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Tomorrow’s news today: the advance transcript of Bush’s address to the nation on his nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor’s successor
My fellow Americans.
As you know, I have the honor and the privilege of nominating the next Justice of the Supreme Court. And as you know, I believe America deserves a good Justice, a wise Justice, a Justice who will interpret the Constitution faithfully. In making my decision, I have looked deep into my heart, and I have sought the counsel of wonder-working Providence. I appear before you tonight to share that decision with you.
When I first sought the office of the Presidency, I promised to be a uniter, not a divider. Since then, I have made every effort to unite this nation by purging it of Democrats. Together with my trusted aides and advisors, I have worked tirelessly to impugn the patriotism and question the integrity of anyone who’s voiced even the most timid criticism of my conduct as President. It hasn’t mattered whether my critics are decorated Vietnam vets, undercover intelligence agents, middle-aged elementary-school teachers, or Democratic Senators with weapon-grade anthrax in their mail—my administration and I have reached out across America to slime and to slander them. We’ve undertaken a great work in this great nation, and I know that many of you have dedicated yourselves to that work.
But a still greater work lies before us. The next Justice of the Supreme Court will very likely determine the direction of the Court for another generation, shaping our laws and our lives throughout the land. And I have decided that this is not a time to play games with the American people or score cheap political points. It is a time, instead, to heal the wounds I have inflicted, and repair some of the damage I have wrought.
Some of you may remember that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor put me in this office, by concurring with the Court’s argument that my Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection under the laws would be violated by a statewide recount of votes in Florida. For that decision, I will be forever grateful to Justice O’Connor. But I have never managed to shake the sense that there is a cloud over my Presidency, a taint of illegitimacy that touches everything I do and say. In the past, I’ve tried to compensate for that sense of illegitimacy by stocking my administration with cronies and sycophants, and by ensuring that whenever I appear in public I am surrounded by fanatical supporters who have signed written pledges and chanted oaths of fealty to me. I’ve even tried literally to buy a sense of legitimacy, by paying journalists directly to promote my policies and repeat my words as their own.
But I know I can’t get away with this kind of thing forever. My fellow Americans, under my blustering façade—yes, I’m familiar with the word “façade”—I am tormented by remorse and self-doubt. I know I’ve run the country into the ground financially, and though my friends and I will make out like bandits, just as we did with Arbusto and Harken, I know it’ll take you all at least another fifty years to clamber out of the hole I’ve dug for you. I know also that I’ve helped to make America a dirtier, more toxic place to live, and that I’ve treated our land, water, and air as if they were the private reserves of my oil buddies. I honestly don’t know any other way to govern. And as for Iraq, I confess to you tonight that I haven’t got the faintest clue what’s really going on in Iraq. I just hope that someone bails me out of that one, too.
Friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, I don’t want to be remembered as a man who used the office of the Presidency like some two-bit, tinhorn generalissimo. I want to be remembered as a good man who made some bad decisions early on, but who eventually saw the error of his ways and tried to walk in the light, with the help of Almighty God. I want to be remembered as a man who chose the path of righteousness, who moved to check the rabid political extremists of his own party and to advance the cause of social justice in America. I want my legacy to be a proud and honorable one, and I want my Presidency itself to be born again. And for that reason, my fellow Americans, I am nominating Lani Guinier to the Supreme Court of the United States.
May God bless you, and may God bless America.
Wait a minute, that’s a robot that looks like Lani Guinier! Quotabot 3000!Posted by norbizness on 07/05 at 09:12 AM
She’d be so great! Too bad this is satire.Posted by Ann Bartow on 07/05 at 09:35 AM
You’ve run out of painkillers, haven’t you?Posted by Roxanne on 07/05 at 09:53 AM
I was sure you were going to say “Laurence Tribe.”Posted by Chris Clarke on 07/05 at 09:56 AM
Michael—you were doing fine: throw out a noun; change the adjective; deliver it in a staccato pattern of speech:
“...a good Justice, a wise Justice, a Justice who will interpret the Constitution faithfully.”
BUT, you lost me if you think he’d use a word like “sycophant.”Posted by Jim on 07/05 at 10:31 AM
What, Jim, you’ll go with “façade” but not “sycophant”? And Chris, the thing about Guinier is that her nomination lets Bush invoke and then repudiate the Janice Rogers Brown wingnuts.
Roxanne, I don’t need painkillers. Tom Cruise told me I didn’t need painkillers.Posted by Michael on 07/05 at 10:44 AM
Do you know anything about morphine? Did you know morphine is being sold as a street drug? Did you know that Nazis used morphine?Posted by Chris Clarke on 07/05 at 10:51 AM
Here I was expecting a Patricia Williams curve and you blew a Guinier fastball by me. Half of me wants him to do the expected thing and nominate Gonzalez. It would be unvarnished Neo-conservatism against everyone else—a fight that could resonate not just through the midterm elections but through 2008 too. At this very moment, however, what is really driving me nuts is listening to commentary that contends that Bush has an opportunity to replace a moderate/Liberal on the Court (O’Connor, that is) with a real conservative. Just how far right has this Court gone when O’Connor is a moderate? And Ford nominee Stevens is the far left? Why do I listen to state radio?Posted by on 07/05 at 10:53 AM
I love the use of a cedilla.Posted by on 07/05 at 10:55 AM
Great stuff! But I must admit that I thought you were going to have Bush pull a Cheney and nominate himself.Posted by on 07/05 at 12:38 PM
Thanks for the laugh. And now I’m going to cry.Posted by Amanda Marcotte on 07/05 at 12:43 PM
Posted by on 07/05 at 12:49 PM
The longing this post inspired deep within my soul has left me nearly unable to work. I don’t believe you’ve stopped taking painkillers. I think you’ve started on hallucinogens. And I really think you should share.
Wouldn’t she be wonderful? I mean, just so freakin’ wonderful???Posted by punkrockhockeymom on 07/05 at 01:29 PM
I still have not forgiven Clinton for the way he left Lani Guinier hanging out to dry at the first signs of a wingnut revolt. The damage by that pathetic (lack of) action on his part has done untold damage to our nation; not the least of which is a mature discussion on proportional representation.
Thanks, Michael, for re-opening up THAT delicious festering wound. Now I’m the one who needs pain pills, Tom Cruise be damned!Posted by on 07/05 at 02:51 PM
But that’s the wonderful thing about this nomination, O.G.—Bush is gonna show those lily-livered Democrats that he can put Guinier on the Supreme Court where that wimp Clinton couldn’t even get her the post of Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
John, let’s wait until Rehnquist retires and then figure out whether Bush will nominate himself (hey, nothing in the Constitution forbids it), a dog, or maybe Roy Moore. Once the Guinier nomination is out of the way, the possibilities are endless. . . .Posted by Michael on 07/05 at 03:28 PM
I guffawed. I never thought of myself as a guffawer, but, yes-indeedy, I actually guffawed.
Sigh. If only.Posted by Tyler C. on 07/05 at 03:38 PM
Oh look, Karl Rove just flew past my window…Posted by bitchphd on 07/05 at 03:41 PM
Betty Blogger suggested Moses would have made a great nominee. While he would have a unique perspective on Ten Commandment cases, some on the Christian right might find two Jewish justices too many. Thanks for the ho, hos.Posted by The Heretik on 07/05 at 03:43 PM
Now, see, that last line made me laugh more (quite a lot more, and more raucously) than would the name of any other innocent young person, therefore I contend that this post was essentially literary [genre: fantasy/satire] as opposed to non-literary.Posted by Ophelia Benson on 07/05 at 03:57 PM
Hmmm, I seem to have been boxed in by my own anti-formalist argument. OK, then, what if I had Bush nominate Cordelia?Posted by Michael on 07/05 at 04:15 PM
Nancy Grace.Posted by darrelplant on 07/05 at 04:16 PM
I’ll take some of what Michael’s using. It could make the next decade(s) bearable.
As for a choice between the Great Moron, a dog, or
Roy Moore, give me the dog. Shorter life span.Posted by on 07/05 at 04:19 PM
Not if it’s one of those new zombie dogs!
Nancy Grace would be good, too. Or Michelle Malkin.Posted by Michael on 07/05 at 04:38 PM
I’m with John McGowan. I was sure you were gonna have him nominate himself.Posted by Linkmeister on 07/05 at 06:56 PM
Since there’s heavy speculation on Gonzales getting the nomination, I’d like to bring this up: On the Al Franken show today, Al kept referring to Gonzales as the “Torture Memo” guy. Yes, he’s that, but I feel he committed even worse crimes when Dubya was Texas Gov. and Gonzales habitually left out key info in the cases of death row inmates in his memos to Bush regarding clemancy (sp?). (Everyone: lemme hear ya say, “Values”! “Culture of Life”!)
Anyway, I feel just calling Gonzales the “torture” guy lets him off way too easy. We should never forget his high crimes in Texas, and keep that alive in the conversation whether he’s a shoe-in or not. Anyone else besides me got strong feelings about this? (And yes, I understand about the fear that if we don’t take Gonzales, we’ll get someone even worse. I’m just saying I don’t want him to be “teflon” on the Texas death row cases, regardless of whatever else happens).Posted by on 07/05 at 07:10 PM
Wow. Just thinking about a Guinier nomination made me get all kinds of smiley and hopeful.
You are a good man, Michael.Posted by on 07/05 at 08:15 PM
Well, I probably should not have made such a serious comment to a post that was humorous, but I just get so riled up...well, you know how it is. If only I were just as oblivious and un-intellectually curious as Our Leader, it would all be O.K. How’s the ol’ medical technology coming along on those brain transplants? Or would I need a soul transplant as well?
Damn. I bet all the really good research money’s going to the Zombie Dogs.Posted by on 07/05 at 08:53 PM
I just read this out loud to two friends as night is settling in here in the north woods, and we laughed and laughed and laughed and our eyes got moist.
And now we sit apart in various dark corners of the house, very very quiet.Posted by on 07/05 at 10:45 PM
Michelle Malkin? <shudder> That’s the stuff that nightmares are made of.Posted by Desi on 07/06 at 09:05 AM
Hey! The Internet was out for three days (tragic donkey accident--don’t ask) and when I reconnected the whole world had gone mad. What are y’all doing up there?!? Surely Bush is looking for a pro-business Justice, not necessarily one who toes the social policy line. I mean, money makes he world go ‘round and doesn’t the Christian Right give all its money to Jesus? How many Fudamentalists can there be? I grew up in the South for heaven’s sake and they only tried to church me once or twice a day, max . . . and I’m a really big sinner. Surely y’all can take them.Posted by Caro on 07/06 at 01:11 PM
Lani? Is Patricia Wald dead?Posted by on 07/06 at 01:42 PM
I knew it, I knew it! When Sandra retired I thought to myself: who would I like to see there? Which smart lawyer would make me proud to be a new SCOTUS? And there was only one answer: Lani Guinier.
OK, there is another one, but I’d rather see him in the White House - John Edwards.Posted by coturnix on 07/06 at 01:57 PM
I despise Bruce Babbit, but he’d be a good replacement for O’Connor as well.Posted by Chris Clarke on 07/06 at 02:01 PM
Lani Guinier? Nahhh. Hillary.Posted by on 07/06 at 05:00 PM
John Edwards? Do we really need another psychic on the Supreme Court?Posted by on 07/06 at 07:04 PM
There is no possible way that GWB could deliever that speech without mangling half the syntax - thank god he has better writers who know how to dissassemble using a two syllable vocabulary.Posted by Patrick ONeill on 07/11 at 01:28 PM