally, and the DRUDGE REPORT was there!"

I don't know where Matt Drudge gets his sources, and it doesn't really matter to me. I'm buying this one because it fits. Schumer knows allowing Bush to nominate two conservative justices will not help the liberals legislate from the bench.

From what I'm hearing, Bush is set on Gonzales. Personally, I'm lukewarm to the fellow. I'd rather see a Scalia clone, but whether or not that's going to happen is another story.

Will the Democrats protest a Gonzales nomination? That remains to be seen. It would behoove Chuck and company to led Gonzales slide although, although my instinct tells me they won't.

That would enable Bush to play this game: Name one justice no less conservative than Rehnquist, and name Gonzales, whose past record suggests he would replicate retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on abortion and possibly other social issues. Thus, the present ideological orientation of the court would be unchanged, which would suit the left just fine."

That's one theory anyway. Make no bones about it, the Democrats are going to run about Henny Penny like no matter who gets nominated. They smell fear in the Republican members of the so-called "gang of fourteen". Bush has to remember that no matter who he nominates, the left will start screaming, Dean-like, that the sky is falling.

Only a plactated base will help Bush at all. He needs to get the most conservative justices through that he can. The religious right doesn't always understand the politics of Washington and see compromise as weakness, which, it often is. If Bush nominates even one pro-choice judge as his father did, the religious base will not forgive this unpardonable sin.

This one is going to get old really fast. Bush will probably nominate Gonzales and a conservative in the Thomas/Scalia tradition and no one will be happy with him. This is not the first and it won't be the last time I do not envy him.

And we wonder why no one with intelligence and credibility wants to be president. Good luck Bush. You're going to need all the help you can get.


Jonathan said...

The Democrats will put up only token resistence to a Justice Gonzalez. It's the best outcome they can hope for, under the circumstances.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

I think you're right, but it will still be interesting to see how it plays out. Will Gonzales be the first nominee or the second?

I only wish we could speed it up because it will probably drag on forever.