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Monday, October 31, 2005


CLOSING RANKS: AS BUSH PICKS ALITO, CONSERVATIVES WILL RALLY AROUND THE PRESIDENT 



Remember last week when the demise of the Harriet Miers nomination was declared to be an indication that the Bush presidency was in trouble? Well, the nomination of Samuel Alito indicates that a president can instantly revive his fortunes (if he was in trouble, at all). All those breathless declarations that President Bush's political fortune was on the verge of collapse was not even premature but absolutely foolhardy.

Democrats might be aghast at the Alito selection but conservatives are delighted. The same conservatives who were upset by the Miers nomination are now going to fight tooth and nail for Judge Alito. Instead of being "depressed and demoralized" (like what Bill Kristol was one month ago) conservatives of all stripes, from the Beltway to the heartland, will be excited and revitalized by the notion of a Justice Alito on the Supreme Court.

The animus on the part of conservatives towards the Miers pick was not a personal rebuke of President Bush. Disappointed conservatives felt that Bush had an opportunity to pick an outstanding candidate and let them down by making an underwhelming decision. Congratulations to Judge Alito and a "hurrah" to President Bush for making an excellent choice. The prospect of Samuel Alito joining Chief Justice Roberts on the Supreme Court is a very exciting one, indeed.

Bush Selects Alito for Supreme Court

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HARRIET WHO?: BUSH'S NEXT SUPREME COURT CHOICE WILL ERASE MIERS FIASCO 

By the time Bush announces his next nominee Harriet Miers will officialy become a footnote in history and fodder for game show geeks like Ken Jennings.



Harriet Miers almost made it to the finish line


Bush detractors loved saying that he has had a bad week, a bad month, a bad year. After failing on social security, getting pummeled on Hurricane Katrina, reeling from the Joe Wilson scandal and seeing his friend Harriet Miers withdraw her Supreme Court nomination, Bush has seen better days. However, the political implications of a Supreme Court nomination can only improve now that President Bush has to go back to the drawing board.

Those who closely followed the Miers nomination sage were those who have invested a lot of time and energy to following the cottage industry of Supreme Court nods. By the time Miers withdrew her nomination her supporters and detractors were all exhausted after all the hand-wringing, debating, spinning and gnashing of teeth that went on. However, what is forgotten after what seemed like an endless battle over a former lottery official with an affinity for words like "cool" and "awesome" is that the not-so awesome nomination only lasted for one month. Harriet Miers was a nominee for the Supreme Court for only less than 4 weeks. Miers never even had the chance to shine or be humiliated in front of senators who are no experts on constitutional law anyway.

Why does it matter that the Harriet Miers show was cancelled after only a few weeks of prime time viewing? Because the debate over Miers was so brief, the political damage to President Bush will not be as extensive as many so hoped or claimed. By the time Bush announces his next nominee Harriet Miers will officialy become fodder for game show geeks like Ken Jennings.

Bush will surely pick a nominee who has strong conservative credentials. That judicial nominee will, most likely, appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is then that Bush will really have something at stake in terms of whether or not he has the political acumen to pick the right nominee and the the political capital to make sure that his nominee gets confirmed.

The mainstream media salivated over the fact that Harriet Miers did not end up getting confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. While President Bush was sorry to see his personal friend fail to make the Supreme Court he won't have to lick his wounds for too long because he has a bigger, and more important, fight on his hands in the weeks to come.

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