Friday, August 31, 2007

Waterloo, But For Who(m)?

When Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation as Attorney-General on Monday, I urged him to throw "the New Tone" to the wind and go for broke by choosing Ted Olson as Speedy's successor at Justice. My reasoning was eminently logical:
The Leahy Committee, having finally scored Speedy's scalp, is going to try to dictate the President's choice of his replacement anyway, and nobody to the right of Janet Reno will be acceptable to them. Since it's going to be a battle to the PR death regardless, why not go for broke and appoint Chertoff or Olson, men who share Dubya's vision of fighting the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism, whom he personally trusts, and who will be highly unlikely to be as out of depth as was Gonzales?

Seeing the Donks dredge up Florida 2K again....would be another delightful opportunity to further educate the public on Dem extremism and partisan boorishness and drive down Congress' approval numbers into single digits at the same time.
Dubya, in other words, has absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by swinging for the fences, and maybe using that bat on Leaky, Chucky, Fussy Russy, and Uncle Teddy while he's at it.

I posted that recommendation in a wistful sense, though, as I held out little hope that the President would opt for the "in-your-face" pick. Oh, he wouldn't abjectly surrender by picking a Democrat, but I was expecting an old Bush41 hand equivalent to his choice of Bob Gates to take over for Rummy.

Imagine my pleasure when I read this WaPo rumor:
A half-dozen or so lawyers are being discussed among Administration officials as possible candidates to replace Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, but no clear favorite has emerged, and President Bush is willing to fight for the right candidate, Administration officials and Republican advisers said [Tues]day.

Democratic Senate leaders have called on the White House to consult them closely during the selection process, but Administration officials warned yesterday that the President intends to nominate an attorney general who agrees with his policies. "It is the President's prerogative to appoint someone who shares his views," a senior Administration official said.
Can you believe the White House has to actually defend what should be such an obvious given? Can you believe the Donks are manifesting such triumphalist partisan arrogance? Do you have any doubt what kind of battle royal/hell-in-a-cell/death match this confirmation is going to be?

Yesterday Brother Meringoff brought even better news:
I'm hearing that the White House presented three names in its consultation with Senator Specter, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committtee. They were Ted Olson, Larry Thompson (the number two man under John Ashcroft), and George Terwilliger. Specter preferred Olson, whom the White House also views very favorably, and he likely will be the nominee.
Ted Olson. Ted honest-to-God Olson. Ted "I'm No Frakking Jamie Gorelick" Olson. I do believe business is about to pick up.

One thing I strongly believe in, as far too many officeholding Pachyderms do not, is the relentless highlighting of the policy and philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats. For the most part, whenever GOPers contrast their center-right views with the Donks' left-wing extremism, the good guys win. When 'Pubbies run away from such ideological fights, they almost invariably lose.

The choice of Oh, Boy, Alberto's successor is just such a fork in the road. A spectacular one, in point of fact; what partisan showdown could be more beneficial to conservatives, and perilous to liberals, than to have it out over counter-terrorism and national security? Are Democrats really going to get on the national stage and shine the multi-kilowatt klieg lights of public scrutiny on arguments against surveilling terrorist communications and financing? Against the Patriot Act and keeping forever down the Gorelick "wall" that preventing FBI-CIA intelligence sharing in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks? And have thrown in their faces the fact that the Bush anti-terror policies they've spent the past six years viciously demonizing have prevented any further al Qaeda attacks on American soil, something nobody would have predicted or even imagined six years ago?

Remember that Ivana Trump ad where she chirped, "Success is the best revenge"? That's what the Bushies have at their backs, plus the recently (and grudgingly) passed and enacted FISA upgrade to re-open the TSP. All the Democrats have is an overabundance of sedition and partisan boorishness that can only be campaign liabilities next year, and all the more so if they try, much less succeed, in "borking" Ted Olson.

Still, they may well do just that. Donks have been feeling the heat from their kook, fringe, bottom-feeding, wacko, lunatic, insane asylum, quisling base over caving to the President on forcing retreat timetables from Iraq (and Afghanistan), the FISA upgrade, and crossing ultraleft orthodoxy and admitting that the Petraeus "Surge" is working. If the Leahy Committee doesn't tar and feather Ted Olson and have him dragged to death on the streets of Washington, D.C. by his tool, the Kos-hacks and moveoners may start issuing death fatwas against their own.

And if they do, the President should go right down the list and send up Larry Thompson, and then George Terwilliger, one "neocon" after another, until the Dems cry "no mas," or the GOP retakes the Senate in November 2008, whichever comes first.

Would Dubya go to those lengths? Would the Dems?

One way or another, we're gonna find out.

Since I wasn't expecting even this much, I figure I'm already ahead.