Saturday, September 22, 2007

It's Too Late for Sorries

So Sandra Day O'Connor regrets that she helped put George Bush in office. (Are we to believe that, if he had turned out more to her liking - had been a better representative of her "beloved Republican Party" - she wouldn't have regretted it? So much for judicial impartiality.) Never has a single person's political bias been so inappropriately applied, and to worse effect, than in her deciding vote in Bush v. Gore.

In "The Nines," Jeffrey Toobin says that while O'Connor would never say so publicly, she's suffering over it now - she's dreadfully sorry about her role in handing over power to the wrong man. It turned out Bush is "arrogant, lawless, incompetent and extreme," she says. Drat! If only she'd known ahead of time, it would presumably all have been different.

Well, I'm here to say that it's too late for an apology. Given everything that's happened since 2000, it's much too late. O'Connor will have to live with the mess she's made, and far more importantly, so will we.

For those who haven't read it, here's a paragraph from the NY Times review:

The story of Justice O’Connor, who helped tip the Bush v. Gore case in favor of President Bush and whose 2005 decision to retire (to spend more time with her ailing husband) would give the president a crucial seat to fill, is in many ways Shakespearean. Mr. Toobin writes that “the hiring of John Ashcroft, the politicized response to the affirmative action case, the lawless approach to the war on terror, and the accelerating disaster of the war in Iraq all appalled O’Connor.” He says she regarded the Terry Schiavo case as “the latest outrage from the extremists who she believed had hijacked her beloved Republican Party” and adds that she was deeply distressed over the administration’s efforts to undermine judicial independence.

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