March 01, 2005
How Partisan Can You Get?
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Not that Bush's extreme divisiveness was ever a secret, but they are throwing all pretense aside and now carrying out an agenda that anyone would agree is highly partisan: re-nominating extremist right-wing judges that Democrats fought tooth and nail to keep from being confirmed to higher courts.
The Democrats blocking is not the partisan example: blocking extremist judges is standard fare in D.C. politics. The Republicans blocked far more of Clinton's relatively centrist jurists than the Democrats have blocked Bush's wingnut nominees; calling the Democrats partisan here would require the GOP to take the Grand Prize in Partisanship.
But Bush has them all beat. Not only are his nominees almost insultingly partisan, but the idea of recycling the worst of the lot, hoping that the GOP's increased hold on the Senate will help him squeak his most objectionable nominees through, is unprecedented and about as partisan as you could imagine a president could get.
His current nominee is William Myers, former lobbyist for the ranching and mining industries and former Bush administrator lawyer. But even more important than just the fact that Myers is called a "staunch conservative" even by Republicans, more than that he is a known advocate against environmentalism, is the fact that Bush is trying to seat this far-right-wing jurist on the 9th Circuit, a liberal stronghold which also happens to rule on a high number of environmental cases. This is not in the least a coincidence--Bush is clearly trying to knock out the liberal heart of the judiciary, and is doing it in the most offensive way possible.
Again, none of this is a surprise--ever since Bush's razor-thin "mandate" win last year, the White House has made clear its strategy to bring back the few judges that the Democrats managed to keep of the bench.