Saturday, February 05, 2005

Senate Republican leaders have decided to begin their use of the "nuclear option" -- forcing confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominations with a majority Senate vote -- on an African-American woman blocked by Democrats from a federal judgeship.

Associate Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court was one of 16 Bush nominees for U.S. appellate courts whose confirmation was prevented by Democratic filibusters in the last Congress....

Republican leaders ... decided ... to launch the offensive about a month from now by trying to confirm Brown.

--Robert Novak

OK -- game on.

Want to learn something about Janice Rogers Brown? People for the American Way has a lot of information here. There's a more concise fact sheet from the AFL-CIO here.

Short version: She's a property-rights extremist.

But she is black, so we know how Republicans are going to try to get her confirmed -- by portraying her as a victim of Democratic massas with bullwhips. That could be quite effective. And we know how Democrats are going to fight back -- by, in effect, saying, "Argh! She's so conservative!" That won't be effective.

Here's a suggestion. Why don't Democrats and liberal groups focus attacks on this (from the AFL-CIO page)?

In one speech, Brown described the Supreme Court's decisions upholding New Deal legislation such as minimum wage laws as "the triumph of our own socialist revolution." ... She goes so far as to say that "[t]oday's senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren because they have a right to get as much 'free' stuff as the political system will permit them to extract."

I would plaster the latter quote across full-page newspaper (and maybe TV) ads in 64-point type. The point being: In Janice Rogers Brown's ideal world, Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't get any Social Security.

This is a two-fer -- you attack Brown and you link the attack to Bush's attempt to destroy Social Security. You make it seem to be all part of one big plan. (Which, in fact, it is.)

There's much, much more to go after Brown on. But this could stick. It could infuriate the elderly. And it would blindside the Bushies -- their SS scheme would be under attack in an unexpected forum.

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