Thursday, July 07, 2005

Balz on Bush SCOTUS Strategy

Sometimes a reporter just hits one out of the park. Dan Balz' analysis of the president's current Gonzales conundrum is today's Washington Post might be one of those times. Balz deftly dissects the difficulties posed to Bush at this moment, saying that he "has long pursued a calculated strategy to build a lasting Republican majority, coupling courtship of the party's conservative base with efforts designed to attract support from Hispanics and targeted swing voters. But rarely have the two sides of this strategy been in such conflict as they are today with the possible nomination of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales to the Supreme Court."

Balz goes deep inside the "big tent" that supposedly is the Republican Party today, finding a GOP strategist to quote: "There is a lot of grumbling about this, about whether we seem to be catering to just one side of the party. We need to be inclusive to all. If it's 'our way or no way' [among social and religious conservatives, Balz adds], that's really not a party."

The strategist is right. The president should be able to move beyond the demands of the "Justice Sunday" crowd and nominate a justice in the mainstream conservative tradition of Justice O'Connor; he should not have to cave to the howls for blood from the right wing.

What will he do? It remains to be seen. Both liberal and conservative groups are hoping he goes to the mattresses with a nominee as far to the right as possible - Ralph Neas and Tony Perkins are just about slobbering over the prospects for their fundraising efforts. As I said yesterday, anything that makes the extremists on both ends howl louder probably is just about right, so that's about all I'm hoping for right now.

Read the Balz analysis, and let me know - is it good, or am I just reading things too late at night again?


At 12:18 AM, Blogger chris said...

Bush has skillfully balanced his appeals to both groups throughout his career as an elected official, but he faces the prospect of disappointing one side, with potentially serious repercussions for his party.

It's easy to balance the Justice Sunday crowd by telling them you'll appoint conservative SCOTUS justices. Easy, that is, until you actually have to appoint the justices and alienate every reasonable person in America.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger jomama said...

So many distractions, so little time.


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