01 July 2005

- O'Conner Is Gone, and We Are So Screwed -

That's the common wisdom, and I agree with it in the short term. There goes the filibuster deal—not that it was much of a deal to begin with. And we'll undoubtedly end up with some disaster of a nomination and probable confirmation, someone to the right even of Scalia. In some sense, the best case scenario may well be if Bush overplays this appointment to keep the wingnuts happy and winds up forcing moderate republicans to oppose it. Ah, but then he'll just nominate someone else with views only slightly less appalling. No, in the short term, we're definitely screwed.

In the long term, however, the whole thing might play out unexpectedly. Not so much on the court, which will burden us with decisions in favor of corporate America and against civil liberties for years to come; but politically in the sense that independents may stop getting drunk on the flag for a moment and actually pay attention to what's going on; and the democrats may well get a clue and figure out that, really, they need to stand for something and that they can actually succeed by standing for something.

Ok, that's a stretch, but it's all I've got at the moment.