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By Geoff Metcalf

November 3, 2005

The disastrous goat rope over the Harriet Miers nomination and withdrawal to the Supreme Court should be a reality check for the White House AND the GOP.

From the mean spirited partisan acrimony to the self serving grandstanding of wildcatting Senators, most of the sound and fury has been a direct result of efforts to avoid a fight that desperately needs fighting.

The Senate Judiciary committee has been venial, partisan, petty and inordinately successful in hobbling the President on judicial nominations.

Majority Leader Bill Frist has been a huge disappointment and the diffident White House has only served to enable congressional dysfunction.

Since before the 2000 election both parties have told us, that the inevitable Supreme Court nominations would be the Super Bowl of politics.

Regardless of whatever legacy history may impose on the Bush presidency regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea, China, or the economy, THE most lasting and enduring impact will be what �W� does or doesn�t do with the Supremes.

His is a unique, historic, and monumentally signification opportunity�which based on recent performance he was in danger of squandering. Then he did the courageous thing and appointed Judge Samuel Alioto.

Dr. Robert Jarvick (inventor of the artificial heart) once said, �Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. They make this happen!�

Bush 43 has been visionary, but his �sense of fear� has been mitigated by political correctness. His brave willingness to commit to unpopular military action for the greater good is as commendable as his whimping out over the threat of partisan battles that are inevitable is contemptible. Then he announced Alioto.

Politics may be the art of compromise but leaders lead. Lead, follow, or get out of the way. Many of us have put great hope into this president for his ability to lead and many of us have been disappointed with gaffs and missteps that never should have happened. Then he appointed Alioto.

The Harriet Miers excrement storm is a symptom of the administrations challenges. It was an �event� not the whole process.

Confucius said, "To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle." So, what is it? Does Bush lack the courage to appoint the kind of justice he has consistently claimed he would? Or is it principle? Come on�enquiring minds want to know. And then he nominated Alioto.

Ambrose Bierce claimed, �Politics is the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.�

Here�s the deal: Bush needed to select a nominee consistent with what he SAID he would do.

1. "The voters should assume I have no litmus test on that issue or any other issue.
2. Voters will know I'll put competent judges on the bench; people who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not use the bench for writing social policy. ...
3. I believe that the judges ought not to take the place of the legislative branch of government;
4. that they're appointed for life and that they ought to look at the Constitution as sacred.
5. They shouldn't misuse their bench.
6. I don't believe in liberal-activist judges.
7. I believe in strict constructionists.
8. Those are the kinds of judges I will appoint."

Listen, there ain�t no way, no how that Democrats are going to embrace ANYone who meets those 8 criteria as defined. That is a given. The Democrats were going to throw a cosmic hissy fit no matter whom Bush nominated. LET THEM! And in the wake of the Alioto nomination we have not been disappointed.

If or when they try to filibuster a nominee meeting the eight points articulated by the president, the White House AND the thus far gutless GOP leadership need to pick the fight.

Bush (for whatever reasons) has done just that.

  • Alioto is not a woman or an ethnic minority.
  • He is not a moderate.
  • He is (in many ways) the antithesis of Harriet Miers.
  • He has more judicial experience than virtually any previous nominee in something like 70 years.

Bush once said he would appoint judges in the model of Thomas and Scalia. Now, finally, he has. The usual suspects are already trying to marginalize Judge Alioto by insinuating his nickname (�Scalioto�) as proof of his inherent tragic flaws.

Hey, if Schumer want a fight, they got it. Now is the time for the Senate to grow a pair and engage the enemy.

Change the Senate rules (which would really be a restoration to the amendments previously implemented by Mike Mansfield and Bob Byrd) and get a straight majority vote from the full senate.

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The Dems will scream and shout and itch and moan, but the Supreme Court will be what it should be.

Additionally by appointing a nominee who is younger than the speed limit and will be around for a while�a LONG while is important.

This is fight long overdue and worth fighting and winning.

� 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's

Web Site: While you're at it - pick up a copy of Geoff's latest book!  









Many of us have put great hope into this president for his ability to lead and many of us have been disappointed...