Sunday, July 10, 2005

Now that the Christian right has been persuaded not to complain about Alberto Gonzales out loud, I see that the Bush administration has successfully "worked the refs," and so now the press -- or at least The New York Times -- is putting a pro-Bush spin on the current Supreme Court battle by allowing Republicans to portray themselves as victims of an unfair double standard:

[Senator Harry] Reid and other Democrats credited the administration with steps taken so far to reach out to the Democrats via phone calls by the president, his chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., and the White House counsel, Harriet Miers....

Republicans counter that Mr. Bush is already engaging the other party far more than most of his predecessors, and that Democrats should not expect the president to share his nomination power with them.

"That is not what the framers intended," said Eric Ueland, the chief of staff for the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist. "If a Democrat wants nominating power, he or she has to be sitting in the Oval Office."

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, has a similar view. "The president has the right to consult anyone he chooses, and President Bush has already begun to consult individual senators at his discretion - and that is to his credit," Mr. Cornyn said in a statement. "But it is the president who must - both initially and ultimately - choose the nominee."

..."The Clinton consultation pales in comparison with the full-court press the president and his staff are engaged in seeking the views and thoughts of many of the individual members of the Senate," Mr. Ueland said....

Of course, Bill Clinton didn't nominate William Kustler or Lynne Stewart or Catharine McKinnon to the Supreme Court -- the rough mirror-image equivalents of Bush's likely highly radical nominees.

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