kurt's nightmare

Generally, I post once a week. Topics are randomly selected and depend mostly upon whether it's baseball season or not. Other topics will include sex, politics, old girlfriends, music, and whatever else pops into my little brain. If you'd like to read, or ignore, my blog about China: http://meidabizi.blogspot.com/

Name:
Location: Dayton, OH, Heard & McDonald Islands

I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton. I represent no one but myself, and barely do that. I'm here mostly by accident.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

SCOTUS Cynicism

The grumblings (and rumblings) about the Harriet Miers nomination has me thinking something that I haven't heard from the right, the center, or what qualifies as the left in the US political discussion. This may be cynical, but then again, this is an administration that really asks us to be as cynical as possible; where we have been fooled hasn't been in those cases where we were too skeptical, but rather where we were too trusting.

So here's a guess:

The Miers nomination, all along, was put forth as a trial balloon/Potemkin candidacy (choose your own metaphor), knowing that for a number of obvious reasons, she wouldn't actually be confirmed (either she would withdraw her nomination, the Prez would withdraw the nomination, or the Right would indicate officially or unofficially that she was unacceptable). Bush then gets to nominate who ever he wants to (and he has a long list of candidates, of course, e.g. Michael Luttig and Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen and all the usual suspects). This will be a candidate the hard-right adores (and whose vote against Roe is virtually assured); the left (I know, it is hard to use this term with a straight face) then has to respond to the following points:

Candidate x has appeals court experience (so that can't be used as a disqualification, as it might be with Miers).
Candidate x has excellent academic credentials (so that can't be used as a disqualification, as it might be with Miers).
Candidate x is highly-regarded by his or her peers (so that can't be used as a disqualification, as it might be with Miers).
Candidate x is not a Bush "crony" (so that can't be used as a disqualification, as it might be with Miers).
Candidate x didn't do something foolish like fail to fill out appropriate paperwork, or do it incorrectly, or have shady land dealings (so that can't be used as a disqualification, as it might be with Miers).

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/12973371.htm

The presumption will be invoked, as usual (except when the Right doesn't like the particular candidate), that Senators should allow the President to choose the nominees he wishes.

So the Democratic leadership will be faced, under this scenario, with having to argue that the candidate is unacceptable, and so unacceptable that a filibuster might be required. The Republicans will have put the Democrats in a position where the latter will have to develop strong, persuasive, well-reasoned arguments, based on a clear understanding of the function of the judiciary, the Constitution, and on principle.

This is called "backing the Democrats into a corner." As I said, this is cynical, but on whose side do you want to be: Republicans fighting for what they want, or Democrats fighting on the basis of their "principles"?

11 Comments:

Blogger Bazarov said...

Interesting idea...I think Nixon did something similar. Maybe not put up a false candidate, but let out "leaks" that indicated it might be someone other than who he had alread picked out to make it look like he wasn't just going straight to one person. If your idea were true, I'd say we knew it wasn't Bush's idea.
I'm still amazed at how much this has upset the Right. I even saw Anne Coulter gettin all uppity about it. Out of all the things that Bush has done to make me scratch my head, this one was expected.
I also like you pointing out how there's no real left in this country. In my mother country, the American government system is referred to as a democratic republic with two right wing parties. Where are all the Brights and extreme liberals to move the center back to where it ought to be? Bleh. Iceland sounds nicer and nicer every day.

11:04 AM  
Blogger kmosser said...

I liked Ann's elitism, that Meiers was from a crummy law school, so she couldn't be up to snuff. Imagine if one were to point that out about one of her more beloved candidates--no doubt she would sniff about snobby panty-waists and their effete law schools.

Iceland might be nice, but I hear they have weird phonebooks. Really.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the news today oh boy.
Scooter Libby got the big KO.
Although 5 indictments rather small.
Nobody really knows how many holes have leaked from
Karl Rove mouth.
I love to.. vote.. them.. out

Meiers wasn't far enough to the right
which is frightening to normal people.
The way they crucified her because
they couldn’t be sure about where she
stood on gay marriage, prayer in
schools and the baby Jesus in the
town square. You know the truly
important issues. The ones we (they)
voted him in office for. Can they
find some one who as been out long
enough we don't remember when he was
the grand wizard? I don’t think so.

We are all sitting out here expecting
the democrats to go ballistic and
filibuster and go berserk.
Yet Roberts was given a cake walk.
A few mumbled grumblings and maybe
a harrumphs or two from the old guys
but they just were pathetic. “Oh
no we are so out numbered, this democracy
thing has got us all beat. We must
be gracious losers." So I don't
expect much more than another wimpy
whining hissy fit then they'll have
the court so stacked we best all be
signed up in the official book of
evangelicals. It is apparent just overturning
Roe isn’t good enough. They're going back,
back, back to the good old days. If you
sin in THAT WAY you sew a red “A” on
your heathen sweater. Of course I’ve always
been partial to red heaving sweaters.
Byron Signed it synonymous.

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