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October 29, 2005

Alan Keyes Explains Bush's Stealth Nominee Strategy

Shockingly, I think Keyes basically has it right in this essay:. He blames the stealth strategy on the need to provide political cover for moderate Republicans, who don't want to publicly vote for an obvious anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee:

This provides cover for the real culprits in this scenario – the eight or so abortion-minded Republican senators who will be put in the spotlight if the president nominates an impressive conservative jurist. Will Arlen Specter and the other Republicans like him stand firm with the president, or join the abortion minded Democrat minority to provide the margin that derails such a nominee? The administration's stealth approach allows these Republicans to avoid taking a stand that would outrage the Republican grass roots, while it camouflages the leftist priorities that separate Sen. Specter and the others from the majority of their fellow Republicans.
Keyes blames this mushing of the issued on moneyed forces in the Republican Party who are just using the coalition with the religious conservatives for their own ends, although he dances away from the implication that pro-choice politics are popular, dismissing pro-choice Republicans as just offering "public popularity and marketing 'brand.'"

But Keyes also slides into more serious heresy when he raises the ugly elephant in the room, namely that Bush and the GOP elite don't necessarily want Roe v. Wade overtturned:

Am I daring to suggest that President G. W. Bush doesn't want Roe overturned? I don't know for sure his personal inclinations. But even if he does, his White House faithfully reproduces the schizophrenia of the Republican Party. The president may be a moral conservative, but his chief political advisers appear to be [the moneyed GOP interests], without exception. This means that we must at the very least entertain the possibility that [their] sensitivities play an important, if not decisive, role in deliberations on the politically charged issue of judicial appointments.
So, according to Keyes, Bush appointed clear anti-choice people to lower courts to pacify the religious conservatives, then went for people with more ambiguous positions where it really counts, on the Supreme Court.

So Bush is really out there betraying religious conservatives.

Now, whether this is true or not, a lot of religious conservatives are feeling this, so Bush now has less wiggle room on his rightwing to appoint a stealth candidate. And if he appoints a more obvious rightwinger, it just helps progressives to either defeat the candidate or paint Bush as a captive of rightwing conservative forces.

Posted by Nathan at October 29, 2005 10:28 AM