Saturday, July 23, 2005

I Am Out of Clever Headlines Involving the Name "Valerie Plame"

On all the political websites I've checked out for the last few days, there's a standard theory about Bush nominating Judge Roberts to the Supreme Court. Everyone assumes that he timed his announcement to get his advisor Karl Rove and the CIA leak story off the front page.

It's a reasonable theory. After all, these are crafty guys, and they know that once a story has been out of the public eye for a few days, it's as good as dead.

Now usually, I don't endorse governmental conspiracy theories, because I think most politicians are far too stupid to pull off any clever sort of cover-up. Did any of you see the X-Files movie a few years ago? For that conspiracy to work, the government would have to keep so many secrets - black oily stuff, big greenhouses full of bees, alien spacecraft beneath the Arctic Ice. They can't even keep their mouths shut about who's working undercover at the CIA!

But on this one occasion, something occurs to me. Something sneaky. Could it be that the Valerie Plame case is actually drawing attention away from the appointment of John Roberts to the Supreme Court?

Think about it this way...In 10 years, what will be more important. Whether or not Karl Rove was publicly embarrassed and fired from his White House post, or which conservative assholes sit on the Supreme Court? Even if Rove were allowed to keep his job, worst case scenario is that he advises GWB for another few years and then we have another election.

Sure, Rove could theoretically back another candidate, granted. But still, is the possibility of a Rove-involved election more terrifying than illegal abortion, prayer in school and massive corporate favoritism on an unprecedented scale?

I mean, the Supreme Court is important. Super really really important. Karl Rove, however rodent-like and unpleasant, is just one man. I can't help but think that, by giving up on Roberts and letting him slip through the confirmation process, Democrats are playing right into the Republican's hands.

Yeah, Bush would hate to lose Rove. But he'd really hate to lose the opportunity to stack the federal courts with the vicious moral crusaders of the religious right. That's what they elected him to do in the first place.

I'm also irritated by how effective some of the Republican spin strategy has been this week about Roberts. ABC's The Note is the only place I've seen someone confront this issue online thus far. What's going on is that some right-wing commentators are complaining that Roberts isn't conservative enough.

Ann Coulter, for example, called him a horrible pick the other day, accusing Bush of selling out his base to appeal to moderates and, ugh, liberals, if you can imagine anything so horrid. And the odious Charles Krauthammer calls Roberts "a blank slate," presenting him as an ultimately fair man who will rule as he sees fit, not from any political stance.

This is, clearly, bullshit. Roberts has been a corporate lawyer and a hardcore Republican ever since he exited Harvard Law School. We all know where he stands. So why would all these conservatives be publicly dissing him like this?

Maybe because it behooves Republicans in the Senate (and elsewhere) to convince Democrats that Roberts is an easy-going middle of the road kind of guy, to avoid this kind of escalation of conflict.

But is that really what's best for the Democrats, or the American people? Is it really so much more important to focus on Karl Rove's treasonous and underhanded dealings? I genuinely don't know...I'm kind of asking what you all think...


Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this one! I'm convinced that your assessment of the presentation by newscasters and political analyists, on the topic of John Roberts, is a set-up! Let's get some of the middle-of-the-roaders and "Liberals" liking him and Roberts is a "Shoo-In." As the faithful say, "Heaven Help Us!"

Cory said...

I can't help but notice that there isn't one conservative politician or commentator that isn't "odious" in your eyes. It feels that you really believe every single one of them are evil, conspiring warlords or something. Krauthammer is (to me) a good writer and fairly balanced commentator on the political scene. Of course he has a conservative take on things, but does that inherently make him evil?

There are many liberal commentators (Joe Klein, Krauthammer's Time counterpart), comedians (Jon Stewart) and politicians (...I'll need to think on this one) that, while I don't necessarily agree with, I respect and certainly wouldn't claim are "odious."

Lons said...

You're right, Cory. There are very few conservative columnists these days whom I don't find repellant, insipid or daft. I don't loathe Andrew Sullivan, although if he's as naive as he pretends to be on his blog, he's in real trouble. Bill Safire's a guy I disagree with constantly whom I don't really find personally objectionable (and I used to read his "On Language" columns regularly).

But I would place most of the blame for this on the present conservative movement. I wasn't always this way, but any more, it seems to me that if you're an ideological conservative with strong principles, you would have stopped backing Bush long ago. He's a theocratic fascist, not a traditional conservative.

So, yeah, Krauthammer, Jonah Goldberg and the armies of Bush apologists can suck a fat one.

Cory said...

If by "stop Bush" you mean vote Kerry, most conservatives would agree that was not a viable option. It's all about the options.