Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Sowing The Wind, Reaping The Whirlwind
That's the phrase that came to mind when I heard about this:
President Bush on Monday defended Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who is the target of conservative critics seeking a hard-liner for the Supreme Court, USA Today reported. The president said he will interview prospects himself after he sorts through candidates over the next few weeks to replace Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the newspaper said in a story posted late Monday on its Web site. “Al Gonzales is a great friend of mine,” Bush told USA Today. “When a friend gets attacked, I don’t like it.”Bush may or may not have wanted a knock-down, drag-out confirmation fight right now. But he certainly didn't expect the people he thinks of as his subordinates to oppose his imperial will. So the boy-king's reacting the only way he and Rove know: Bush, who believes that loyalty is a one-way street (he's owed it, but doesn't owe anyone it in return), is telling his religious-right base to go pound salt. This has got to be making the RNC nervous -- Bush doesn't have to worry about running for office ever again, but lots of Senators, and the entire House, face reelection in 2006. The last thing they want to do is to alienate the folks who give them a big chunk of their cash and nearly all of their low-level grunt workers. (This isn't even counting the illegal use of pulpits as party platforms.) Meanwhile, all the Democrats have to do is to say the occasional Nice Thing about Gonzales (even as they bring up questions about his backing of torture and other not-so-nice things), and the Dobsonites will keep frothing to Doomsday. The ads that the RW outfits want to run? The "Democrats will attack anyone Bush nominates" ads? I can't wait to see these groups waste millions of bucks on air time for them -- only to pull the ads once Bush taps Gonzales. (Because of course to attack Gonzales must mean you're a Democrat, right?)
He'll legally rule for the torture of bloggers, for sure, too.
Some folks have said "Well, the Fundies won't mind if Bush replaces O'Connor with Gonzales -- they'll just wait for Rehnquist to cack." But this presupposes that they think that Rehnquist is a flaming pro-choicer (which he is not, and they know it), so replacing Rehnquist with another anti-choice right-winger will be a wash as far as they're concerned. O'Connor, conservative as she was and is, is more likely to buck the conservative dogma than Rehnquist.
Pro forma nicey-nice talk aside, it wouldn't hurt the Democrats to actually oppose Gonzales -- after all, considering how unpopular Bush is, one would think that the Democrats should recognize that and run with it. But then again, just as fear of losing black voters caused them to sign off on Clarence Thomas, they're probably afraid of losing Hispanics if they oppose Gonzales. (Hispanic poster agpc over at DailyKos definitely thinks this is a danger. Me, I'm not so sure.)
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