George W. Bush’s legacy in the field of foreign policy is pretty much assured.
The nominations for Supreme Court vacancies (I?m assuming there will be at least two) will be key in determining his domestic legacy.
Should conservatives be worried?
A piece by Mark Levin on National Review does raise concerns:
“[T]his morning, President Bush had breakfast with, among others, Senators Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy — both of whom voted against Gonzales?s confirmation and who led efforts to tie him to torture — for the purpose of consulting with them about his nomination to the Court. And, of course, Reid famously called the president a ’loser’ and a ’liar.’ And Leahy has conspired with leftwing groups in an effort to derail the president?s appellate-court nominees for the last four years, including through the use of unprecedented and unconstitutional filibusters.
“What?s wrong with this picture? President Bush was quick to slap his conservative base, yet he has shown an inexhaustible supply of sensitivity to those who plot to derail his presidency. Early on, the president was solicitous of Senator Ted Kennedy, inviting him to the White House residence to watch a movie and share popcorn. He even named the main Department of Justice building after Robert Kennedy. In return, Kennedy has never missed an opportunity to stick a knife between the president?s ribs.
“The president named Bill Clinton, along with his father, to head-up the tsunami-relief effort. Bush 41 has taken the relationship a step further, hosting Clinton at his summer home in Maine, among other things. President Bush even brought Clinton along to attend Pope John Paul II?s funeral. And in return, Clinton has traveled the world undermining the president in public statements. So, too, have Hillary Clinton and numerous former Clinton administration officials.
“Despite Bush?s efforts ? and there are countless other examples — the animus and vitriol leveled against him by his political opponents are beyond anything I have witnessed in my lifetime. And I served in the Justice Department during the Iran-Contra matter.”
Bush can nominate a good replacement for Sandra Day O?Connor if he displays the same kind of guts he has shown on the foreign policy front.
As Manuel Miranda notes in today?s Washington Times, this administration has things going for it that previous Republican ones haven?t:
“Once, two swords of Damocles hung over a high court nominee?s head — the filibuster and, more commonly, rejection by the Senate. Now, a sword hangs over the filibuster?s abuse — Majority Leader Bill Frist?s ’constitutional option.’
“Mostly, Republican presidents have had to worry about a Democrat majority thwarting their Supreme Court nominations — but not now. The elder President Bush came close to losing on Clarence Thomas, the immensely popular Ronald Reagan had two losses (Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg), and a Democrat-controlled Senate rejected two of President Nixon?s nominations (G. Harrold CarswellandClement Haynsworth).
“There is, however, little serious talk of ’confirmability’ these days. Mostly, the talk is about judicial confirmations war, for its own lucrative sake. Why else would highly paid liberal lobbyists like Ralph Neas love it so?
“The reason that confirmability is not much discussed is that this president has what Republican predecessors have not often had — a Republican-controlled Senate, plus 55 Republican senators and several Democrats running for re-election in Red States.”