Saturday, April 16, 2005

Unleash The Meese

Time to get a bit of perspective on the news that the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist has decided that he will participate in a telecast that calls filibusters that block conservative judges an attack on faith. The idea is pretty ludicrous on its face, since even the greediest Republicans would turn on a party that is unncessarily in hock to very pious men.

But there, are of course, two lurking judicial mattters of import, the first of which, yes, will be an attempt to overrule filibusters in the senate. The second is much less talked about, on account of it being a little more delicate, but it has to do with Justice Rehnquist's health. We shouldn't be too ghoulish, but we haven't heard this discussed too much.

A while ago, you'd have thought that getting a fundamentalist looniecrat judge on the Supreme Court would have been the main event. So when the democrats, the blogs, and the Anti-Defamation League accuse the senator of ushering in a theocracy, you realise that the playing field has moved again. This time to Salt Lake City or something.

Where is this going? The charitable explanation is that the Republicans are simply making damn sure that the fundamentalists know that they tried their hardest before selling them out. Here's a more sinister call. When Rehnquist retires, which could be rather soon, might not, in the circumstances, and slightly less charming version of Antonin Scalia sail through a confirmation?

Does this make sense? Slightly. The Republicans have learnt that these noises can be turned on and off with relatively little in the way of permanet damage. Take UN ambassadorial nominee John Bolton. Nowadays we're meant to be worried about how he was gien to bullying subordinates. Very bad and all, but shouldn't the memory of Bolton storming the recount in Florida in 2000, all bug-eyed and crazy.

People forget this nonsense, untill the Court passes down some egregious judgement, and we ask how that brand new nutjob ended up flouncing around up there in a robe. We cn live with another Edwin Meese, indeed, the pornography might get even better as a result. But, the Supremes - they should not be messed with.

You probably don't know who I am. I was quite the puritanical busybody in my day.


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