Bush Strikes Again
The next retirement is likely to be Justice Rehnquist, the Chief Justice. However, he's proven to be conservative over the years and the balance of the court won't alter much if Bush replaced him with another conservative - not to say that there aren't nuances here, but that's the subject of another post. The important thing is that some of the liberal justices are getting on, too - one is apparently 85 - and there's every chance Dubya will have the privilege of replacing one like him with a much more conservative juror. This will profoundly alter future rulings of the court for a potentially long period of time, depending on the age of the Justice, who is appointed for life. All kinds of rulings could potentially be rolled back, from gay rights to union rights and most crucially of all; the liberal holy cow of Roe vs. Wade.
I am no great fan of George Junior. I find many of his domestic policies deeply irritating. He is fiscally irresponsible, seems to favour big government, does not shy away from protecting electorally sensitive industries like Big Steel in the rustbelt and doesn't have a problem with oppressive statutes such as the Patriot Act. However, he has spearheaded a brave foreign policy, that, whilst a work in progress, seems to be more or less effective. It has not been roundly rejected. Americans are almost over Vietnam. His tenure has seen a marked shift to the right in American public opinion. His election was a symptom of that, and his electoral programme is now acting as a catalyst to the process. This is compounded by the ineptitude of most of his opponents on Capitol Hill and in the wider community. American liberals desperately need to stop underestimating Bush before he completely rolls back the gains they made during the Clinton years. These foolish liberals have been so busy hooting, laughing and calling Bush the stupidest son-of-a-gun under the sun that they haven't stopped to notice that they're deriding what the undecideds are increasingly approving of - whilst alienating and marginalising themselves in the meantime. Truth is, Bush has whipped down the strides of his opposition and is about to castrate them with a rusty pair of pruning shears. They're too busy laughing and mocking to notice.