Monday, October 03, 2005

Killing her with Kindness?

have democrats stumbled (and the key word here is stumbled) onto a great strategy to defeat Miers? It seems that by having Senate Democrats come out and praise a woman whose only job qualifications are that Bush thought she did a great job on a duck hunting cabin case before he was governor of Texas has sent conservatives scrambling.

Maybe she is Souter II, or maybe she is Scalia II. We have no clue because she has never been a judge and her only policy driven legal writings were when she was Bush's WH counsel since 2004, when Alberto Gonzales left for the AG's office. But conservatives were expecting someone with a clear history of opposing Roes and a host of other conservative bugaboos (like ten commandments etc.) Bush knows he couldn't get such a nominee past the Senate without doing a Fillabuster showdown of epic purportions.

And it seems that the man whom Miers called the most brilliant man she knows realized that with his polling in the high-30s to low-40s, he had no capital to spend. However, the reaction from conservatives has been much more negative than liberals. Kos is hoping she is a Souter, while conservatives are crying cronyism. In my opinion, that ship sailed long, long ago fellows.

Instapundit, the leading conservative legal blogger has the round up:

UPDATE: More here. Perhaps they'll change my mind, but so far I'm underwhelmed.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mark Daniels: "Another stealth nominee?"

GayPatriot has predictions.

Paul Deignan: "Harriet Miers is many things, but she is not a Constitutional scholar . . . She is an unknown and unproven functionary whose chief virtue is the one virtue that we must reject--a strong tie to a particular chief executive."

Baseball Crank: "Color me less than thrilled."

PoliPundit: "Miers is a cipher."

The ACLJ, however,loves her.

Rich Lowry: "After the Roberts pick conservatives swooned and said Bush doesn't care about 'diversity'; it's only high qualifications that matter to this bold, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may leader, etc., etc. Don't we have to take all that back now?"

David Frum: "An unforced error. . . . nobody would describe her as one of the outstanding lawyers in the United States."

MORE: GayPatriot's predictions are already coming true!

Meanwhile, Thomas Lifson thinks that this is a brilliant sucker-punch thrown at the Democrats. But even if that's true, that doesn't make Miers a good pick. In fact, if I really thought that this pick was motivated by such tactical concerns, I'd be appalled, but I think that Lifson is being a bit too clever here. [LATER: Further googling has convinced Lifson that he's wrong. Good!]

John Hawkins: "George Bush's decision to appoint Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is bitterly disappointing." Not that there's anything wrong with having supported Al Gore in 1988 . . . .

What troubles the social conservatives is the fear that Miers may not be a social conservative. That doesn't bother me, of course. But I don't see what she brings to the table. Granted, you could have said that about other Supreme Court picks who turned out to be great justices. But you could have said that about a lot of other Supreme Court picks who didn't turn out to be great justices, too.

Meanwhile, this won't comfort social conservatives, but it doesn't comfort me, either:

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had urged the president to consider Miers, according to several officials familiar with Bush's consultations with Congress.

Hmm. (Via Jon Henke, who rounds up lots of other interesting stuff). More on Reid and Miers here.

AnkleBitingPundits (formerly "Ugh. This is what we fought for?"

Bush may have managed a Perfect Storm here. Democrats will still want to beat him on Miers, because they always want to beat him. Republicans may be happy to see her go down, too. So who, exactly, is going to get her confirmed? Harry Reid?

STILL MORE: Hugh Hewitt: "It is a solid, B+ pick.. . . The president is a poker player in a long game. He's decided to take a sure win with a good sized pot. I trust him. So should his supporters."

The Anchoress thinks it's rope-a-dope.

Social conservative Professor Bainbridge is deeply unhappy with Miers. Does that mean I should be happy?

Ed Morrissey: "I find this pick mystifying."

Meanwhile, the GOP just sent out this collection of endorsements -- and number 3 is Harry Reid. I smell some sort of a deal.

Maybe Reid is a genius, maybe the keeping the powder dry strategy worked. I think the real strategy was just to sit back and hope that the GOP destroys itself. It only took 12 years, but it seems to be working.

Delay is under indictment and sounding biter that he got dropped by his collegues; Frist is under investigation for a Martha Stewart-like move; Bush and Cheney's top political advisors are the chief suspects in a criminal investigation; and then there is the Iraq debacle and the Katrina debacle. Someone in Biden's and Liberman's offices are working up a plan to snatch defeat from the jaws of almost assured victory, I am sure.

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