Well I'll be damned. Bush actually made a sagacious choice to replace Alan Greenspan. This Bernanke guy is all right.
Frankly, I've been pleasantly surprised by his people-picking. Aside from his conservatism - and given the chooser there was no chance of anything else - John Roberts seems like a pretty decent choice for the Supreme Court. Not for Chief Justice, mind you, but only because that job seems like it should be given to a sitting Justice, and not to the new kid. But in general, Roberts I have few problems with. He's at least smart (unlike Thomas) and considerate of other people (unlike Scalia). Anytime I can support someone despite their politics, I count as a win.
Miers? Well... from my point of view, it could be worse. She's massively underqualified but she's also not a doctrinaire loon, and when they came open I expected not just one but both of these Justice slots to be filled with reactionary nutjobs like Priscilla Owens or Janice Rogers Brown. Justices need to have a certain conservative streak, because their job is to uphold the decisions and the wisdom of those who have come before them; reactionaries seeking to overthrow social justice precedents are as far from conservative as the folks on the ninth circuit seeking to do away with the pledge of allegience.
Being a liberal myself, I regard the ninth circuit as well-meaning eccentrics, and crackpots like Roy Moore as dangerous and totalitarian, but in either case I'd rather have a David Souter or Sandra Day O'Connor or a John Roberts. At least someone who respects the law and the history of the law.
I have to say, though, that Kelo v. New London still rankles me. My team really let me down on that one.
Anyway, to get back to my point, it appears that whenever Bush appoints someone he doesn't know, he does a decent job. When he appoints the college roommate of a buddy of his... not so much. By which I mean "hundreds and thousands of people die". So it appears that, if we want competence out of this administration for the next (deep sigh) three years, all we have to do is get rid of anyone George Bush actually knows, and make him hire people he's never met before this year.
And in, on a beam of light, comes the Plame investigation.
I'd write something here about the right-wing slime machine and the cultists who duly chant the phrases it pipes into their eager, unused brains, but I'm saving that for another column. Suffice it to say that Fitzgerald, like Ben Bernanke, is one of that by now oh-so-rare breed of responsible, grown-up Republicans. The zombie repetitions of "partisan politics" are even less valid against him than against Ronnie Earle.
Ah, Ronnie Earle. Now there's a man squarely in the sights of the reactionary cultists. Never mind that he has prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans. Never mind the open secret of how DeLay twists and bends and - get this - breaks whatever rules he has to to get his way. No, Party Headquarters speaks and through the organ of the Mighty Wurlitzer, the obedient drones receive their thoughts and bellow them to the accompaniment of spittle. DeLay is innocent, Earle has a political agenda. Rush said it, that makes it right.
Hm. Guess I am going down that path a little. Anyway. It also seems that, although both the Bush administration and the Republican congressional leadership are corrupt and amoral to the core, they are after all two different groups of corrupt, amoral people, as indicated by the split over the Miers nomination. It's interesting to see the monolithic Republican "the party commands and we obey" facade slip a little. And it's heartening to see that, behind it, there are still a few Robertses and Bernankes.
Maybe one day they can actually have a voice in their party again.
- Sun Ra
Columns by Sun Ra