July 09, 2005

Where Being Sent To The Bench Is A Good Thing

Drew's got a pretty bleak picture of the state of affairs after the recent announcement that Sandra Day O'Conner will step down from the Supreme Court and the rumors that another (Rehnquist), or possibly two more (Rehnquist and Stevens), retirement announcements are on the way.

First let me just state the obvious; the fact that Bush is getting any Supreme Court nominations is a bad thing. Still, given the ages represented on the Court it's hardly surprising, especially given how long it's been since a new Justice was appointed.

Ok, that's the basic stuff. I have to agree with Drew that if they manage to get two more Scalia's on the Court and promote the real Slim Scalia to the big chair that things are going to be screwed like crazy. Drew mentions a lot of areas where precedents can be overturned, and he's right of course, but I'd be much more concerned about areas where there *aren't* decades of precedents yet. We're talking the internet(s), genetic manipulation/cloning/research, novel issues of international law stemming from the so-called War on Terror. Yeah, that's all pretty scary.

Still, and perhaps I'm just be a bit of an insane optimist here, but I just don't think Bush can pull something like that off. Sure, there may be a grand conservative leader that will guide this country into a decades long venture into a fundy dreamland, but Bush isn't gonna be that guy in my ever humble opinion. I mean, Zogby's got the guy polling with 42% of people saying they'd be in favor of impeachment if it was found that Bush mislead people about Iraq before the war and it's only in the South that Bush's job approval gets over 50%, and even then it's at 51%. Yeah, everyone should be skeptical of polls and those numbers probably aren't that high or low, respectively. Still, major polling institutions are polling on *impeachment*! The fact that they're even asking the questions is pretty big, and though it may be a bit higher than reality, 42% is a high damn number!

I just don't think Bush is in the position to nominate real honest to God wackos, or at least certainly not two. Sure, he'll probably be able to a real conservative in Rehnquist's seat of that opens up, and that's fine, though I still don't think he'll be able to get a James Dobson-ite through. But with O'Conner's seat, I have to believe that the Dems are going to fight tooth and nail to get a real moderate in there. Yeah, the hearings are going to be long, and in all likelihood pretty catty, but I have to think there are enough Republicans sane enough out there to realize that replacing the first woman ever to be appointed to the Court and who was always the bulwark guarding some fundamental reproductive rights with some crusty old white conservative monolith would be disasterous to their party. Yeah, we'd be stuck with a couple crap judges, if they ever managed to get them through, but the Dems would be handed one of the most potent electoral messages they could ever hope for.

Of course I suppose we'll all see, but I feel like whatever it was the Bush was calling his "political capital" from reelection has been spent paying for an unpopular an unproductive war. Like Clinton he's surrounded by scandals, and these ones aren't just getting a blowjob. Like I started with, Bush nominating anyone is bad news, but I don't think we're quite staring at the abyss.

1 comment:

Noumena said...

There've been rumblings about nominating a conservative female or ethnic minority to Day O'Connor's seat, someone like Alberto Gonzalez. I'd like to think the Congressional Dems would put up a huge fight over anyone who wasn't a thoughtful moderate in the mold of Day O'Connor, but I'm scared we're going to see something like the 'compromise' earlier this year: grassroots Dems foam at the mouth as Congressional Dems make some half-assed protestations before giving the wingnuts the judges they wanted.