Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Surgeon General should be a real doctor

I know it's always a bad bet to overestimate George W. Bush's ability to plan ahead, but my guess is that the White House knows what it's doing nominating a homophobic ideologue to the office of Surgeon General.

Conservatives are in revolt over the immigration bill (btw, I wish more liberals were, too) and the war certainly isn't getting more popular. The nomination of James Holsinger feels like Rovian base-stroking politics to me, like a calculated attempt to divert attention from immigration. Hey, conservative base, look over here!

One way for Democrats to deal with this tactic -- sometimes the best way -- is not to rise to the bait. Deny Rove the confrontation he wants. But in this case I think Dems should fight hard to keep Holsinger from being confirmed. With every passing year, the old culture-war wedges become less salient.

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