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Don't Believe The Judicial Showdown Hype

Surely, like many on the Left, I knew it was too much to hope that the precarious ideological balance of the current U.S. Supreme Court could survive, till such time as the inauguration of Hillary Rodham Clinton as the nation’s forty-fourth President. And, although Senate Democrats have been successful in beating back many of Bush’s most extremist Conservative judicial nominees, until recently we still lived in a political climate where such objectionable jurists could very well join a Chief Justice Scalia or Thomas, on the high court.

However, the disastrous, last eight months of Bush's second term have proven to me that this is not the fight over Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement everyone is gearing up for.

If you're one from the Left adamant that the White House will select from the Conservative fringe, relishing a fight of Borkian proportions, then you're just as delusional as any from the Right who still believe Bill Frist has the votes to trigger 'the nuclear option', if needed.

If you're one from the Left who insists this is a perfect opportunity for the administration to make good on its promise to advance the Evangelical Conservative agenda, could you also cc: me on a progress report detailing the Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage effort? And, although I would look forward to a substantive explanation from the Right in defense of the pronouncements and judgment of the typical, extremist Bush nominee, I predict his ultimate choice will be a major disappointment to the likes of James Dobson & Co, instead.

And, at this juncture, I'd be willing to bet my first Social Security check that choice will be Alberto Gonzales.

To believe the Bush/Rove White House will trigger another huge clash that galvanizes social Conservatives is to be convinced (as Jeb Bush apparently is) that the last battle joined over Terri Schiavo was an unqualified success. And, to believe the Christian Right's champion in the U.S. Senate Rick Santorum would benefit given his '06 re-election bid, is to confuse the state of Pennsylvania with the state of Utah.

For clues, one only needs to look to the telling disintegration of the Bolton UN nomination, once considered a lock (despite the damaging baggage), now on life-support hobbled by intense scrutiny and damning revelations. Senate Dems were able to prevail here with a wealth of convincing evidence, yet with an indifferent electorate. Now, imagine an American public lighting up their Nielsen boxes engaged by cable news coverage over a Supreme Court showdown, a formidable, well-funded challenge from the Left - but with the same flawed candidate and unacceptable resume.

Folks, this is not the eye of a needle, through which a William Pryor nomination could pass.

Granted, such a controversy would distract from Bush's Iraq woes and energize the GOP's Conservative base on one of their core issues. Which is also what Bush was probably thinking on the plane ride from his vacationing Crawford, TX ranch back to Washington, to interfere in the Schiavo case.

However, there's a clear, calculated difference in political judgment contrasting the Rove White House and the Frist/Hastert Congressional GOP leadership, insuring the former will not play the 'Culture Of Life' card again - for now. It's akin to the game plan of the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals.

Don't believe the hype.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at July 10, 2005 1:17 AM