Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Strategy Cried Wolf

At Donald Douglas' blog, I got smeared by a commenter who suggested that I would have called John Roberts "controversial" because he was confirmed 78-22.  And I thought this was terribly unfair, as I'm totally not that guy.  I'm not the sort of person to split hairs and look for some excuse to make an attack.  My targets are good targets.  

But moreover, far from declaring Roberts "controversial," I seemed to recall that I thought he'd be confirmed with ease.  Not because I thought he was moderate or mainstream, but merely because I thought he was far too intelligent to ever be pinned down for being particular conservative or controversial.  And so I looked back at my blog, to see what I wrote about Roberts at the time, and came up with this nugget:
Overall, I think our best bet in all this is to not threaten the filibuster at all, or even suggest a strong opposition. Instead, we need to claim him to be respectably moderate, especially in regards to Roe; while stalling his nomination in the hopes that the far-right will learn to detest him. A quickie nomination can't do that, but if he says enough things to calm liberals and moderates, he should burn enough bridges with Bush's base. But if we scream filibuster on this one, it'll burn the bridges for future attempts. We'll be like the party who cries "wolf", and it will reduce our ability to use it when we really need it.
And what's funny is that this is the exact sort of strategy Republicans should have gone with.  They should have checked her record, seen that it wasn't particularly radical, and then declared that she was a good moderate that would be welcome to the court; all the while, stalling long enough for the liberal shitstorm to develop.  And I can guarantee you, quite a few libs would have gotten damn suspicious if Limbaugh and Gingrich had welcomed her as a moderate they could accept.  Not that this would stop her, but they're not going to stop her anyway.  So they might at least try to get set-up for the next play.

But no.  They're screaming bloody murder and are tripping over themselves to see who can throw the most outrageous attacks at her.  It's just a few days in, and she's already a bigot who menstruates.  They should be bringing out the big guns next week; possibly going as far as accusing her of (gasp!) socialism.  And the Whitehouse has got to love this.  Seriously, they get two birds with one stone.  They get to defend an Hispanic woman while having the liberal base rally around them, while their opponents look like shrieking turds going apeshit with bigotry.

And it's been like this all year.  No strategy at all.  They're just attacking anything set in front of them.  And while it'd be nice if the media weren't so stupid that they make Republican attacks look slightly less crazy, it still doesn't do much to help.  And the longer they shriek, the less effective their shrieks will be the next time Obama nominates someone.  They're destroying the Republican brand further with every attack.  Obama couldn't have planned this better if he tried.

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