Thursday, October 27, 2005

Replacement Nominee Announced

A new nominee unveiled

LAST LAUGH. At a surprise White House briefing moments ago, Press Secretary Scott McClellan announced that the President has already named his next nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a prepared statement, McClellan said:

We are pleased to inform the American people that the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court possesses the impeccable credentials insisted on by the conservative wing of the Republican Party. He is a prominent member of an illustrious New England family, a graduate of Yale University and a famous law school in Massachusetts, a decorated veteran, a frequent vacationer at Martha's Vineyard, and a man who has written and spoken extensively on every conceivable issue that might come before the court. He is also the very best qualified candidate from a short list that comprised numerous Harvard alumni, including Albert Gore, Jr., Edward M. Kennedy, Charles Schumer, and Barack Obama. Without further ado, I am delighted to announce that the name of our nominee is John F. Kerry...

McClellan also fielded multiple questions from the press in attendance. Asked where the nominee stood on the crucial matter of Roe v. Wade, the press secretary insisted that there was no "litmus test" on the abortion issue but -- in keeping with the new conservative requirement for full disclosure of candidate opinions on relevant issues -- he was happy to report that Kerry had frequently expressed his personal opposition to abortion. He went so far as to read a quote from a 2004 speech: "I oppose abortion, personally. I don't like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception." When a follow-up question posed the issue of how this opinion might bear on a possible Roe v. Wade decision, McClellan said it would be inappropriate for the White House or the candidate to speak any more specifically about a case that might come before the court in future. Additionally, McClellan noted the President and the nominee had not met during the selection process and had never had a personal conversation of any kind, which should be reassuring to conservative purists.

A reporter from the Wall Street Journal asked McClellan, "Isn't it true that John Kerry has taken every possible position on every issue he has ever been asked about?" The press secretary replied roguishly, "Consistency is the bane of small minds. Which of us hasn't changed an opinion a time or two in 30 years of public life? We regard that as a distinct advantage over the ideological rigidity of, say, fundamentalist Christians. Inflexible extra-legal convictions, as we all know, are adamantly opposed by the smartest conservatives, which is why we have added the requirement that judicial candidates must be strongly wishy-washy in their religious views, though not, of course, atheistic, which would antagonize the base."

Challenged as to the acceptability to the right wing of a candidate who is a declared Democrat and a professed advocate of a woman's right to choose, McClellan said, "A woman's right to choose what? I think you'll find he never put himself on the record about that. Besides, you can't please every single critic on every single selection criterion. Our candidate is white, he's a he, he's a semi-devout Roman Catholic who's been to church many times, and, yes, it's true he may have been a Democrat at some point in the past, but we believe that is more than counterbalanced by the fact that he actually hates Texas (for personal reasons we won't go into now), has never even heard of Southern Methodist University, and has never served a single day in the Bush administration. He is also on record as saying that he is much much smarter than President Bush, which constitutes an ironclad guarantee that he won't be some tool of the President and his cronies. All that aside, if certain conservatives choose to interpret this nomination as a gesture of how much the President appreciated their support for prior candidates, it's not for us to declare them wrong. After all, they are all also much much smarter than George W. Bush, as they have admitted on numerous occasions. So perhaps they should take up any objections they might have with Mr. Kerry, who is more on their level intellectually."

"What was the selection process used?" asked a skeptical Time correspondent. "Very simple," McClellan said. "The President recognized that, as George Will had explained so beautifully in print, he was simply too dumb to select a nominee himself. So he deferred to the last president who had a nominee approved by 90-plus votes in the senate, William Jefferson Clinton. Kerry was the first name he mentioned, and the President went with it."

A WAPO reporter asked, "Isn't this nomination really a kind of middle finger to the elitist right wing of the party?" When McClellan finally stopped laughing, he replied, "No. Of course not. Absolutely not. But, frankly, we can't wait to see the look on their face."

McClellan estimated that senate hearings to review Kerry's abundant record would take about six years.

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