Monday, October 31, 2005

The Supremes, Take Two

By Mitchell

The breaking news on the networks this morning is that Judge Samuel Alito will be the president's new nominee for the Supreme Court. (On NPR's top-of-the-hour news, the big story was Rosa Parks lying in the Capitol Rotunda. What a surprise.)

Everything points to Alito being a very good pick for the post (he's considered so similar to Justice Scalia that some call him "Scalito".) We'll have to see how well he fares in the Senate.

As I'm hearing the headlines, I'm wondering what Bush has in mind. Some wanted to give him credit for appointing Miers knowing she couldn't be confirmed, allowing him to follow-up with his real choice, someone so qualified by comparison that the Senate couldn't help but acquiesce. I really didn't give him credit for being that clever, but now I wonder if he's going the other way: nominate a strong conservative he knows can't get confirmed, just to send a message to conservatives that a third choice, someone who's qualified but moderate, is the only way to go.

And this is an excellent example of why cynicism is considered a sin: it goes beyond prudence and prevents you from taking anything at face value. This kind of thinking doesn't speak well of Bush (although it might turn out to be merited), but neither does it speak well of us. We'll just have to ponder and pray and wait on this one.

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