Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Katrina Effect

The Moose ponders the Katrina Effect on the SCOTUS.

Karl Rove, the Director of the Federal Emergency Image Management Agency (FEIMA), has a critical decision to make in the recovery of the POTUS' image - SCOTUS replacements. So far so good - Roberts is a smart and safe choice for Chief - he is a Rehnquist clone and will probably generate relatively little controversy.

The next choice is far dicer. Now, we enter the territory of actually changing the ideological composition of the Court. Which way to go? It would seem that the prudent thing to do would be to reach out to the middle. After all, that might actually seem like a Presidential gesture at a time of national distress. However, the FEIMA Director has other considerations on his mind.

The President's numbers are plummeting. The only factor that keeps him in the 40 percentile, however, is support from the conservative base. If they abandon W - hello to the most unpopular President in U.S. history. And the right is signaling that a moderate such as Gonzales is unacceptable. Yesterday's Washington Post,

"Within hours of the death Saturday of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, leaders of some social conservative groups began to signal their adamant opposition to the possible selection of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to replace him."

"Most leaders on the right were careful to avoid publicly criticizing Gonzales for fear of angering President Bush. The conservatives privately expressed determination, however, to communicate their concerns that the attorney general does not share their views on abortion and affirmative action."

What is a FEIMA Director to do? First and foremost is the image recovery effort. The stress must be unimaginable handling this and having a prosecutor breathing down your neck!

-- Posted at 8:15 AM | Link to this post | Email this post