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October 27, 2005

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Good post, but I don't see why tyou had to put it up three times.

Don't let this be one of the ones you delete.

Here are my final thoughts.

Reid is very smart. Very, very smart.

I think that the foremost things in Bush's mind now are 1) appointing someone who he is comfortable with and thinks will peotect him if he gets into legal trouble, either personal or because of his policies and decisions; 2) someone who favors the GOP business agenda and the policies that his business patrons support; 3) and this must really pain him, someone who he can get through the Senate without tying up the rest of this session and his term as a whole, so that at least some of the remaining (pro-business) agenda items can get passed before he is truly a not just lame but dead duck.

The problem with Miers, as I said when she was appointed, was that she had no constituency. The conservative legal comunity thought she was a joke and all felt it should have been them or their patrons. The wingnuts weren't sure about her. The business community was ok with her but saw no need to get involved. There was no one to defend her when the going got rough but her buddies from Texas and Bush.

So now (if they have learned anything) they have to at least pick someone with a constituency and minimal credentials. If it is a far right person, they risk a real fight that could tie up the Senate. Besides, I hve never thought Bush/Rove really wanted Roe overturned, at least not until the public was really ready for that. That argues for picking someone who isn't a flaming nut like Owens or Janice Brown. If he pisses off the Dobsonites, so what? HE doesn't have to run again.

So what about the fallback that Roosevelt used? Pick a Senator. Pick someone they know and most can't vote against, even if he is very conservative, someone from a Red state who will be replaced with another GOP Senator. Jon Cornyn, for example.

I still think he'd like to pick Gonzales. He can argue that the presidential papers aren't so necessary with someone who has fairly well-known views and at least some judicial record. But then the war rationales and abuses are apt to be on the table already with the indictments, and that makes Abu Gonzales a problem.

The other women? Just before Miers was picked, rumor had it that Mahoney and Owens had taken their names out of contention because the confirmation process was perceived as so brutal. Miers' experience just adds to that perception.

So if they can't stomach someone who is the judicial equivalent of Ben Bernanke (well-respected, but with a more mnoderate reputation than Luttig or McConnell), then look no farther than the Senate.

Please, not Cornyn. The thought of him on the SCOTUS makes my head hurt and my stomach turn at the same time. Is there enough will on the part of the dems at this point to stop a winger disguised as a senator?

"Advice" is back in style. "Consent" is no longer fait accompli.

And Searchlight Harry has the Crawford Kid steaming.

I can't imagine it being Cornyn. They have to pick someone from one of the other 49 states.

Thanks for invoking the great Saul Alinsky, DHinMI. 'Rules for Radicals' is worth revisiting - like manuals of style - every few years. I'm gonna go dig out my copy...

The downside in this development is that we didn't get into Judiciary Committee hearings, which would have exposed W's brilliance to a wider TV audience ... or votes, which would have driven wedges deeper into the GOP base.

Both would have left Harry with a few more chips in his stack.

I can't believe they don't have more than one John Roberts up their sleeve. Are there that few brilliant people with no paper trail? That is a hard trick to pull off, but still, it's a big country.

I think we may be seeing that we really, truly won the nuclear option, that they are really unwilling to have a fight in the open over a someone who on the surface is someone who would make the wingnuts happy. Thus, stealth candidates. And how many stealth candidates can they be sure won't be a Souter?

Here's a chess match for you:

Patrick Fitzgerald v. Harry Reid

Who do you bet on?

I put my chips on zero.

I think Bush does not want to nominate a die-hard conservative who will overturn Roe. If he did, that would just about guarantee the Presidency to the Democrats for the next 2 to 3 terms so that a Dem. Prez could pack SCOTUS with enough votes to put Roe back in place.

The best way for the Repubs to keep power is to keep SCOTUS 1 vote from overturning Roe to keep the religious right turning out in large numbers in elections, but without pissing off the majority of people who, while not crazy about abortions, still want to have it around.

The conservatives knew that Bush/Rove were playing them, which is why they got so hacked off.

Chess? Fitzgerald. Poker? Reid.

Alinsky's advice (which I didn't know about but enjoyed - thanks) seems the predecessor for effectively lighthearted movements like Billionaires for Bush and this fellow who's been following Mike Bloomberg around with a Bush mask and signs saying things like, "Mike, You know you love me."

When to signal your satire and when to let people believe is an open question for me. Has the Bush PR department ever sent letters-to-editors posing as rabid liberals taking an extreme position? Betcha they have. Is that an extension of Alinskky's gambit, or just being a troll? Is there a difference?

(I think the difference is, whether, if caught, it makes you or your mark look bad. Reid, if he was playing, played it well: even if his small deceit were exposed it just makes the other side look more foolish.)

Agree on Reid's move, it in fact it was deliberate. As long as she wasn't confirmed, there's probably no way for it come back against him. After all, the only thing he really did was damn with sincere-sounding praise.

Hmmm Ron. Poker to the NV guy and chess to the guy who went to Amherst?

Maybe. But I never saw a lot of chess get played at Amherst.

How about poker and beer pong?

This morning on KUAR, Little Rock's NPR affiliate, Senator Mark Pryor (D-Arkansas) was interviewed. He suggested that Bush appoint Lindsay Graham.

Let's not forget that it was Nixon who defeated an opponent by circulating postcards purporting to favor her, signed by the nonexistent "Communist League of Negro Women".

I'm not a fan of Nixon, and I'm not a fan of that kind of tactic. It can only be pulled off by people who have nothing to lose in terms of reputation if their deception is discovered.

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