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In case there was any remaining uncertainty, Ted Olson reminded Americans today why he must never be on the Supreme Court.  The former Bush Solicitor General and 2000 Florida recount mastermind took the pages of the Wall Street Journal to crow about the ultra-tight Democratic nominating process which he prays ends up in the courts.  Hoping to add insult to injury, Olson looks forward to seeing Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton use the excreable Bush v. Gore decision to undo a superdelegate-driven conclusion to a deadlocked Democratic convention.

Olson's need for some election year schadenfreude is understandable.  While President Bush is slightly more popular than MRSA, John McCain has been exhumed by Republican voters to replace him.  (Ironically, Mike Huckabee is threatening legal action against the Washington State GOP over its premature conclusion in Saturday's caucus.)  Meanwhile, energized Democrats are turning out in record numbers, dwarfing the Republican in every primary state.

So Ted Olson did what Republicans do and got his hate on.  In a conservative flight of fancy more delicious than denying health care to children, Olson relishes the prospect of Clinton v. Obama:

We all know full well what could happen next. The array of battle-tested Democratic lawyers who fought for recounts, changes in ballot counting procedures, and even re-votes in Florida courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 would separate into two camps. Half of them would be relying on the suddenly-respectable Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision that overturned the Florida courts' post-hoc election rules changes. The other half would be preaching a new-found respect for "federalism" and demanding that the high court leave the Florida court decisions alone.

Would the U.S. Supreme Court even take the case after having been excoriated for years by liberals for daring to restore order in the Florida vote-counting in 2000? And, would Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer, the dissenters in Bush v. Gore, feel as strongly about not intervening if Sen. Obama was fighting against an effort to change a presidential election by changing the rules after the fact? Will there be a brief filed by Floridians who didn't vote in their state's primary because the party had decided, and the candidates had agreed, that the results wouldn't count?

Olson's rich history as a partisan hatchet man doesn't begin or end with his role in the Bush v. Gore.  Olson, of course, is a leading light of the Federalist Society, the reactionary legal group which replaced the American Bar Association as the Bush administration's vetting arm for judicial appointments.  (Federalist Society membership was revealed as a key litmus test during the U.S. attorneys scandal.)  His late wife Barbara was a key player in the conservative war on Bill Clinton, and the couple was instrumental in Arkansas Project designed to destroy Clinton at all costs.

With Olson's fingerprints at the scenes of so many Republican crimes, nominating him to the Supreme Court became a difficult proposition even for the petulant George W. Bush.  When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced his resignation last summer, conservative leaders urged Bush to nominate Olson as his replacement as a slap in the face to the new Democratic majority in Congress.  That Bush instead went with born-again waterboarding enthusiast Michael Mukasey speaks volumes about the Olson's partisan ferocity.

The passing years and the death of his wife during the 9/11 attacks has not dulled either the passion or the arrogance of Ted Olson, conservative crusader.  Just days after endorsing John McCain for President, Olson concluded his bilious Wall Street Journal screed with a final smug offer should the Democratic contest end up in litigation:

I'd be more than happy to loan Sen. Obama the winning briefs that helped secure the election of the legitimate winner of the 2000 election, George W. Bush.

** Crossposted at Perrspectives **

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 09:37 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He's an asshole and he wanted to be AG. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    latts, YatPundit, CCSDem, JML9999
  •  This is a misdirection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    while the Goopers get ready to throw Huckabee and Paul under a bus to Crown McCain and Start the General Early

    Be careful what you shoot at, most things in here don't react well to bullets-Sean Connery .... Captain Marko Ramius -Hunt For Red October

    by JML9999 on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 09:42:59 AM PST

  •  Thanks, AA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One of the many healthy product of this election is the realization that we need history and civics lessons even within our own party. This well written diary serves not only the news but the history. :)

    HR 676 or California's SB-840 - the only health reform proposals worth my vote.

    by kck on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 09:48:47 AM PST

  •  Ted Olson is one of the most odious individuals (8+ / 0-)

    currently residing in the United States outside of any penal system.

    Thanks Ted for helping to foist the last decade of death, destruction, cynicism and hopelessness on a world that never asked for your help.

    Here's to hoping all Ted's dreams are crushed in an unbroken series of landslides leading up to a triumphant Democratic convention where we rally our voters and march on to a crushing defeat of the Republicans that makes November of 2008 a date that school children memorize in history classes.

    Bush repealed Godwin's Law with a Signing Statement.

    by Mad Kossack on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 10:03:01 AM PST

    •  One more time! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthe, Habanero, madgranny, Mad Kossack

      Here's to hoping all Ted's dreams are crushed in an unbroken series of landslides leading up to a triumphant Democratic convention where we rally our voters and march on to a crushing defeat of the Republicans that makes November of 2008 a date that school children memorize in history classes.

      Say it again!

      Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

      by milkbone on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 10:36:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read those briefs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthe, madgranny, Bartimaeus Blue

    They were of the "throw any old shit you can think of up at the wall and see if any sticks" variety.

    Equal protection (their "winning argument") was mentioned exactly one time, in a single sentence, on the penultimate page of the brief.

    So, yes, really brilliant legal writing there.

  •  You'd think he'd have reservations (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YatPundit, EvilPaula, madgranny, dogheaven

    about insulting our Democratic candidates considering the current conservative adminstration is mainly responsible for ignoring the Al Qaeda threat that caused several planes to crash with one containing his wife.  

    I actually felt sorry for the guy a few years ago but man, is he a scumbag or what?  

  •  We call them "revisionist historians" (0+ / 0-)

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it actually the Bush campaign that initiated the federal court proceedings that stopped the Florida recount? The recount that was explicitly permitted by Florida law? The one that Nino 'The Fixer' Scalia thought would prejudice people against Bush's "victory" in the event it found Gore got more votes?

    I know that the WSJ editorial page is one of the most tightly sealed right-wing echo chambers around, and that Ted is counting on all of us to forget all that stuff that happened eight long years ago but, uh, give me a fucking break!

    Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

    by Joe Bob on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 10:52:31 AM PST

  •  Question.... (0+ / 0-)

    Was it not Ted Olson who was the solicitor general who fed a line of BS to the SCOTUS over torture and other administration follies?

    If so, his street cred is "null."

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 11:01:47 AM PST

  •   I smell a rat (0+ / 0-)

    It started with Karl Rove, then Peter Wehner, then David Brooks, and now Peggy Noonan. Sorry, but the scent of rat is getting more intense. Others are smelling it too. David Seaton:

       In today's Wall Street Journal, she joins such arch-conservative pundits as George Will and David Brooks in praising Barack Obama and favoring him for the Democratic nomination.

       ... .. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to smell a rat here.

       To me it's perfectly obvious that the right wing is licking their chops in anticipation at facing Obama. ... .. I think it would be childlike to believe that Karl Rove hasn't done his homework already.. They are drooling in anticipation.

       Why do they "like" Obama so much?

       Because they are terrified of Hillary Clinton, that's why. ... ..

  •  Reactionary legal group? (0+ / 0-)

    You're too kind.

    They are propagandists who have chosen to use a legal education as grounds for training in poisonous legal rhetoric.  They get their degrees in spite of disagreeing with much of what they learn and then their Federalist Society goose-stepping colleagues teach them how to use the system against itself for the advantage of the advantaged who pay them well enough in the right-wing welfare system that they too become the advantaged.

    Anyone who has ever debated with these pinheads understands these basic points and further understands that they are impossible to corner, in their minds and that of much of the public, because their reasoning changes each time their logic is found to be faulty (and it usually is except in those who still retain a glint of honesty) and many do not see these applications of rhetorical grease allowing them to sneak out of accountability.

    Give me ten lines from a good man and I'll find something in there to hang him. - Cardinal Richelieu

    by lgrooney on Mon Feb 11, 2008 at 01:09:09 PM PST

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