October 31, 2005


A Fight the White House Believes It Can Win (TODD S. PURDUM, 10/31/05, NY Times)

The nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court has given President Bush's conservative backers and liberal opponents just the battle they wanted. And it has given Mr. Bush - battered but not broken by a range of other troubles - a fight that he and the White House believe they can hardly help but win, beginning by changing the subject in Washington. [...]

Just as the left ultimately found it difficult to caricature Judge Roberts, who won 22 Democratic votes on the Senate floor, Judge Alito's supporters inside and outside the White House say his respectful low-key style, son-of-an-immigrant personal story and undisputed credentials will almost certainly make him an acceptable figure to some of the same red-state Democrats who backed Mr. Roberts.

Moreover, the White House and its allies are now squarely united, ready to paint the Democrats as obstructionist and out of step if they try to derail the nomination by extraordinary means. Interest groups on both sides are prepared to spend millions of dollars to make their case.

"We will look to keep Democrats on their heels as they go out to launch some of the more absurd attacks," said a senior White House aide who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid violating the administration's taboo on disclosing internal political planning. "There's no person that this president would pick who could please some of the extreme elements of their party."

The great thing is that by making Ms miers religion a central part of the discussion over ner nomination they opened the trap for Democrats to make Mr. Alito's religion an issue too, which will be suicidal.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2005 9:04 PM

I remain convinced that Miers was all some part of a Machiavellian/Rovian plot.

I haven't figured it all out yet, but will post it on my blog and here as soon as I do.

Back to the roof with my tinfoil hat.

Posted by: Bruno at October 31, 2005 9:20 PM

Amusing to watch the Dems ground their opposition on the spousal notification canard. Suicidal.

Posted by: ghostcat at October 31, 2005 9:37 PM

Bruno: While you're adjusting the knobs on your tinfoil hat, just kep saying over and over again, "Harold Carswell. . .Harold Carswell. . .."

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 31, 2005 10:22 PM

Some other triviality is bound to come up and be grabbed by the Democrats and the meida as an earth-shaking revelation that proves Alito is unfit for the Court. But now that the NRO-Weekly Standard types have their nominee after the Miers scrum, I would expect them to fight even harder than they would have had Alito been the original choice, since their not only in need of justfying their own beliefs, but disproving their detractors on the right who said the GOP Gang of 7 plus 2 wouldn't be able to stand up to the Democrats/media pressure on a nominee with a paper trail like Alito possesses.

Posted by: John at October 31, 2005 10:41 PM

Well, the President's conservative critics have their pick - they better fight for it now.

Posted by: Mikey at November 1, 2005 7:17 AM

Lou, The name Harold Carswell didnít ring a bell so I googled him and came up with something rather unpleasant.

Is this a warning of a possible Alito land mine ahead or am I missing the point entirely?

Please elaborate a bit.

Posted by: tefta at November 1, 2005 9:43 AM


As they say on every prospectus...

"Past performance is not a predictor of future results."

If we were betting on such "conventional wisdom" (far less predictive than Extreme Wisdom), Bush would have lost in 2000, 2004, etc. etc.

It's similar to saying "no one has ever come back from being down three games in a seven game series."

OJ may have some stats on THAT ONE.

Was that your point, or did I miss something far more oblique?

Posted by: Bruno at November 1, 2005 10:29 AM

Well, when I mentioned Carswell, I knew that Blackmun was the replacement and that that fact would weaken my suggestion that Miers had been an "Economy of Force" attack all along.

The idea is to feint, as we did in the Battle of Saipan or in Gulf War I, to make the enemy defend in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is easy to do in an amphibious warfare situation, such as my two examples. Sometimes, however, the diversionary attack must actually engage, and there are losses.

I do not believe that Alito will Medize like Blackmun, only that Miers was a diversion like Carswell.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 1, 2005 1:21 PM