Monday, October 31, 2005

Try One of These

From the Washington Post:

President Bush planned to announce a new Supreme Court nomination today, moving quickly after a weekend of consultations to put forward a replacement for the ill-fated choice of Harriet Miers in hopes of recapturing political momentum, according to Republicans close to the White House.

Judging by the names the White House floated by political allies in recent days, Bush seems ready to pick a candidate with a long track record of conservative jurisprudence — one who would mollify the Republican base, whose opposition to Miers’s nomination helped scuttle her chances. Several GOP strategists said the most likely choice seemed to be federal appeals judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., with judges J. Michael Luttig and Alice M. Batchelder also in the running.

[…]

Bush spent the weekend at Camp David huddled with Miers, who remains his White House counsel and is therefore in charge of the judicial selection process, along with Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., who originally advocated Miers as the choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. As the three talked, White House officials contacted prominent conservatives to test the reaction to various candidates.

One group consulted was the Concerned Women for America, whose decision to oppose Miers last Wednesday became one of the final blows to help kill the nomination. Janet M. LaRue, the group’s chief counsel, said it received a call from the White House on Saturday and liked what it heard.

“Alito and Luttig have always been at the top of our list,” she said in an interview. “We think either of them would be a supreme pick. There isn’t a thing stealthy about them. They’ve got a long, proven record of constitutional conservatism.”

It seems that the president has learned his lesson: don’t piss off the Religious Reich and certainly not the Concerned Women of America (that name brings to mind an image of a bunch of blue-haired old busybodies running around with furrowed brows). Forget about this idea of getting a consensus among all sorts of groups; just roll over and raise your ass to the sky to the group that proved they hold the leash. Anything to change the subject off Scooter.