Monday, October 31, 2005


(I'm using that title mainly because I like to use the word whenever I can.)

So Bush has named a new nominee to replace Hariet "Bush is da Coolest" Miers. There were two schools of thought after Miers withdrew. One, which we'll call the David Brooks school, thought that Miers was torpedoed by moderate GOP leaders because of the small matter of total incompetence. The second school of thought, which we'll call the Everyone Who Was Actually Paying Attention School, saw that it was Bush's conservative base that abandoned him, forcing Miers to withdraw.

Is this simply an academic debate? No. Definite consequences flow from these two hypotheses. If you believe the syndicated New York Times columnist David Brooks, the chain of logic binds like this:

Observation: Miers is withdrawn.
Hypothesis: This is due to staggering incompetence.
Conclusion: Bush will nominate a competent moderate to replace her.

Meanwhile, the EWWAPAS goes like this:
Observation: Miers is withdrawn.
Hypothesis: This is because of Bush's weakness with his base.
Conclusion: Bush will solidify his base by naming the worst kind of conservative.

Given these two competing hypotheses, we then have to wait and observe, so that we can determine which hypothesis best fits the observed facts. Doing so reveals that Bush is nominating... the worst kind of conservative:
...In his dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito concurred with the majority in supporting the restrictive abortion-related measures passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in the late 1980’s. Alito went further, however, saying the majority was wrong to strike down a requirement that women notify their spouses before having an abortion...

In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home...
It gets worse. Read the rest of the ThinkProgress piece to get a feel for this guy.

Ezra Klein is already calling this Gotterdamerung, and I can't say I blame him. It would have been hard for Bush to nominate a more extreme judge, short of adding some hoods and bleaching the Supreme Court's robes to a nice crisp white.

But, if there's one good thing to come out of all this, it's scientific proof that David Brooks wouldn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

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