Saturday, October 08, 2005

Obligatory post on soon-to-be-Justice Miers

And a great wailing was heard across the land, lo, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the people shouted, "Whoa! We have been undone, undone, we say, and disrespected, and our leaders have forsaken us and our God has ceased to listen to us. We asked for judges from the League of Indestructible Vines, but instead we have one come to us from the Plains of Dry Grasses. How can we accept the judgment of a foreigner, who does not know our ways? How can we accept the judgment of one whose judgments we don't already know? Where is Justice Luttig? Where is Justice O'Connell? Where is the justice who will overturn the rulings of the mighty? Can anyone named Harriet overturn the rulings of the mighty?"

And a voice came from the clouds louder than thunder, and it cried, "Get over it. It's just the way it is."

I don't know soon-to-be-Justice Miers, and I have no stronger crystal ball about her future rulings than anybody else does, but I stand in awe of the political savvy of the man who nominated her.

Look at it this way: Miers is going to be confirmed. If Republican Senators vote against her, Democrats will vote for her. If Democrats raise their opposition to high gear, the Republican "base" will come on board. If Senate Democrats try to mount a filibuster, they risk losing the filibuster against other, perhaps more objectionable (to their point of view) judges in the future. And despite all the threats and concern, more Democrats will vote to confirm her than Republicans against her.

Bush plays his constituencies like a piano. Getting the Schlaflys and the Coulters and the NRO crowd to proclaim his pick unacceptable will undermine her opposition among Democrats. Smelling blood, the NYT is putting its resources into finding information that will further alienate Republicans, again shoring up support among the Democrats. If she turns out to be a solid conservative -- as she may very well -- the Dems are going to feel so snookered that they will scream and stomp like Rumplestiltskin.

But a more apt folk tale may be Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby -- and that's George W. Bush you hear shouting, "Please don't throw me into the briar patch!"

Or the Schlaflys, Coulters and NRO crowd could be right, in which case W. will lose the 2008 presidential election.

It must be football season -- a game of inscrutable rules where two teams have fun hitting each other for a couple of hours, at the end of which the only thing that's different is that one of them is now further in the equally inscrutable process of playing off for the championship.

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