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October 27, 2005

Miers Withdraws

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name from consideration for the Supreme Court. While I was on the fence about this, I have to say that I'm quite relieved that she's done this. Given speeches and remarks she'd made in the past (but post-conversion to Christianity, by the way), she didn't sound very much like Scalia and Thomas, as the President promised. Let's hope the next nominee fulfills that promise.

Posted by Doug at October 27, 2005 11:17 AM

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The President ought to nominate Robert Bork for the SCOTUS :)

Posted by: Tony at October 27, 2005 04:05 PM

Doug, (with respect) you must realize that a Scalia or a Thomas (with indictments coming tomorrow and a weakened WH) won't fly. Democrats would surely filibuster that kind of choice. It's not clear that with Bush's, Frist's and Cheney's problems that a nuclear option is viable any more, despite public rhetoric.

That's the political reality... a different landscape than a month ago, even.

And it seems to me that Miers failed because of non-evangelical Republican concerns about her qualifications (evangelicals remain his most loyal constituents), so that'd be another piece to the puzzle. Bush has some difficult choices to make, because his base is really several bases, and everyone feels owed.

Just talkin' what is, not what should be. And I post not to agitate, but to consider what's best for the country. Roberts was acceptable to many. Bork, for example, wouldn't be.

Posted by: DemFromCT at October 27, 2005 04:25 PM

Sorry, I don't see Democrats being nice on any potential indictments if Bush picks a moderate. He might as well pick a movement conservative and let the chips fall. I don't think the Gang of 14 will consider being conservative "extraorindary", and if they do, then it would show the 7 Dems to be digingenuous, increasing support, I believe, for getting rid of that.

I think you'll find plenty of non-evangelicals who didn't support Miers. Don't have to look too far, either; right here on this blog you'll find them. The Concerned Women for America, an evangelical womens' group, just came out against her yesterday. The questions about her qualifications crossed a lot of strata. This was by no means a strictly evangelical issue.

Roberts was still not acceptable to 20+ Democrats in the Senate. I still have to bring up Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is far more liberal that Roberts is conservative, and point out that Republicans overwhelmingly voted for her on the merits, not the politics. Mostly, Bork isn't acceptable to Democrats on the politics. The merits mean less and less on that side of the aisle.

Posted by: Doug Payton at October 27, 2005 04:51 PM

Well said, Doug. I think the dems/merits situation is getting worse. Scalia got voted-in just fine - and Robert's qualifications were very similar. Those 20+ will find a candidate without merit just because they were nominated by Bush. I still think the process would have been more dignified had there been hearings on Miers - I don't like the precedence here - TV commercials on SCOTUS candidates? Too bad it came to this.

Posted by: bruce at October 27, 2005 05:32 PM

We'll see what happens, but pretending that Dem opposition has nothing do do with Bush's in-your-face partisan governing style is just silly. Robrts' oppo votes vs Ginsberg has a great deal to do with that. As to "I don't see Democrats being nice on any potential indictments if Bush picks a moderate" why in the world would you say that? Roberts and Bernanke at the Fed did just fine. The record is there to examine.

As for 'merits', competence is essential but not sufficient. When you said "The questions about her qualifications crossed a lot of strata. This was by no means a strictly evangelical issue," that's very true and not different than what I posted. Miers lost on qualifications with everyone, and would have lost with Democrats on the same issue.

But having qualifications in and of itself will not get a SCOTUS nominee passed. A movement conservative like Luttig (and probably Alioto) would be bad for the country and unacceptable to Democrats in the Senate. A moderate like O'Connor or a non-ideologue like Roberts would be both acceptable and good for the country. Someone like McConnel might get through with some debate. The track record is there to back that up.

Deliberately picking a fight shows the true colors of the man who pretended to be a uniter, not a divider. And tells you why Dems don't trust him, and why the message of the 22 no votes was sent on Roberts. The relevance that the rest of the country supports Bush at a 39-40% level should not be lost on you. It suggests that there are doubts about his ability to lead. But he's President of the United States, not President of the Conservatives. This perception can be helped or hurt by the next pick.

Posted by: DemFromCT at October 30, 2005 11:24 AM

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by an "in-your-face" governing style; sounds lik it's just a matter of perception. Other than a couple big initiatives like tax cuts, what in the world has Bush done to make his entire governing style "in-your-face"? (Unless you just mean pushing a conservative agenda, which is a rather low bar to clear for such an accusation.)

You said :And it seems to me that Miers failed because of non-evangelical Republican concerns about her qualifications (evangelicals remain his most loyal co"nstituents)...". I reminded you that the split on Miers was not strictly an evangelical / non-evangelical one, so it was different than what you posted. If that's not what you meant, I apologize.

As it turns out, Alito gets the nod this morning, and I wonder why an Alito is bad for the country while a Ginsburg is good. Unless you mean that a a conservative on the court is generally bad regardless, which I would dismiss out of hand as partisanship. Were you as disappointed with such a liberal partisan? Doubt it.

Democrats have wishfully translated "uniter not a divider" to mean "does what we want all the time". He's not allowed to pick a conservative because that'll make the Dems mad. I have to go back to Ginsburg again, and ask if Clinton was only the President of Liberals. Republicans confirmed her overwhelmingly because she was competent. If Republicans had played politics with her nomination, she'd have had a much harder time. That type of respect is sorely lacking from the Democrats, and charges of "in-your-face" governing is no more than a fig leaf.

Oh, and the polls? Yeah, I've had concerns about Bush's ability to lead. How about reigning in spending, more tax cuts, tighter border controls, and SCOTUS nominees that are more to the right. Approval ratings say people are disappointed. They don't say why.

Posted by: Doug Payton at October 31, 2005 08:39 AM