Thursday, July 14, 2005

Reality TV

The continuing US Supreme Court saga is beginning to eerily resemble an episode of the West Wing. In it an Associate Justice suddenly dies leaving a vacancy on the court. The Spin Machines on both sides of the aisle begin the march to war driving each other towards some sort of "moderate centrist" whom no one wants but is rather unobjectionable from each point of view. At the last minute someone in the administration (Josh Lyman) comes up with the idea of convincing the elder (and ideaologically like-minded) Chief Justice to resign in order to produce two vacancies: one for the Dems to appoint whomever they like, and one for the GOP to do the same.

Is it possible that a similar (although much less heart-warmingly equal) situation could arise in real life? With Rhenquist in the hospital again it seems ever more likely that he will soon vacate the Court. Finding himself with the greatest judicial windfal in presidential history, could W end up nominating an "acceptable" moderate for Sandy's seat, thus generating some bi-partisan goodwill as far as the public is concerned, and then down the road nominate an absolute conservative reactionary-type for the impending Rhenquist vacancy? Having a little capital to burn with the first appointment, the administration could find itself in a position to really push someone through the Senate and ultimately payoff the right-wing fundamentalists that turned out in this last election.

Stay tuned...


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