At Long Last, Have They No Shame?
There is no telling whether Bush's diminished standing from the disastrous failure of hurricane relief efforts may embolden Democrats to challenge the White House across a much broader front, including the future of the court. But in the statement he issued within hours of Roberts's new nomination, Kennedy wanted no one to miss that possibility. He pointedly referred to Hurricane Katrina as "a defining moment in our nation's history" and urged the president "to take this time to unite and heal the country."Are we seriously asked by Kennedy and Dionne to imagine that for one blessed second they would have urged a President Kerry in such circumstances to nominate somebody to the right of Justice Breyer in the interests of national unity? Or perhaps, as Dionne suggests, it is only because Bush is perceived to have performed poorly in response to the Hurricane that he lost the right to put his own nominee up--the argument being that a strong disaster president gets what he wants. But, again, it beggars belief to imagine that Dionne would be supporting Roberts if Bush had done better last week.
Bush no doubt turned to Roberts as a safe harbor in the midst of the greatest political storm of his presidency, and Roberts may yet triumph. But the fierce winds that have buffeted Bush could imperil what once might have been an easy passage for a calm and collected nominee who, in his warm and witty way, would move the court and the country rightward.
The victims are not yet counted, let alone buried with dignity, and Sen. Kennedy and Mr. Dionne are not at all afraid, not at all ashamed, to put their gruesome deaths to the service of what--maintaining the ongoing myth that Jefferson and Co. both wanted and codified--in those "broad and majestic phrases" of the Bill of Rights--unfettered access to abortion?
I am appalled.