Monday, September 05, 2005

Labor Day

Labor Day. The best way to spend a sunny warm day would be to sit on the back deck and read “Calvin and Hobbes” all morning.

George Bush makes a bold stroke this morning. He announced the appointment of John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Logistically, he will withdraw the Roberts appointment to fill O’Connor’s seat, and resubmit his name to fill Rehnquist’s spot.

This would appear to be a master political step. Roberts seems clean, his record free of any pronouncements or decisions that color his judgements in any particular hue. The Senate appeared ready to confirm him with little opposition. Bush probably saw this as an opportune time to elevate Roberts quickly. He’s young, he is certainly conservative, he is free from controversy, and he would lead the Court for years.

The swift announcement also deflects, at least temporarily, the attacks that the administration has faced about lack of urgency in relief efforts on the Gulf coast. It took four days for the administration to send in troops to evacuate thousands of refugees from central New Orleans, and bring food and water. Meanwhile, television and the internet were full of pictures: squalor, chaos, hunger, unsanitary and life-threatening conditions among thousands of people, nearly all of them black. We had isolated the poor and minorities in the city, and now they were isolated and dying in the middle of a flood.

We’ll see if the Roberts nomination bumps the refugee stories from the front page of the paper tomorrow morning.

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