07/06/2005: "The word bipartisan usually means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out." --George Carlin
Well, maybe not this time.
According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there is a bipartisan push in Missouri, supported by former Democratic U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan, among others, to persuade President George W. Bush to appoint former Missouri Republican U.S. Senator John C. Danforth to the Supreme Court vacancy opened by the resignation of Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
It's an interesting move, and one which leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. There's an interesting debate going on in the comments to the post proposing the Danforth nomination. On the upside, Danforth served honorably (for the most part) in the Senate, representing the state of Missouri capably. He has also recently challenged the dominance of ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalism in the Republican party, urging more moderate Christians bring their values to the political debate. On the downside, Danforth did irreparable harm to the country and to the Supreme Court by being the public champion of the nomination of Clarence Thomas, easily the least qualified, worst Supreme Court appointment of modern times. He also is on record as supporting the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Bottom line is, of course, that Danforth has no chance of being nominated (though, as a well-respected (by colleagues of both parties) former senator he would, if nominated and agreeable to serving, be confirmed in about 6 minutes in a damn near unanimous voice vote). Danforth simply isn't sleazy enough, so Bush would never consider him. But in the very unlikely event Danforth were nominated and confirmed, I wouldn't be disappointed. Basically, we could do much worse...
In fact, I have no doubt we will.
Len on 07.06.05 @ 07:47 PM CST