I didn't see any of the weekend talk, so I just checked in with the Washington Post today; say what you like, it mostly all shows up there.
Pro-abortion Sens. Schumer and Specter are trying their best to salvage partial-birth abortion by latching onto the expectation of two vacancies, and urging the President to "split the ticket" a conservative like Rehnquist, and a "consensus" pick like O'Connor. Alternately, Specter suggests offering O'Connor the top job, hinting she'll keep it a year or two. Meaning: she'll be there to cast the decisive vote this fall, saving partial-birth abortion.
Meanwhile, here and there one sees the "smart" suggestion that Bush should "split the ticket": a conservative, plus Gonzales. Notice: these folks think you and I are morons. We can't count to five!
By the way, you've heard how, because prolifers were so mean to Attorney General Gonzales (reportedly, he's been seen bursting into tears unexpectedly all over Washington), the President will gosh-darn just show those pesky prolifers and put his amigo on the court for spite!
Don't you believe it!
Let's analyze this. First: you really think the President is stomping around the White House, fuming about this? C'mon. Second; he's going to make a key appointment in a fit of pique?
This remindes me when I worked for the National Right to Work Committee, in D.C. -- we would urge our members to send letters to Capitol Hill, and the pols would say, "we don't pay any attention to those." Translation: we don't want to have to deal with it, so we discourage you from sending them! Same here.
Naturally, Bush is getting pressure from all sides. He knows he can't please everyone, but he'd like to please as many as possible. Who wouldn't want to make the "brilliant" choice that elicits oohs and aahs from all quarters? Failing that, what politician wouldn't like to get a "pass" from one group, while he tries to earn points with another? You don't think pastors consider such things? How about employers, considering the "factions" at work? How about parents, trying to deal with their children?
When prolifers pour it on--right now--we make it easier for Bush to do the right thing: he can say: "I tried, Al, you saw I really tried! We'll have to wait..."; "we floated all manner of options; those pesky prolifers shot down every trial balloon..."
Prolifers: lock-and-load, and keep plenty of dry powder handy!