After finishing “Bush’s Poisonous Tree” last evening, I retired and awoke this morning to the last portion of C-Span’s Washington Journal featuring a discussion on Samuel Alito’s nomination with Ohio State University law professor Peter Shane (OSU profile).

I’ve also read your comments, and noted these two:

This is a subject I’ve been trying to introduce here.
Is the goal putting a muzzle on Bush or justice? Not many people wanted to talk about injustice when it may have been innocent people accused of terror crimes – by rumi

I want to know what the heck we can do about it … by alohaleezy

How do your comments converge with Shane’s opinions? Shane said — and I am paraphrasing extensively since C-Span‘s video isn’t up yet:

It is easy to get grassroots activism for an issue like privacy. There are groups set up for that, and people will rally on the issue of privacy.

My concern about Samuel Alito’s nomination has to do with how he, with the newly appointed Judge Roberts, wiill rule on matters of presidential executive authority.

Presidential powers is my specialty, so perhaps I am focusing on it in particular because of that. But, I feel that it is critically important.

But [Shane lamented] while grassroots groups will organize around privacy, they don’t organize around presidential powers — they won’t organize around “checks and balances” issues — and that is perhaps more important.

So, Rumi is right to hit on the topic. Alohaleezy is right to worry what we can do about presidential powers as well as privacy issues.

The 12th of the 12-day letter campaign re the nomination of Samuel Alito was written by CabinGirl, and is titled, “Presidential Powers.”

Let’s re-read CabinGirl’s diary. And let’s try to find out more about Peter Shane’s views on Alito. I have been hunting for Shane’s statements on Alito — after all, C-Span did have him on as an expert on presidential powers and the Alito nomination — but I haven’t found anything yet. Can you help? I did check Shane’s law school profile and noted articles about Alito in the “Faculty in the News” section. Those articles are by another OSU law prof named Peter Swire. One of Swire’s pieces is “Alito to Face Queries on Executive Power Stance.”

P.S. I got inspiration for the title from Peter Daou’s piece, “The Dynamic of a Bush Scandal: How the Spying Story Will Unfold (and Fade).” It’s a discouraging piece, but I fear that Peter may be correct. (And thanks to Gadfly for sending me the link.)

… the dynamic of a typical Bush scandal follows familiar contours…

1. POTUS circumvents the law – an impeachable offense. […]

6. Left-leaning bloggers and online activists go ballistic … […]

10. The story starts blending into a long string of administration scandals, and through skillful use of scandal fatigue, Bush weathers the storm and moves on, further demoralizing his opponents and cementing the press narrative about his ‘resolve’ and toughness. Congressional hearings might revive the issue momentarily, and bloggers will hammer away at it, but the initial hype is all the Democratic leadership and the media can muster, and anyway, it’s never as juicy the second time around…

Rinse and repeat.

It’s a battle of attrition that Bush and his team have mastered. Short of a major Dem initiative to alter the cycle, to throw a wrench into the system, to go after the media institutionally, this cycle will continue for the foreseeable future.

[ED NOTE: I’d suggest we not critique Peter’s piece on these excerpts … I’m just giving you a flavor for the piece and why it’s important to read in full.]

And … C-Span is announcing that the Alito hearings begin January 9, 2006, at noon Eastern. There will be daily replays at 8pm ET.

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