Nominating Alberto Gonzales To The Supreme Court Would Be An Even Bigger Mistake This Time Around. Here’s Why…
Since George Bush is supposedly getting close to selecting a SCOTUS nominee and Alberto Gonzales is lobbying for the job, it’s worth mentioning that the Attorney General would be an even worse pick this time around than he would have been as an initial pick for three reasons.
First of all, although John Roberts was supported by most conservatives, there were more than a few complaints that his track record wasn’t long enough. Because of that, there’s this nagging doubt in a lot of people’s minds about whether Roberts will turn out to have more in common with his mentor William Rehnquist or enormous disappointment Anthony Kennedy. So if anything, the base is looking for a sure thing this time around and the level of discontent on the right will certainly rise if they don’t get it.
Number two, George Bush’s approval rating is significantly lower now than when he nominated Roberts. That’s irrelevant as far as hard core Democrats (They won’t like anybody he selects) or the general public (They don’t know or care enough about the process to get fired up about it) goes. But, who Bush selects will matter a great deal to the Republican base and they have already made it crystal clear that they would consider the selection of Alberto Gonzales to be a betrayal of the worst sort.
In my opinion, selecting Gonzales would not only drive Bush’s approval rating into the mid-thirties & lead to weeks of acidic attacks on Bush from the right, there would be a significant chunk of the base that would NEVER forgive W. for picking Gonzales.
Last but not least, George Bush has already been thrashed in the aftermath of Katrina for selecting “cronies” to run FEMA. Furthermore, Bush has also been dinged again on exactly the same charge after selecting another unqualified but connected nominee, Julie Myers, to head the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. After all that, for George Bush to nominate Alberto Gonzales, who would never be considered for the Supreme Court if he weren’t Bush’s friend, would truly reek of the rotten stench of cronyism.
Up to this point in his 2nd term, for whatever reason, George Bush’s political instincts seem to have largely failed him. But, this is one area where Bush cannot afford to make a mistake. Nominating Alberto Gonzales or for that matter any of the other nominees with questionable conservative credentials — like Edith Brown Clement, Larry Thompson, J. Harvie Wilkinson, or Harriet Miers — would be a calamitous error.
Bush should fulfill his campaign promises, make the base happy, and do the right thing for the country by selecting an originalist, with an impeccable record, who believes in judicial restraint.