Here Come The Judges!! Rovian Ressurection of the Repubs, Step 1

Tuesday, May 09, 2006 at 03:32 PM

Karl Rove's alleged "genius" doesn't extend to anything that's legitimate, above board, honest, or any other term meaning something similar to "honest."  Yet KR is once again largely responsible for resurrecting the dead duck known alternatively as "the Bush presidency" and "Republican control of the federal government."  Step 1 in the Rovian attempt: continue to beat the dead horse you rode in on.

A piece in today's The Hill reports that:

Presidential adviser Karl Rove and White House counsel Harriet Miers yesterday told conservative activists and Senate staff that the administration would soon send the names of more than 20 judicial nominees to Capitol Hill for confirmation.

The undertaking to move ahead came at a 2:30 meeting at the White House that was boycotted by leading conservatives upset at the slow pace of nominations, according to people who attended the meeting.

The tenor of the piece is that this version of 20 judicial questions is merely to appease conservatives unhappy with the pace of nominations since Alito.  I think it goes deeper than that.

I'd bet that the sleaze that passes for Rove-thought follows this train:

  1. The public is really pissed at Republicans right now.

  2.  The last time he looked, the public had bought the garbage about Democrats blocking Bush nominations in the most unforgivably partisan way.

  3. The conservative base is really ticked, too.

  4. Nominating a bunch of frothing conservative ideologues will make the conservative base happy.

  5.  The media will totally botch the reporting on the nomination/approval battles, leaving the general public with the impression that the Dems are a bunch of ideological extremists.

  6.  If enough of the public gets sucked into that vacuous coverage, many voting members of the public may quit muttering "Cunningham-Rumsfeld-Cheney-Abramoff-Iraq-New Orleans-F'ing Republicans" several thousand times a day.

  7. By the time the media gets around to analyzing whether the media has done its job on the judicial nomination story, the public will have forgotten that phrase they used to mutter all the time, it was people's names or something like that.

Of course, that doesn't mean that Rove is right.  2006 is not 2004. Senate Republicans are scrambling to reassure the "non-base" of sane and moderate voters that they aren't the lunatics they may have seemed to be over the last few years (see preceding story on EJ Dionne's article). And Iraq will still be Iraq, New Orleans will still be a disaster, Afganistan is still heading backwards, medical care is ever-harder to afford, as is gas for your car, illegal immigrants continue to pour over the border, and the criminal investigations (how many now? 50?  more?) continue to pile up.

It's going to be an interesting election war.  I suspect that now that a whole lot of people have noticed that Bush and Rove are both naked, it's going to be hard for them to put that ugly sight out of their minds.