October 27th, 2005

Miered no more

I have to say that this news comes a relief.

I was looking forward to the hearings out of curiosity. Honestly, I wanted to see Ms. Miers wow everyone with her vast knowledge of constitutional law and her keen and articulate intelligence. Just as honestly, I wasn’t at all sure whether her hearing would be a triumph, a train wreck, or something in between. I cannot imagine her performing to the satisfaction of her critics, even if she did have the requisite intellectual chops–which is still unknown and will remain unknown forever–under such an intense and harsh spotlight.

I’m glad it turned out this way, and that she finally did what seems to be the right thing for all concerned. Now, on with the dog and pony show of the next nomination. Will Bush be a contrarian and make another pick that will have people up in arms? Or will he be a good boy and play ball with the right? And will whatever he does staunch the bleeding and end the feeding frenzy?

21 Responses to “Miered no more”

  1. Dale St. Clair Says:

    TmjUtah: The Democrats are laughable… but the continuing incapacity for the Republicans to actually govern in the manner they were elected to do is beginning to grate.

    There’s an assumption in the above statement that ain’t necessarily so. The assumption is that Republicans are elected because they are far to the right in the political spectrum. While that could be true with elective offices here & there at the local & state level I don’t believe it applies to the office of President. I believe it could be argued that Republican Presidential candidates are successful to the extent that they gravitate toward the center.

    I believe my theory applies to Democratic candidates as well. And it could be that perception of whoever is in the Whitehouse as leaning toward the fringe at either end of the spectrum leads to second term election ‘corrections.’

    I don’t think Bush was elected to overturn Roe v. Wade despite the fervent wishes of some who voted for him. Didn’t he promise only to nominate SCOTUS candidates who would not legislate from the bench? Miers certainly fit that description.

    I agree that the Democrats can be funny but so can Republicans. It was real funny when they vilified Bill Clinton for sexual activity – as if none of them were equally as guilty.

    I see only one viable Presidential candidate that the Democrats could produce: Senator Clinton. If she were nominated the Republicans should be very afraid because the Clintons are possibly the best campaigners that this country has ever produced. Sexual hi-jinks aside, they are very much a team. Senator Clinton has already moved toward the center & I believe if she garnered the nomination, thereby slipping past the fringe in her party, she would move further towards the middle in the subsequent campaign. Seeya ‘round the voting booth, TmjUtah.

  2. TmjUtah Says:

    dragonflies -

    “I can’t see his next nominee getting past the inevitable filibuster in the Senate.”

    The Republican Senate caucus is a majority.

    The same pressure brought to bear on the administration for nominating a person unsupported by the base is right there to support the nomination of a fit jurist.

    Please go read VD Hanson’s latest at NRO.

    I see nothing on any horizon that the Democrats can offer to garner my support. But I won’t put much more into a party I have strongly supported, only to watch them morph into something very like the weasels I elected them to replace.

    That sentiment is exactly what is spreading across the “base” (for want of a better word) and the Republicans had better give a long hard think to where they intend to be a few years from now. They win by convincing people to vote for something… and then piddle away the trust they were handed just to keep a status office and membership in the D.C. club.

    The Democrats are laughable… but the continuing incapacity for the Republicans to actually govern in the manner they were elected to do is beginning to grate.

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    Some people put their faith in “power struggles” and deadlocks that cause horrendous civilian casualties in both Disaster Relief and counter-terrorism operations, to protect themselves from dictators.

    Americans believe in the 2nd Ammendment.

    That’s the difference.

  4. Dale St. Clair Says:

    Gee, it turns out I didn’t vote for Bush. I actually voted for Krauthammer(if ever a name fit a pundit), Kristol, Limbaugh & a bunch of zealots who have influential blogs that want to impose their will over me. Silly me to think otherwise. Maybe I’ll waste my vote on the opposing candidate next time just to get some variety in the types of churlishness I’ll be forced to witness.

    For every 2 Memogates & Condi Rice photo corrections there will be 1 Miers assassination. Nope, the blogs ain’t no panacea, that’s for sure, ‘cause their medicine sometimes causes nausea. And doc, these 2-edged swords are killing my neck.

  5. tequilamockingbird Says:

    Damn! I meant without a majority, not without a plurality. Itchy “publish” finger again. Sorry.

    tequilamockingbird

  6. tequilamockingbird Says:

    Yes to John Moulder and neo-neocon: a plague on both their houses.

    I believe in the inherent strength of a multi-party system. It’s unlikely to result in a majority government, which can act as a virtual dictatorship for the length of its term. A party governing without a plurality can’t impose its will; it has to work to achieve consensus.

    It ain’t gonna happen, of course. Too bad.

    tequilamockingbird

  7. John Moreschi Says:

    On the contrary, it seems to me that whoever is nominated now will be called a right wing extremist to satisfy the right wing extremists who stopped Miers. Next comes the filibuster, and then the McCain gang of forteen allow the filibuster to stand because the new nominee is successfully labeled as Bush caving in to his radical base.

    However, Emmett Tyrrell offered up the name of Ted Olson, and I think he could get past the filibuster and probably be confirmed. I would like to see him get it.

  8. camojack Says:

    Maybe, JUST maybe…this was only another version of the old “bait & switch”. So whoever he nominates now will have it easy by comparison…

  9. Holmes Says:

    I’m not sure a lot of character assassination took place. There was certainly a lot of qualification assassination. A hearing would have been embarassing and a real defeat. She doesn’t know her way around Constitutional law (not that she would be allowed to talk about her Consitutional views as to specific issues anyway. I’m not sure how being intelligently evasive of Senators’ questions makes for a valid selection process. “Hey, wow, she can really avoid answering issues and can muddy the waters! She’ll fill O’Connor’s shoes perfectly!”). Now everyone can just get mad at the crazy right-wingers who tossed sweet Harriet overboard and Bush can nominate a person with the established track record and experience necessary for a lifetime appointment to our Supreme Legislature. Er, Court.

  10. thedragonflies Says:

    It just makes me sad that this woman was put in this position. I think Bush hurt himself, and the Reps with this mistake.

    Althogh I think that the Right essentially Borked her, she also failed to win the nomination by not performing well in the one on one talks with the Senators. Had she excelled there, the long knives would have been sheathed. But none that spoke with her came out for her, they all hedged and ducked.

    Bush’s strength was supposed to be in his ability to see into people and pick them well. He missed here, and hurt his friend as well as himself.

    I can’t see his next nominee getting past the inevitable filibuster in the Senate.

  11. neo-neocon Says:

    Holmes–of course anyone has a right to say whatever he/she thinks about any nomination or appointment.

    And they have the right to bear the consequences–some of which, I believe, are quite negative for both the future of the nomination process and the future of the Republican Party.

    I’m fine with a crony being named, although it wouldn’t be my preference. I’m also fine with that crony being found wanting after a hearing, and being voted down, even by his/her own party. But I’m not fine with a character-assassination-by-pundit before that person has been given a chance to be heard. I believe we all owe our presidents–Democratic or Republican–and their choices that much respect, unless they happen to have nominated a felon.

  12. Holmes Says:

    It is fun to see the anti-anti-miers tantrums now pretending that her “moderate” ideology had nothing to do with their support.

    The Supreme Court’s role is not like the head of HUD. We aren’t obliged to casually take whatever nominee is thrust upon us.

    And Cyber, I’ll try to remember your adherence to “up or down vote” next time we have numerous Federal court appointments filibustered by Democrats.

  13. terrye Says:

    cyberotter:

    The Religious Right did not come out against Mier.

    The high class oh so special we are better than everyone else Ivy League look at my degrees hard right like George Will and Ann Coulter did.

    The Christian Right at least treated her with respect.

  14. terrye Says:

    I do not blame Harriet Miers for bowing out. I balme the right wing fanatics who destroyed her nomination.

    I have to say I am absolutely disgusted with the right wing pundits who seem to think they are the ones running the country.

    I will remember that the next time I go vote. I voted for Bush and as far as I am concerned Kristol and Will and Frum are just talking heads, they mean nothing to me.

    Their betrayal of their own president and their treatment of Harriet Miers was one of the most outrageous examples of character assasination I have ever seen.

    As far as calling this woman a crony..gimme a break…if she had hung out with the right people and gone to the right schools and been what people like Will and Coulter call ‘one of us’ she would not have been savaged like this.

    So much for that stuff about the president deserving his nominee and his nominee deserving an up or down vote.

  15. Cyberotter Says:

    I can’t say it any better than this

    Now that we’ve entered the post-Harriet world, it’s time to analyze what this means.

    Yes, it means that Bush will pick a far-right nutjob for the next nominee. That makes me happy. Here’s why.

    1. Harriet Miers’ nomination was killed by the Republican party because they didn’t think she was conservative enough. That means that Democrats can kill the next nomination if they think it’s not liberal enough.

    2. The GOP just lost all of their Supreme Court talking points. Who in the GOP is going to be able to stand up with a straight face and say “every nominee deserves an up or down vote”? Kiss that talking point good bye.

    3. And who is going to be able to argue that there should be NO “litmus test” on abortion and other issues? Harriet was killed because last night a report came out that she was sympathetic to a woman’s right to choose. She failed their litmus test on abortion, and she was killed. That means if the next nomination fails Dems litmus test on abortion, they can kill the next one.

    4. The Harriet debacle shows Bush to be incredibly weak. That doesn’t help him at all, in anything. It will only further the public perception of him as a failing president of a failing presidency. And the weaker Bush is, the less trouble he can stir up.

    5. The Democrats had the power to filibuster Bush’s handful of wacky lower court nominees with impunity, there is no way they’re going to have a problem filibustering those same nominees when the wacko is appointed to the Supreme Court. It will be a cake walk.

    6. If Bush thought he could get a wack-job confirmed, he’d have appointed a wack-job instead of Harriet in the first place. He didn’t. Nothing has changed to put Bush in a better stead now to get such a wack-job confirmed, and in fact, he’s worse off because now he appears even weaker and all his talking points have been blown out of the water. So let him appoint the wack-job, and let the fun begin.

    7. The religious right and “conservatives” in the GOP have shown their cards. They’re nasty, vindictive, extremists who want the entire pie or nothing, and they’re willing to destroy their own president if he doesn’t give them 110% of everything they want. They’ve burned their bridges with this president, and this president is going to be around for 3 years. This should be fun.

    8. Bush has shown his cards to the far right. He’s not a real conservative. He doesn’t like their agenda. He’s embarrassed to publicly embrace it. No matter who he appoints next, they now know Bush isn’t one of them and that impression – that realization – will linger for the rest of his term.

    8. And finally, Bush is setting the religious right up, and that makes me smile. Yes, Bush will pick a wack-job for the next nominee, even though he knows the wack-job won’t be confirmed. Bush will fight for his nominee, blah blah blah, and the nomination will fail. Then Bush will say, see, I tried – then he’ll nominate Alberto Gonzales, who the religious right hates, and get him confirmed. Bush will be able to argue that he gave the religious right want they wanted and it just didn’t work. Oh well, time for Alberto.

    So that’s why all of this makes me very very very happy. It’s a big mess, and messes provide opportunities.

  16. Holmes Says:

    This was a Conservative uprising about the proper role of the Supreme Court. Really, we should have no say in a Court which has decided unilaterally it has no bounds in which to operate save for the limits of its own hubris?

    You’re fine with a precedent of personal cronies being named to a Court with the above modus operandi?
    This was a prinicipled decision by Conservatives, who, while not wanting to revere the Court, do not want to see it become an extension of the patronage of the Civil Service either. Miers couldn’t even impress loyal Bush Republicans in one on one meetings. Arlen Specter is no Conservative henchman. Maybe she just needed to borrow my Con Law outline.

    I wish you moderates would stop whining about it all, really. It’s really turning me off to “don’t rock the boat” political thinking. :)

    Cheers to a healthy Republic.

  17. neo-neocon Says:

    Well said, John Moulder. I think I lost my illusions about either party some time ago, and the Miers incident isn’t about to make me change my mind on that score.

    I think I’m an Independent for good–no more Party girl.

  18. Dale St. Clair Says:

    I think Bush will try to nominate a candidate the raucous right can live with. The lesson is that he can’t possibly get a nominee through when his own party slices them up. This episode has left a bad taste in my mouth regarding Republicans. Maybe I can swallow it & keep on pulling the Republican lever in the voting box or maybe not.

    Even though I was still angry at the Republican-engineered Clinton beheading I voted for Bush the second term because of foreign policy. If only a Democrat candidate could & would get hawkish I would not hesitate to switch allegiances but the problem is that both parties seem to be controlled by zealots. It’s too bad third parties are almost impossible to establish because I think a lot of centrists in both parties are tired of the theatrics.

  19. neo-neocon Says:

    Goesh, one would indeed think that the black/female thing would silence them. But after the way some of the pundits–particularly on the left–have spoken of Condoleezza Rice (as a sort of Aunt Tomasina), all bets are off.

  20. Will Franklin Says:

    I am sure Miers would have done a decent job in the hearings (or at least better than some of her critics insinuated), but this is a bit of a relief.

  21. Goesh Says:

    I have advocated nominating Janice Brown. Why not have a real brawl on the issues and hot topics? She is a former CA Supreme Court Justice and currently on the Federal bench. She should be much better qualified than many. The fact that she is Black and female can’t help but silence some of the pundits and keep the focus on Constitutional interpretation, personal liberties, judicial activism, etc. Why is abortion the only red flag issue that matters? There are issues equally and more important than abortion. America didn’t collapse because abortion was allowed and it won’t collapse if it is prohibited.

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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