Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Son of Rehnquist

The Moose asks whether the battle of all ages will be postponed for the real Armageddon?

The initial conventional wisdom that somewhat afflicted the Moose was that the O'Conner vacancy would trigger the end of all times battle. That may still be true, but it is not evident that the Roberts nomination will bring forth the apocalypse. Roberts is ideological but deeply establishment. He is more a Republican judicial apparachick than a Scalia/Thomas movement man.

View Roberts as a young Rehnquist. Not only did he clerk for the Chief Justice, Roberts may very well eventually be his replacement. The conservative movement will enthusiastically support him, but he is not "of the movement" quite like Luttig or Jones.

It is likely that Robert's judicial establishment ties will be useful to him in the confirmation process. The nuclear option threat level is yellow rather than orange or red.

W. once again delivered for the base. At this time of political peril, the President could ill afford to alienate his most devoted followers. Another President would have reached out to the center - but not W - it is not in his nature. Gonzales was not an option in a world where ideology and the political imperative apparently trumped friendship.

The Reign of Rove continues despite his travails. The Roberts selection which is conservative but not controversial demonstrates that Rove and the gang still have their touch. The paradox in the pick is that it may not be sufficiently inflammatory to deflect attention from Rove's Plame woes.

Of course, the nominee will now be subjected to the political equivalent of a proctology examination. If nothing damaging is exhumed from his past, the next step are the hearings where Senators will attempt to divine her views on Roe. Good luck. He will duck, dodge and weave to avoid a direct answer.

The Republicans, of course, have the nuclear option in their arsenal if necessary. That means that unless the nomination unravels due to circumstances that are now impossible to know, Roberts will be confirmed.

While abortion is clearly a critical issue, Democrats should also develop a compelling narrative that explains what is the impact of a right wing court on the everyday lives of Americans. In addition, the donkey should also be making the argument that there must be a check on the Republican lock on all three branches of government.

Think '06!
-- Posted at 8:24 PM | Link to this post | Email this post