Bush Overplayed His Hand With Alito Nomination
At a point of extreme political weakness over Iraq's continued string of bad news including more than 2,000 servicepersons killed, more powerful roadside bombs abd car bombings by insurgents, "Scooter Libby", Karl Rove, Katrina, intelligence problems leading up to the Iraq War, questions about Bill Frist and Dick Cheney, the Harriet Miers withdrawal after right wing pressure, an unpopular agenda and other problems, Bush and the political leadership of the republican party overplayed their hand with the push for the far right Alito nomination. With mounting problems, a further division issue was not needed. Democrats have found this a political opportunity to drive a truck through.
Yesterday in the senate, democrats voted for a closed session to crank up pressure for the 20month stall into the investigation of how intelligence prior to the Iraq War was handled. Was intelligence about WMD's grossly wrong or grossly distorted?
And Jimmy Carter has a new book dealing with values that is challenging the values of the religious right, and also is another political challenge to the vulnerable mess that republicans have currently dug themselves into. Tonight on Larry King he'll be discussing this book. Jimmy Carter may not have been the best American president ever, but he is admired and trusted enough that his words will bear some weight and will begin to unwind some of religious right efforts and challenge the republican party embrace of this radical political rather than spiritual movement that has little to do with Biblical values or even basic decency. There is nothing in the Bible to justify their radical antigun control views for example. And there is certainly nothing to justify the extreme views of Supreme Court nominee, Alito's views allowing for public ownership of machine guns. The right to bear arms is certainly protected by the Second Amendment. However some weapons intended for mass destruction need to be banned by government, and preventing public ownership of dangerous weapons that threaten public safety, police officers, or could contribute to serious crime or even terrorism is a reasonable exception to Second Amendment concers . The government has a legitimate public safety concern banning assault rifles, machine guns, "cop killer" bullets, handgrenades, bombs or even atomic weapons from public ownership. Alito and the far right may hold extreme views on this matter. However, most in law enforcement would certainly disagree and support reasonable restrictions on public ownership of very dangerous weapons.
It really was not the time at all for Bush or the republican leadership to overplay their hand, with the hope of a further divisive fight created with the Alito nomination. Democrats will actively stage a big political counterattack that will aim for public support, and as long as public support falls behind the issues democrats will champion in this new political offensive, the political offensive is likely to continue. Bush should have signaled a more cooperative political environment with a moderate Supreme Court choice. Instead he has left more political blood in the water for democrats to encircle like sharks upon when he chose the far right Alito to ignite a new controversy days after the White House was rocked by the "Scooter" Libby indictment.
The republican rule in Washington is rapidly beginning to unravel. With a sharp turn from more moderate, more mainstream policies under Eisenhower and Nixon, towards a steady drift to increasingly extreme values, the thin wedding of a procorporate agenda with values of the far right , involved a coalition whose values were not always in common, or acceptable for the wide public consumption expected of a party that holds many political majorities in legislative bodies and the White House. The democratic counterattack will not only use a scappel to chip away at the public acceptance of the values held by the far right or the procorporate agenda, but will find itself learning as it goes along what issues work and how much public support exists for this battle. It's early enough before the 2006 elections, that a trial ballon for this new political campaign has plenty of time for a trial.