October 5, 2005

Harriet the Spy

The defections begin.

Or threaten to.

Update: Lott not impressed either.

This is really confusing me. Bush did such a good job in threading the needle in choosing John Roberts, that I'm a little baffled by the apparent idiocy of choosing Harriet Miers.
Any choice that was not explicitly anti-choice (not just pro-life, which leaves open the possibility of calling Roe 'settled law') is a possible Souter to the religious right, who have been convinced that this was what they were voting for--the chance to end abortion.
To avoid this, Bush must convince them that he has nominated a candidate they can trust, but, because of her total lack of a stated judicial philosophy or judicial experience, means that, essentially, they must trust Bush.
All of which only exacerbates the charges of cronyism, which, coupled with the dissatisfaction with Bush's attempt to play identity politics (which itself is amplified by the obviously unqualified nature of the candidate) pisses off a whole different batch of people (and pisses off some of the first group more).

If Bush overplays the hand of "I know her, she's just like me" that only fuels the fires of cronyism; if he concentrates on her "respect for the law," he pisses off abortion activists. He can't concentrate on her strengths, for she has none.

I think there's only one move for Dems--confirm her, and by supporting her make her look more mainstream, which alienates the far right. I wouldn't venture any hopes that she actually is a Souter in the making, but she could be a Kennedy rather than a Scalia/Thomas.

But that's not really the point, is it? The Court is, unfortunately, secondary here. I think this is going to be about the 2006 and 2008 elections. If this confirmation battle does sufficiently tear the Republican Senators into two groups, a lot of them are going to have to decide which side of the fence they're on, which will seriously affect their Presidential chances.

Now if that Roy Moore guy can just run for President (instead of Governor of Alabama) on a third party ticket...

Addendum: In addition, doesn't the fact that the White House Counsel is now going to be sitting in front of a panel of people who just might be interested in some of the White House's backroom deals not worry Bush/Cheney/Rove a little bit? I mean, Schumer can't exactly ask, "So how involved was Karl Rove in the Plame affair?" but it would be awfully stupid not to go fishing a bit.

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