The Bush administration has asked television outlets for a half hour of prime time tonight to announce Bush's Supreme Court nomination. The nominee is expected to be Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. I don't know anything about and neither, it appears, does anyone else.
Meanwhile, I never fail to be amazed at the level of contempt that this administration has for the American public. When they set out to manipulate opinion, they announce it in advance. They did it during the election, by announcing the negative themes they had planned to use against Kerry, before a single ad had been produced. During the Social Security campaign, they were open about their goal of pitting the old and young against the middle-aged. Now they are open about this.
Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.
A Republican strategist with close to the White House described Clement as the leading candidate. "She's pretty untouchable," he said. "Plus, it helps take Rove off the front pages for a week."
And the worst part is, they get away with it.