Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Supreme Court A-Go-Go

Sandra Day O'Conner announced her retirement from the Supreme Court Friday, hitting an unaware Washington, DC like a runaway frieght train. As Official Washington, as we insiders like to call it, was packing up and fleeing from the onslaught of tourists for the long holiday weekend, the Press declared that chances for a peaceful summer in Washington were nil. For once, the Press was right.

Doing a sort of survey of my friends at a barbecue on Saturday, I found that absolutely no one wants to talk about the upcoming court nomination, including me. There was a feeling of dread and the unmistakable whiff of despair amongst us politicos as we girded ourselves for the histrionics, the overwrought melodrama, the hand wringing over whichever poor soul got the nod from the President. You see, the little people who make Washington work, the people that I know, are damn tired of this crap. Democrat and Republican staffers are not eager to see a battle waged. 527 organization workers have to pretend to get fired up, but by the looks on a lot of faces this weekend, they'll be faking any enthusiasm for a long fight. Who wants it? Nobody. Nobody, that is, but the higher ups, those who fund the 527s, the professional Court Watchers and the Senators who have a political dog in this hunt. Watching them on TV with their serious attitudes and predictions on who should get picked made me ill. Yes, it's important. But can't it wait? Washington is becoming unbearable. I usually say that partisanship is overly hyped by the media, but lately that's not been the case. My friends are tired and want little to do with a nomination right now because we're tired of being at each other's throats. I don't know of any alienated friendships yet, but this could be the 1000-pound weight that broke the camels back.

You see, Washington only has two kinds of summers: Slow, hot & sticky, or politically charged, hot & sticky. Neither is appealing, but given a vote everyone in town would choose the former option. This place is miserable enough during the summer as is. Could the media, the parties, and the interest groups give us a break? No, of course not, because the Constitution asks that the President nominate a new Associate Justice, and the Senate is asked to approve this new Justice. The Constitution probably never dreamed of month-long battles, ego displays in Committee and a potential $100 Million TV battle that is old before it has begun, but I guess that's why I like the Constitution. It's smarter than all of us. So misery is the order of the day, and we'll be drunk on it by August.

Personally, I hope Bush selects another Thomas or Scalia, but if you disagree, well, I'll have to take out a 30 second ad against you. It's just the way we do things here.


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