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:: Wednesday, July 20, 2005 ::

Bush's SCOTUS pick

Well, since we all know it's Roberts, I felt I'd weigh in not on "Roberts the Judge" (I'm not really qualified, and the bulk of his record is advocacy work -- you shill for what your clients pay you to shill. His judicial philosophy is better revealed on the bench, and it's not like he's got decades of decisions under his belt) but on "Roberts choice and the politics of".

First, it's pretty obvious that Bush moved up the announcement in an attempt to kick Rove off the front page. Having said that, I don't think it's going to work. A SCOTUS announcement is news, but the hearings and the debate over his nomination won't be for another month or so. So far, the Democrats have responded with -- no kidding -- basically a "I dunno" type of response. Noncommittal enough that there's no story (other than the story about there BEING no story. I hate the media).

So why Roberts? Mostly he's a compromise candidate. Bush faces several contradictory requirements. First, he wants to please his base (right wing loon). Second, he wants to please his contributors (business friendly). Third, he wants to avoid the appearance of nomination a loon or hack -- his poll numbers are so bad that it's entirely possible he couldn't muscle in someone nuts over the Gang of 14...much less defeat a filibuster. With his poll numbers, he can't risk an obvious defeat. Fourth, he really needs some positive press and something to take the attention off Karl Rove.

Well, I'm thinking he utterly failed with number 4 -- unless he's expecting indictments in late August or early September. For the other three, he's trying to thread the needle -- offer someone who supports the loony-toons issues while also being (or appearing to be) a reasoned conservative, right than an ideologue.

The Right has to be worried he's another Souter -- and the Left that he's a crazy hiding behind a reasoned mask. I have no idea which he is -- and neither do the Democrats. The GOP seems to be okay with him -- I expect his hearings will be VERY interesting.

But not for a month or two. So where does that leave the current situation? Exactly where it was -- Karl Rove is far more fascinating a story than a very bland SCOTUS nominee who isn't up for a hearing for months. And I think it's very telling that -- even when Bush desperately needs a diversion, his political situation is so bad that Roberts is the best he can do.
:: Morat 10:47 AM :: ::

:: Monday, July 18, 2005 ::

Arrgghhhh

You know, I could tell this was going to be a crappy day within minutes of waking up. The next two hours just reinforced it. And now, it's 11:00 o'clock and I'm officially pronouncing this a shitty day.

Expect excess snark over the next several days, with an increased chance of ranting.
:: Morat 9:04 AM :: ::

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