Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I know the same things you know about John Roberts, and we probably both agree that Dems do not have a serious chance of blocking the nomination: too vanilla, not enough paper trail, etc. So I think the thing for Dems to do is to paint him as a strictly pro-business, non-ideological "principled conservative," basically a guy we disagree with but not a scary guy. This seems to be the current CW and may represent an opening. The best political strategy for Dems (though not for left wing fundraisers, unfortunately) may be to downplay the likelihood that Roberts will be an anti-Roe guy.

So far, the right wing seems fairly happy. That's bad. And we know that the more the left seems outraged, the more the right circles the wagons. But the truth is that the "religious right" is a powderkeg right now, entitled and emboldened but also needy, very demanding and totally whiny. So we should play the devils on their shoulders, saying "Gee, Bush's choice will help his pro-business pals, but what track record does this guy have on the issues that you care so much about? None to speak of! Are you sure this guy will help your cause?"

The more they doubt that Roberts is one of them, the more the political fallout harms Republicans in '06. So let's hear much more repetition of the Roberts quote stating that Roe is "settled law" (yes, it's potentially a misleading quotation...what's your point?). Deepen the fissures in Bush's governing coalition. Then back to bringing down Karl Rove!

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