I wrote this the day Harriet Miers was nominated:
I dont think Bush nominated his lawyer to the supreme court really expecting her to be approved. His handlers have advised him to appoint her as a part of a chess strategy. The democrats will reject her, using the filibuster, then bush and his string pullers will pick one of the toxic judges who were either appointed by Bush during congressional session breaks or who were appointed when the Democrats caved on the nuclear threat. Either way, that appointee will look better than Harriet Miers in that at least he or she will have judicial experience.
If the Democrats filibuster a second nominee, it is likely that the Republicans will pull out the nuclear option and eliminate the filibuster. Thats when America takes the deep dive into true fascism. Thats when we should expect a distractionprobably in the form of a suspected outbreak of Avian flu epidemic, which will lead to Bush violating Posse Comitatus and sending in US troops, or worse, privatized troopsblackwater mercenaries. The media will ignore the nuclear option and go full tilt covering the invoking of martial law to protect the nation from Avian Flu.
The first move was made. The second move, withdrawing her nomination has now been made. Soon, as Trent Lott says, he should nominate a strict constructionist conservative. Bush will pick a candidate who makes Miers look like a liberal. This candidate will, on the surface, have more experience than Miers, will probably be a recent George W. Bush appointee, or even better, one of his fathers appointees, though thats much less likely.
It is likely that a reasonable, solid, non-extremist candidate nomination will never see the light of day. As Charles Schumer points out, not a single Republican Senator called for Harriet Miers withdrawal. It was members of the extreme right. Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie, commented on Harriet Miers, She acquitted herself very well in this process. This is an amazing statement. This woman failed the simple task of filling in a questionnaire. She was almost publicly mute during the time she was a candidate. Her private meetings left her interviewers unimpressed. Her trail of memos showed she was a total ass-kissing sycophant. To say that she acquitted herself well is to prove that the leadership of the Republican party has been drinking too much of their own Koolaid (and lets remember that the people who drank Jim Jones koolaid killed themselves) and now cant even tell when to let go of their talking points, their deceitful dishonesty.
Trent Lott says it would be good to get a minority woman. That severely narrows the range. Janice Rogers Brown is the most likely choice, described in an article by Black Commentator as cut from the same cloth as Clarence Thomas, and has such an atrocious civil rights record
Her many disturbing dissents, often not joined by a single other justice, make it clear that she would use the power of an appeals court seat to try to erect significant barriers for victims of discrimination to seek justicein the courts, and to push an agenda that would undermine privacy, equal protection under the law, environmental protection, and much more.
Brown would be so offensive a nomination, it is not likely that the weakened Bush would try to push her through. He doesnt have the political capital anymore. If its not Brown, it will be someone equally objectionable. That will force to the Democrats to find their missing spines and face the nuclear option. But interestingly, with the Republicans in a much weaker position, with their loss of support from the people, the legislators may not be so ready to get rid of a privilege they may find themselves needing to use very soon, maybe after the completion of the 2006 election cycle.
That means a very big battle is looming, or more precisely, a number of battles. The extremist religious right has made it clear they will only accept an extremist with a predictable track record. The Senators who will have to vote to approve whoever Bush nominates is praying that he will nominate someone with detectable, clear credentials.
Some of the other potential nominees are mentioned in this just-released Dallas Morning news article.
We know that the president has been distracted and that he no longer has the full attention of his advisers, who are paying much of their attention to the imminent announcements from Fitzgerald.
If Bush appoints a nominee that James Dobson and his Focus on the Family extremists will approve, then the Democrats will have to invoke the filibuster. Senator Sam Brownback threateningly states that this will force the Republican majority to use their majority to change the rules, needing just 51 votes to eliminate the filibuster. Thats the nuclear option. To me its a bold move, but its not a sure thing. I see it like trading queens in a chess game. But it is no longer such a smart move. With the electorate reporting theyd rather have Democrats in charge in the congress, theres a stronger than ever chance that the Democrats, if the find their anatomy (spine, balls, heart,) could take back both houses. They could throw out all the leadershipFrist, Santorum, DeLay, Hastert and then, theyd be in the catbird seat, with control of both houses and the Republicans without the filibuster.
Its tempting to say to blustering Republicans like Brownback, threatening the Nuclear Option Bring it on. But Bush has already taken that phrase and given it the same gravitas as Custers last stand. The democrats are in a stronger position than ever, Bush weaker than ever. If Cheney is indicted and has to resign, the balance in the senate will be even weaker and the Democrats will be stronger. I dont think the Republicans will use the Nuclear option. I think that the Democrats should fillibuster any less than acceptable, even marginal candidate to entice the Republicans to use the Nuclear Option. They'll be tempted, but they won't do it and their backing down from their threats, bluster and bravado will even further hilight the growing weakness of the right wing, the hollowness of their power.
It appears that Bush will wait until 2006 to make his replacement nomination. A lot can happen between now and then. If the Republican party continues to fall in the public estimate, as reflected by polls, as Fitzgeralds indictments unfold, as further investigations into the false Niger yellowcake document continue, it will put the power of James Dobson into further light, but also further isolation, as Dobson and his allies become the sole remaining solid base for Bush. It will be an opportune time for Democrats and others on the left to do what they can to weaken Dobson and some of his allies, like Pat Robertson. If the Democrats DO fillibuster a hard-core right wing nominee and the senate Republicans do NOT invoke the nuclear option, this will be a slap in the face to the extremist religous far right. It will weaken them and teach them that they won't have the power and, like blacks on the left, they don't have anywhere else to go. It might actually be an opportune time for people on both sides to push for instant run-off voting as a national standard, which is a key step towards empowering real third party politics.
As the mainstream media, reading the tealeaves, sees that they may have put too many of their eggs in the right wings basket, pulls back from their five years of stenographic journalism, supporting the right wing, we may find them asking tougher questions, or asking questions at all, giving left perspectives more air time. They may stop coddling the Dobsons and Robertsons and put their feet to the fire.
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