Monday, October 31, 2005

Beating Borkers, Porkers and Stalkers

The president has decided to play hardball with his enemies, which is great news for America and the world.

The President's Strategy

Like all successful managers, President Bush doesn't sweat the small stuff. Instead he focuses on these clear (but hard to achieve!) strategic goals:

1. Keep America safe by vigorously prosecuting the war in terror and encouraging the spread of democracy.

2. Keep the economy growing.

This makes eminent sense - a safe and rich America is much more able to solve its many problems than a defeated and poor one.

His enemies seek to draw him and his team into dissipating their time on non critical problems, so that he can't achieve his strategic objectives.

Hence the Borking of Miers by congressional conservative, who want the US out of Iraq, the Porking of the same group, who want to tie him up in endless budget negotiations, and his Stalking by Fitzgerald, who wants to make the administration spend its time defending past policies.

Over the weekend, the president has decided stay focused on his strategic goals.

The Borkers

For Brits unfamiliar with US history, "Bork" means:

"to destroy a judicial nominee through a concerted attack on his character, background and philosophy."

The process was invented by the killer Edward Kennedy for the 1987 Dem destruction of Robert Bork following his nomination for SCOTUS by Ronald Reagan. They even attacked his video rental history! Until a month ago, Borking was an exclusively Dem tactic, but the conservatives in congress just Borked Miers and told the president to give them a right winger.

The president had to decide whether to spend precious time negotiating with all the parties to find someone who would be confirmable (the Dems won't confirm a right winger). Or he could have committed the smallest amount of his time to the problem by giving conservatives their wish.

He's done the latter, nominating Samuel Alito, who:

...has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to that of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (search), for whom Alito once clerked.

Scalia is a right wing member of SCOTUS, much is hated by Dems, who will fight tooth and nail to Bork anyone who resembles him. Still, that's not the president's problem - the conservative critics have to fight this one, leaving the president to focus on the nation's priorities.

The Porkers

(Brit readers: Pork is the name for a common practice of US senators who cause Federal funds to be spent on useless projects in their own states).

A recent post quoted conservative critics complaining that the Federal government is spending too much and it's the president's fault. It's not his fault - spending bills comes from congress and all the president can do is veto items, which congress can override.

Accordingly, the most time-efficient tactic for the president is to simply veto every item he dislikes, tell the people why, and excoriate congress if they override him.

The Stalkers

Fitzgerald seems to have given up on getting Carl Rove, and is now focusing on tying up the vice president in lengthy hearings.

It's easy to see how the administration will deal with this - tie him up in legal knots and delay everything he does. Then in January 2009 use the presidential prerogative to pardon anyone he gets convicted. This has the virtue of following precedent (set by Clinton, of course).

They'll probably set up a special containment team to deal with Fitzgerald, with motions for delay, refusal to supply documents, claims of executive privilege. Lawyers are great at running up time and cost, so that should be easy.

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With this policy, America and the world stays safe, and there's a chance that the next president will be Republican!