Wednesday, July 20, 2005

WTF Happened yesterday?! (and a small ray of hope)

Okay so yesterday, we all Knew (or so the network news told us) that the Nominee was going to be Edith Clement,  Unless of course, it was Edith Jones.   Except those in the know, whispered it could be The dark Horse Luttig.

On thing was certain. Bush was eager to make his mark on history, we had been reliably informed for weeks, so he'd definitely go with a woman or minority candidate.

Which is why, at 9pm EST bush proudly announced his historical, groundbreaking choice of:

 An obscure white guy with good hair.

What the F--- just happened?  How did everyone get it So Wrong?

well 5 possible explanations come to mind, some more hopeful for us than others:

  1. The Press was Talking out its Ass:  Now I know gentle reader, that you have the utmost trust and respect for the media, but the unfortunate truth is that they, sometimes; how to put this delicately?  Make stuff up.  a whisper here, a hint there, and every beat reporter thinks he's Nostradamus.   I'm inclined to doubt this here though because the speculation was so focused on a very short list of names, and the reporters didn't use any of the famous weasel words that typically accompany total speculation  ("some are saying" "its been reported/rumored that")

  2. The Media's Sources were Making it up:  It happens.  Knowledge is power and "being in the loop" is the ultimate Washington status symbol.  People will often to claim to know a lot more than they really know

  3. The Media's Sources were deliberately misinformed:  We all know this White House hates unauthorized leaks unless Karl Does the leaking.  What better way to keep the press in the dark (heightening suspense) and control future leaks (by destroying the source's credibility)  than to create a false information that could be "discovered"  an leaked?  In Karl Rove's world this doesn't even qualify as Machiavellian.

  4. The Sources Were part of disinformation campaign: a variant on 3, but with the sources  an active part of the plot.  If this happened; be prepared for an almighty backlash from the press.  The do NOT like being blatantly lied to.   Abused, denigrated, dismissed, manipulated, and otherwise treated like a rented vinyl marital aid?  Fine.  But as Scotty McClellan learned last week, don't lie to their faces.  An odd standard perhaps but nice to know  the MSM has at least one

  5. Something Went Horribly Wrong:  This is the one that my hunches tell me is closest to the truth; and the one that leaves a bright ray of hope for us.  The names floated yesterday morning were too authoritative, and to obviously part of a carefully crafted media campaign to have been sheer speculation.  I don't believe for example, that Laura Bush, she of the glassy smile that comes only after downing a few too many Perocet and Vodka cocktails, would have shared her "spontaneous opinions" on who the next nominee should be, if those opinions had been carefully scripted, revised and vetted, by Darth Rove and his band of Merry Machiavellians.  So Something Yesterday went horribly wrong  (either Bush got vetoed by Uncles Karl and Dick, or a screaming red flag popped up on his earlier picks.)

  With all due (and we'll see how much that is) respect to Judge Roberts, he's not anyone's first choice for anything.  He has "safety pick " plastered all over him in ten foot high letters.   And that friends,  is very good news for us.

You See the Evil Political Machine that is the Bush Administration, does many things very well:  divide the country, energize its base through blatant pandering, reward its corporate cronies, and of course, avoid any accountability for its crimes and mistakes.

But there is one thing it does very very poorly:  nominate people.

Lets Ignore the Owens/Brown spectacle that left the Senate Republicans publicly divided and weakened;  lets even overlook the ongoing train-wreck that is the Bolton immolation, sorry , nomination, and lets look back to the biggest most awful screw up of the Shrub's second term:

Anybody remember Bernard B. Kerik's nomination to be director of Homeland Security?

In retrospect, the facts  of his nomination are eerily similar to the ones here.  The Job was a very high profile one, and the subject of intense media speculation.  Early reports authoritatively identified  the prospective nominee.  at the last minute several alternative names were floated; and at go time, a dark horse few had ever heard of was thrust forward.  

And the nomination was an utter disaster.  In a few days it became absolutely clear the White House had done absolutely no vetting or background investigation on a man in a critical national security post.  By the time Kerik withdrew his name citing "Nanny troubles" (for a nanny he never really had),; it became abundantly clear that  his  ethical role model as a cop was Harvey Keitel's  Bad Lieutenant.  

The man was more crooked than a snake in a limbo contest.  Reporters, with a minimum of effort, quickly discovered several mistresses, a secret wife, and not one,  but two secret Manhattan apartments either one of which cost too much to be affordable on a cop's salary.  And,  as the absolute icing on the cake, he had   enough Mob connections that he really should have had a "the" nickname (Bernie "The Mook" Kerik)

 (you can read all the sordid details in This article I wrote at the time entitled, prophetically enough, "Using The Kerik Affair To Save the Supreme Court)"

If this administration has a clear Achilles heel, it is its nomination process.  Ability doesn't seem to matter much to them,  nor competence, nor temperment, nor even ethics.  The only virtue they seem to care about is loyalty, and by that they mean not loyalty to the country but loyalty to the family...err Administration.  If you are willing to be W's Bitch, then the job is yours no matter what.  

If  Judge Roberts  has been subjected to no more than that cursory once over, which  seems to be all other  critical Bush nominees have rated;  then it is very likely that there may be some very interesting surprises Lurking in his past just waiting to leap back into the light of day again.

Gentlemen (and Ladies)  Start your Search engines.


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