Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Some days we feel like the evil alien computers on Star Trek that used to smoke, spark, and shut down altogether as soon as Captain Kirk enunciated two logically contradictory propositions. According to James Ridgeway of the Village Voice, certain elements within the Republican Party are convinced that Hillary Clinton, if elected President in 2008, might use the broad powers of the PATRIOT Act to lock them all up for good -- which strikes us, quite obviously, as a powerfully compelling reason for those same elements to vote against renewing the sunset provisions of the PATRIOT Act. But Robert Novak has apparently put forth a novel, if convoluted strategy that would keep the PATRIOT Act intact and the GOP in control of its disposition. The plan would neutralize candidate Hillary by the, shall we say, counterintuitive expedient of nominating her husband to the Supreme Court:
Here's what's supposed to happen: Bush names either Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia to be chief justice. That leaves one vacancy on the court. Then he appoints Bill Clinton to the court. Oh my God!
The thought of adulterer Clinton on the court (think Monica as clerk) sends right-wingers up the wall. But wait a minute. Think it through: Next, Bill Frist—Senate majority leader, Terri Schiavo defender, and himself a presidential hopeful—immediately moves to hold up Bill's nomination. Next, Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, cuts a deal to free the conservative judicial nominations now backed up in Congress in return for letting Clinton on the court.
Once on the court, Clinton is out of the picture when it comes to campaigning for Hillary or anyone else in 2008. What to do about Hillary? Americans may differ on whether she should be president, but almost everyone will agree that the country could not stand to have two Clintons dominating two branches of government.
As for what Bill might do on the court, one conservative pol opined, "He couldn't be any worse than Souter."