Friday, April 15, 2005

So do you understand what's going on? Whether by accident or by design, the right-wing crazies' call for multiple judicial impeachments and other radical acts of retaliation against the courts has made the abolition of the judicial filibuster seem like the moderate position. Bill Frist is now able to triangulate, using Tom DeLay as one of the extreme points.

And using the Democrats' perfectly reasonable desire to maintain the long-established status quo as the other "extreme" point.

I was afraid of this. I was afraid the Terri Schiavo uprising might really work out for the Republicans. For a while it seemed as if cooler heads would prevail, but now it looks as if I may have been right all along.

If it works out that way, it would be Elian and impeachment all over again: Republicans stake out a position that's unpopular and outrageous, but they hang tough and they never admit to any embarrassment or shame. (Yes, in this case Tom DeLay admitted that his language was a bit harsh -- but he did so while also demanding a House show trial on the judiciary.) Republicans don't breast-beat, don't criticize one another for being aggressively polemical, don't hold conferences seeking answers to the question "Heavens to Betsy, how can we win back the center?" They just do what they do and dare you to criticize it. And eventually even the muted criticism stops.

And, once again, they win.

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