It is likely that President Bush will announce his choice of the person who will replace Justice O’Connor sometime on Monday. While I have some hopes regarding who will be chosen, I have no real idea who the choice will be. What I do know, with a confidence level approaching certainty, is that the person chosen will be characterized as “outside the mainstream” by the usual suspects within an hour of the announcement. Unless, of course, Justice Ginsberg has been successfully cloned and President Bush selects the clone to fill the vacant seat.
I’m not offended by the tactics that will be used, they are part of the Kabuki ritualization that has become engrained within the political process since 1968 and they reflect the fact that the MSM propaganda edifice and the party which it represents is the essence of the one trick pony. It is a curious thing to me that the pony act, which has never drawn an audience large enough to pay the pony’s feed bill, continues to be embraced by people who purport to have the intelligence necessary to provide leadership for the nation. A political party grows and therefore gains access to the power of governance through the identification of areas of general concern and the presentation of a logical set of programs that address those concerns. I am unaware of any party ever having succeeded at the polls by simply announcing "Vote for us - we're not them."
It is my thesis that the mindless reactionary opposition to the President’s choice tomorrow will be further evidence of the decline of the Democratic Party – regardless of whether some nit is found in the past of the person picked which causes their withdrawal. Any “victory” thus gained will result in a subsequent “loss” when the next person or even the third choice is confirmed. The fact is that the President will choose the person to replace Justice O’Connor just as every President has successfully done in any but the last year of his administration. One definition of madness is the repetition of behavior with the expectation of different results. Perhaps the Democratic Party is not intellectually bankrupt but simply mad?
What will they do about the third and fourth picks? Morbidity tables suggest a high probability of a third pick and a reasonable probability of a fourth. Four picks (assuming that those picked were moderately conservative) with Scalia and Thomas remaining on the court would give the Roberts court a flavor untasted in living memory.
Harriet Miers is the nominee and the usual suspects are beginning to perform as expected (would Pavlov's dogs or Skinner's pigeons be more useful as a cliched metaphor?). I am totally unexcited by the pick - it satisfies neither Vnjagvets hope for a high degree of legal sophistication nor his followup hope for a political red meat pick. My first take is that it's a 'null' pick which is very much open to charges of cronyism.