Bush's handlers get wise, neutralize Dems on Supreme nominee
It appears from what can be known at the moment that Bush's nominee to fill the slot of Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court will likely have no problem being confirmed.
Rather than continue to act in the prediciably arrogant, in your face manner in which he has in previous nominations for various positions, Bush (Rove) instead threw a curve ball.
Bush had previously insisted on sending up confrontational nominations of blatantly extreme right wing ideologues. Even when they'd been blocked, he continued to send them back time and time again rather that proposing a conservative, but less extreme nominee.
But now he's slipped in a nominee for the big court that, while reliably conservative, appears to have no smoking gun paper trail to hang him with. Robert's resume is rock solid, and he comes across as extremely smooth and well-spoken.
The bottom line is that this was a deft stroke by Rove in that it takes the wind out of the Democratic sails. The Dems and organizations such as Move On have been gearing up for battle for months, and were totally prepared to eviscerate anyone with any "incorrect" record on abortion rights, guns, etc.
Bush wins by actually doing something rational for a change.
While Roberts is firmly in the corporate toady camp and can be expected to reliably vote against the rights of consumers and the environment in favor of corporations, as well as toeing the conservative line on social issues, the fact remains that he doesn't offer any obvious hooks which the left can hang him by.
Already my inbox contains email from MoveOn which urges me to contact my legislators to block this dangerous conservative nominee, as well as one from Ken Mehlman urging me to do the same thing (plus call in to my local talk radio show and write letters to the editor.) to ensure this sterling example of a man gets a "fair" hearing and is confirmed.
A massive ad buy by some stealth group supporting Roberts is running about every 5 minutes on CNN, making Roberts out to be saintly while urging that he be given a "fair" hearing.
My prediction? Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, and others make some token noises and appear tough while questioning Roberts, and we'll have to endure the gag-worthy spew from wind-bag John Warner, but there will be no "extrordiary circumstances" found to justify a fillibuster. Roberts goes through the motions and is confirmed.
Once on the bench, Roberts toes the conservative line and votes reliably with the Scalia/Thomas/Rehnquist block of the court. And he's so young that he'll be a reliable conservative vote for decades to come.