Huh. I'd had no idea how bad Chris Cox is. Turns out he really, really, blows. At the same time, you have to admire Bush's audacity in nominating Congress's foremost defender of corporate abuses to head the commission dedicated to curbing them. Remarkably ballsy stuff. This, of course, happens to be Bush's modus operandi -- you remember John Bolton, right? And you remember that Daily Show where the nomination of John Bolton was analyzed for meaning and the message turned out to be that George W. Bush does indeed have gigantic testicles. Huge balls. Massive cojones.

For him, proving that seems to have become the main attraction of office. Not much left to do on the foreign war front, just daily drudgery on Iraq. Not much to do on Social Security, that got stopped up right quick. Not much to do really anywhere, so why not nominate the craziest, most unsuitable nominees imaginable and see if he can pass them? Bush is approaching politics like the kid who spends his spare time darting underneath moving trucks, it's all a game of courage, skill, and a speed. Or so it looks.

But maybe there's a method to the madness. Maybe Karl Rove and the administration have decided to reverse the curse of the lame duck. Maybe the plan is to gamble away Bush's first two years in an effort to post extraordinary gains in 2006, an occurrence which'd not only make Bush's midterm performances unheralded, but would also return the momentum to his agenda. And maybe the plan being followed is to force the Democrats to obstruct on everything. Nominees, then, are comically bad, bills are laughably offensive, judges are jaw-droppingly anachronistic, and all of it operates under the assumption that Americans won't pay attention to the specifics, they'll just note the constant obstructionism of Democrats.

Under this theory, the particular nominees matter quite a bit, as they seek to unite the GOP's opposed constituencies through sheer self-interest. The theocratic judges in the offing bring the religious right into the fold, John Bolton captures the conservative ideologues and right-wing militia members, and Chris Cox brings business to the table by promising unheralded slavishness to their agenda. That means the religious right, the hard right, and the business right will all be marching to the same pro-Bush gameplan come 2006 because they've all got crucial allies being held up by Democrats.

So what's the call? This a plausible read of Bush's machinations?

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