As I sit down to put on the headphones, the assistant comes in with the AP report hot off the wire, marked "URGENT." Bush has picked John Roberts for the Rehnquist vacancy! Ah! I'm here to talk about Rehnquist and the vacancy he's left, so we launch into the hour's discussion with the freshest possible news.
What did I have to say? I'm impressed by Bush's quick action nominating Roberts. Bush clearly thinks he is the best judge. I expect Bush to act quickly to nominate someone to replace O'Connor and note that O'Connor's resignation has her staying until her placement is confirmed. That means that the Court will have nine members, and there is no worrisome prospect of evenly split decisions. I'm trusting that Roberts will be quickly confirmed (and that no one will die). Don't I think the Democrats will want to delay and examine Roberts even more closely than they were planning to? There will perhaps be a short delay, mostly out of respect for the dead Chief, but I don't think people tolerate much politicizing of the confirmation process. There are two vacancies to get filled and the terrible aftermath of Katrina to deal with. It's not a good time for futile posturing.
But the Democrats have waited so long for this opportunity, and their core constituents are going to expect them to make some showing for themselves. Meanwhile, Bush looks good getting on with it, being crisply decisive — and Roberts is going to inspire us with the look of crisp decisiveness at those hearings. So I'm picturing the Democratic Senators making their points, staking out their positions in a solid, impressive way, without consuming an exasperating amount of time and accepting their defeat with decent grace and a pragmatic appeal for support in the next election.
MORE: If this post were a work of fiction, the bat would mean something. Yet some people would view the bat as meaningful, despite the nonfiction nature of the blog. Oh, okay, I concede there's an element of fantasy in the last sentence of the post, but it's still nonfiction: I really was picturing that ideal response. But anyway, you don't consider the bat an omen or a supernatural presence, do you? I've never seen a bat in the parking garage before, and it was making circles over the precise spot where I'd planned to park my car.