Okay, so yesterday President Bush appointed a very conservative justice to the Supreme Court, one who will probably rule to roll back environmental protections, consumer and civil rights, and of course, Roe v. Wade. But the only really big news there, is that Bush announced the appointment yesterday.
There’s no doubt that the announcement was timed to distract attention away from a White House on the verge of implosion over Karl Rove’s outing of a CIA operative. Their goal is to suck all the air out of the controversy, by exploiting the media’s OCD-like focus on one big story at a time, and the public’s ADD-like tendency to lose interest in an issue once the headlines get bumped off the front page. But I’m not going to fall for it.
We have at least five weeks until Senate hearings start, and hell if I’m going waste that time breathlessly covering a confirmation battle the Democrats simply can’t win (assuming we want to.) Besides, the public needs to learn that elections have consequences… that with Roberts on the bench, we will be one judge away from young women dying of sepsis and other gruesome complications from back-alley abortions. As far as I’m concerned, if he’s a qualified jurist (and by all accounts he is,) let the religious right have their anti-abortion justice — it will be a Pyrrhic victory if we can make the SCOTUS a major issue in 2006 and beyond.
The Roberts appointment is neither a surprise nor a scandal… that’s what you get when you elect a President who campaigned on overturning Roe. The scandal that we should all be focusing on is the way the White House lied our nation into war, and has lied its way through a cover-up.
Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and other high-ranking White House officials leaked Valerie Plame’s identity to the press in an attempt discredit and punish Ambassador Joe Wilson, and send a warning to others who might publicly challenge the administration. Through his spokesman, the President lied to the American public about Karl Rove’s involvement in the scandal, and directly lied when he said he would fire anybody found to be involved. And it seems increasingly likely that Rove and others face criminal indictments for the outing itself, and/or the ensuing cover-up. (If you think a judge is going to jail reporters over an investigation that is not likely to produce indictments, you’re living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.)
But most importantly, the President and Vice-President of United States, and other high ranking members of their administration, repeatedly betrayed the trust of the nation and the world in laying the grounds for invading Iraq. As a result of their lies, we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars to mire us in a war in which over 1,700 US soldiers have died, another 30,000 have been wounded or maimed, and tens of thousands Iraqi’s have lost their lives. We have pissed away post-9/11 goodwill, and turned Iraq into a breeding ground for terrorists, while failing to finish the job we started in Afghanistan. It is hard to argue that the American people are safer now than we were the day our President cynically alleged in his State of the Union Address that Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Africa… an allegation based on evidence our own intelligence community nearly unanimously considered to be false.
Yes, nothing would please me more than to see Rove hoisted with his own petard, but in focusing on Rove we are also focusing on a corrupt administration that took America to war on a lie… and then apparently broke the law while covering it up. Rove’s scandal is Bush’s scandal, and to allow it to be bumped out of the headlines just as the truth is finally coming to a head, would be to do a great disservice to the American people.
Bush appointed a conservative justice, putting Roe at risk. What… you’re surprised? Now let’s get back to the real news.