Vae Victus

Classical Musings on a Modern World - Politics, Military Analysis, Dog Training, and More

Location: Chicago, IL

I am a consultant from chicago where I live with my wife, our dog, and two cats

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Campaign season again

It's coming early this year, but with the indictment of Tom Delay there can be no doubt that the Democrats are back into full campaign mode. While they continue to lose at the polls, they still continue to fight to win in other ways - either through frivolous indictments or through obstruction.

Speaking of obstruction, the Democrats are getting their alliance together for whoever the next Supreme Court nominee happens to be and can be expected to put together a filibuster even if the nominee is only slightly to the right of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Why? The sheer amount of money and energy that has been spent on their Supreme Court fight is overwhelming and has become a central plank to the Democratic future. Whoever isn't fully engaged for this next round will not stand a chance in 2008.

However, the Republicans have a variety of choices here. Bush could capitulate and name a full, squishy "moderate" to the court - someone who thinks the constitution only means some of what it says it means. Or he could name another justice in the mold of Roberts - or someone with a longer record on the issues who is even more frightening to the Democrats. If he does indeed name someone in the mold of Roberts (and I fully expect that he will), the Democrats will do their best to filibuster that person. If they have any record at all, and I mean ANY record, that filibuster will likely succeed, and the Republicans of the Senate will be making the next move.

Do they change the rules to take away the filibuster for judges or not? Do they fight back against Democratic obstruction? That is the key question, both for the Senate Republicans and for Republicans and Tom Delay - Do they fight back?

In Delay's case it's just a matter of sticking with him until the facts come out (precisely what they didn't do with Gingrich). In the Senate's case, it's a harder road, but any Senator that has aspirations of running for President has to realize that this fight will define his chances for 2008.

We'll see if they have the backbone. Already some have called to not extend the tax cuts and other stupid ideas, so I might have a right to be skeptical. On the other hand, I think the President will get this done. He knows when to spend his political capital and despite low poll numbers he remains by far the most powerful politician in the country.


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