Bill Murchison

Finally, an argument worth having! -- as opposed to the one we've lately been having over Valerie what's-her-name's "outing" (if that's what happened) by Lewis what's-his-name.

 I am authorized to announce that few outside Washington and other fever-ridden outposts of political excess give more than a faint hoot about Washington leak stories -- however highly the national media esteem such stories.

 I am also authorized -- more than that, inspired -- to note that we in red-state America care a lot about whether the U.S. Supreme Court gets turned around.

 We note that President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito to the Sandra O'Connor seat on the Supreme Court points in the direction of turnaround.

 In other words, Judge Alito, of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is a recognized critic of judicial overreaching. Any jurist whom Sen. Harry Reid would warn Bush not to appoint seems just the kind of jurist we need on the Supreme Court. If Bush has to make someone unhappy, let it be those senators and mouthpieces -- Reid, for instance, and Ralph Neas of the People for the American Way -- who cease showing their teeth only when the president does things exactly their way.

 The conservative rap on Bush for nominating Harriet Miers to the job was that, essentially, he was playing games. If Reid and Co. didn't know a lot of good about the lady, similarly they didn't know a lot of bad. Maybe they would confirm her.

 On this one Bush came a cropper. But not on the nomination that followed -- that of Alito. (It seems worth mentioning that the much-castigated Miers, as White House counsel, worked professionally, even sacrificially, in vetting Alito. The lady is due some as yet-undistributed credit in the character department.)

 Back, briefly, to the indictment of poor Lewis Libby for getting caught (allegedly) at dissembling when asked by the special prosecutor whether he had helped put out in the public domain the name of a supposedly undercover CIA employee married to a critic of the Iraq war. Carl Bernstein, of Watergate fame, is presently foretelling the "implosion" of the Bush administration. All one can say is: Huh?

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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