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July 21, 2005

OK, that was fun. Now back to the important stuff.

Well, all this John Roberts for the Supreme Court business has been interesting.  But let's face it - he's going to be confirmed, and probably in a walk.  The requisite interest groups will make the requisite loud noises about it, and Senators will ask some tough questions, but at the end of the day, he's in.  And he's not as bad as some of the others on Bush's short list, so let's count our pathetic blessings, such as they are, and move on.  (Move on - get it?  Heh.)

To what, you ask?  To this, for example: Bloomberg will run this story tonight reporting that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby are both under investigation for having given false testimony to the Novak-Plame-gate grand jury.  Which would mean, of course, that both of them are candidates for perjury or obstruction of justice indictments. 

Homerbeer_1 Mmmm...indictments....


Anyway, as I was saying, word on the street is that Bush rushed his announcement of Roberts because the heat on Rove was becoming unbearable.  And sure enough, Novak-Plame-gate (which I should maybe rename Rovegate) has been out of the papers for a couple of days.  Well, it's time for that little vacation to end.  With Rove and Libby (and probably others) likely having given false testimony, and with rumors swirling about who had access to the mysterious secret State Department memo that mentioned Plame's identity (also discussed in the Bloomberg story), the shit is hitting the fan on this one, and all the world needs to know about it.

So stop worrying about Roberts.  He may not be the guy we'd choose, but he's a perfectly defensible pick for a Republican president.  What is NOT in any way shape or form defensible is this administration's willingness to compromise national security by leaking the identity of a CIA agent to the press for political purposes, possibly breaking laws in the course either of the leak itself or of covering it up.  THAT's the big story, folks, and THAT's where everyone's attention should be.

UPDATE: Slate.com's Mickey Kaus agrees with the sentiments expressed here in a post called "OK, he'll do. Now back to Plame!"  (I promise I hadn't seen his post before I wrote mine.)

Posted by David at 10:06 PM in Law and Lawyers, National | Permalink


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As Billmon points out, there's also the matter of the PATRIOT Act. The House has already subverted the Democraatic Process by refusing to allow the Sanders amendment a floor vote, but we still ought to be contacting our Senators. (Kerry seemed a little wobbly on the core issues involved.

Posted by: Abby | Jul 22, 2005 2:17:25 AM

While I agree that we can't lose site of Rove, and I agree that Roberts will pass and is actually not all that bad compared to what could've happened, I still think that news should focus on BOTH of them.

The fact is, we can shame Rove and Bush can "fire him", but that's all that will happen. Rove will then be sent to some remote location where he "won't be a part of the administration", but he'd still be on the phone with Bush everyday giving him news and advice. He's never going to be gone, he'll just be out of the public eye. At best we can get him the Clinton treatment: he'll always have that mark of being tried for a crime, but in the end, he'll be remembered for his accomplishments (whether good or bad) and not for that mark, although again it will always be there. People aren't going to look back and say "Clinton? He's the guy that got impeached!". It's "Clinton, he's the guy that balanced the budget and put America on the right track. Wasn't he impeached too?"

In terms of Roberts though, we're talking about a LIFETIME appiontment to the Supreme Court. Recent polls show the country likes Roe v. Wade. So let's make sure the country knows just what they have to put up with for the next thirty years and who is to blame for that (Bush).

BOTH put the shame on Bush. While one is certainly worse (compromising national security for political purposes during a "WAR"), one is still a significant political issue. Let's hope Democrats can balance them and turn this into a two-pronged attack, not a one-prong-while-the-other-waits attack.

Posted by: Russell | Jul 22, 2005 8:32:07 AM

I think Roberts still needs a thorough thrashing to find out his inner workings. If he refuses to answer on Roe v Wade, I want his nomination scuttled. If he answers that he'll vote to overturn it, I definitely want him scuttled.

However, that can wait til September and the Judiciary Committee hearings, IMHO. Rovegate is just getting juicy and I'm happy to see even the second London bombings aren't deterring the media on this one.

Posted by: Lynne | Jul 22, 2005 9:27:30 AM

He will refuse to answer on Roe, beyond saying something vanilla-ish like "it, like every other constitutional decision, carries the force of stare decisis which future Courts are bound to respect." And it won't scuttle his nomination, because frankly Clinton's nominees did exactly the same thing. That's what SupCt hearings have become - a game of cat and mouse in which the mouse almost always wins unless you have a really arrogant and politically stupid mouse like Robert Bork, or a dope-smoking mouse like poor Doug Ginsburg.

And, again, we must ask ourselves what would be gained by defeating Roberts' nomination. Bush will then nominate someone else. And that "someone else" will not be a "moderate." It'll be someone close to Roberts' views, perhaps even further to the right, and probably without his level of accomplishment and without the indications that Roberts might actually be someone who takes judicial restraint seriously (a good thing, IMHO, and not at all what the Dobsonites want).

Posted by: David | Jul 22, 2005 9:43:51 AM

I don't know why my comment got truncated. I wanted to link to Billmon who's been urging us to contact our Senators and Congressment on the reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act. That's an area where we can actually do some good.

Posted by: Abby | Jul 22, 2005 10:03:48 PM

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