Wednesday, July 20, 2005

So Bush went against the wishes of the people to nominate a woman (80% favored) that was in favor of existing abortion laws and that was not overly conservative -- at least by the standard of Justice O'Connor (just 17% deemed her conservative). Nope, instead he chose payback to -- you guessed it -- his religious & far-right supporters.

Roberts is clearly not a mainstream, moderate conservative. He doesn't have an extensive record to go on -- which is by design since Rove/Bush wanted to keep the Dems guessing and give them as little damning evidence as possible. However, based on what you can find is a judge/lawyer who is deeply entrenched in Republican-backed organizations, one who actively fought for Bush in the vote recount of 2000 (another payback by Bush), one who is strongly opposed to environmental protections and regulations, one who has stated that Roe v. Wade should be "overruled" and has argued against doctors having the free speech to advise patients about abortion, and one who voted against Cheney having to turn over his infamous energy notes. And this is just what we know based on his relatively scant record. As the WSJ puts it, Roberts' short time on the bench gives the White House a "strategic advantage." It pays to pick a rookie!

All you really need to know is Matt Drudge had blaring on his web site, "Thank you, Mr. President." Oh, and that the far-right nutjob Hugh Hewitt is best buddies with Roberts.

Many editorials have lamely described Roberts as somewhat moderate, not by providing specifics concerning his record but rather doing so in relation to who they expected Bush to nominate. Most thought the nominee would be a much more overtly far-right candidate. Instead, Roberts is a stealth choice.

If he's thought not to be an extremist, it's by design. Rove/Bush simply had to pick someone who was a bit more right-wing than O'Connor; it's all relative. If he were to replace Rehnquist, many wingnuts would have been far more disappointed. However, when Rehnquist retires, then they'll pick a more obviously strident right-wing nominee, with the end result being -- poof, a Court that overall is farther to the right than it was with O'Connor and Rehnquist.

Look, as much as I despise most of what I've read about Roberts' rulings and positions (esp. about the environment), he's a shoe-in. Harry Reid has already uttered that he has "suitable legal credentials," i.e. he's in. I tend to agree with this take, particularly since the Dems have shown they don't have the stomach for a fight and there upcoming "resistance" will be all bluster and for the cameras. They will NOT go to the mat so just get it over with and refocus attention to all of the other GOP sh*t that's piling up. Ironically, Rove/Bush are likely praying that the Dems will engage in a protracted ugly fight so that it will continue to run the clock on delaying media attention spent on Rove's Plame mess.

Yes, it's disturbing that Roberts is fairly young and that we'll have to live with his decisions for a few decades. But in reality (reminder: we're reality-based), who did we think we were going to get, another Ginsburg? Or even a Souter? This entire SCOTUS process is a lost cause (almost as if the Dems knew as much when agreeing to the idiotic Catch-22 filibuster agreement). No, the REAL fight, one that can be won, is regarding the ever-growing mountain of sleaze, lies, deception, and slime (Rove, DeLay, DSM, Iraq debacle, environmental policy doctoring, etc.). This SCOTUS fight can't possibly be won so like a smart general would do, proper strategic decisions need to be made to channel the resources and attention to the right battles, the ones that with proper execution can expose the GOP's Achilles heel for the fatal blow.

To defeat Rove's army requires shrewdness, chess-like maneuvers, focus, discipline, and the willingness to look at the bigger picture and see the mission through to its poetic completion. Too often the Dems have taken Rove's bait and paid for it. Schiavo and DSM simply fell into their laps. It's time for smart planning and purposeful action. The Dems still have plenty to work with thanks to blundering and blind-with-power Republicans. They simply need to realize this fact and use the time effectively and wisely.

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