Thursday :: Jul 7, 2005

Plame And Rehnquist May Be On The Agenda For Friday

by Steve

Amidst the sad news from London over the last 18 hours, there are other stories that will rise to the surface tomorrow. First, the Post is reporting in Friday’s edition that with Judy Miller doing time and Time’s Matt Cooper expected to testify in front of the grand jury any day now, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald appears to be focusing his efforts on nailing down Karl Rove’s role in outing Valerie Plame. According to the Post, regardless of how the case turns out, it will still highlight how the hardball tactics employed by the Bush White House to discredit Joe Wilson by exposing the identity of his wife Plame, at a time when the same White House is whining about how mean the Democrats are to their judicial nominees.

And that becomes a big issue on Friday, because the buzz inside the Beltway is that William Rehnquist will announce his retirement from the Supreme Court also. This will give Bush two picks to make at the same time, and I tend to agree with Josh Marshall on this, in that it will be harder for Bush to install two right wingers at the same time than it would have been for him to install one now and come back several months later and try and install another one. Should Bush nominate two American Taliban endorsees, Democrats should be able to point out who Bush is beholden to, and whose water he is carrying while painting him as being out of touch with everyday voters. Some argue, like Kos, that having two picks may allow Bush to nominate a relatively moderate candidate like Gonzales to go along with a far-right sop for the American Taliban. It is probably the only time Bush would be able to sell Gonzales as a moderate, but the question that I asked earlier in the week still remains: how much political capital does Bush have left to get two judges through?

Going with two nominees now at least allows Bush to please the GOP Latino base that would feel shafted if Gonzales or Emilio Garza are both passed over now, which is why one of them will be included in these selections. Bush could now very easily get a two-fer with Garza, pleasing both the Latinos and the American Taliban, but there is no guarantee that Garza is confirmable. The fact remains that Bush wants to move the court to the right with as many strict constructionists as possible, and wants a court headed by either Scalia or Thomas. These things are outside the mainstream and must be shown as such to the American people, who have already said in numerous polls that they are against overturning Roe v. Wade, and slight majorities in recent polls show that voters want Bush to nominate someone that Democrats can live with, and failing that, voters support Democrats working to defeat that pick.

Steve :: 11:02 PM :: Comments (28) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!