Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the smell of defeat

It looks like Bush is going to withdraw Miers and nominate a "real" conservative. If my professor Michael McConnell was female, I would say he would be the new nominee. I am betting it is a female judge from the 5th Circuit. Why do I say Bush has given up? Because law bloggers much smarter than me make a great argument based off of Bush's latest commentary on Miers. From Althouse:

Note that he did not express confidence that she would be confirmed or that she would make a fine Justice. He focused on her general excellence, unrelated to the position she's been nomited for, and on the Senate, stepping up the pressure to give her a fair hearing -- right after turning up the heat about the denial of the documents. It seems as though he wants the Democratic senators to make more of a stink about the documents so that he'll look more credible blaming them for forcing him to withdraw her name. I'll bet they are too smart to make that move, though. Let him twist in the wind while they hold their fire until the hearings. Or maybe even -- crazily riskily -- just go ahead and support her and leave Bush to solve his own problems, without using them for leverage.

And from Loyola LA Prof. Rick Hasen's electionlawblog:
The excuse for withdrawal appears to be a fight over executive privilege. The president won't turn over documents needed to show Ms. Miers' views on legal issues that arose in the White House. If that is indeed the basis for withdrawal, it is doubly good news for conservatives, because presumably it would take AG Gonzales out of the running too.

I am not the only one high on my Prof. McConnell, so is Hasen: "If Bush is smart and wants a strong conservative who will actually be confirmed, he should nominate Judge McConnell. But it is not clear whether Bush really wants a strong conservative on the Court." Like Hasen, I doubt Bush will risk losing the fight that conservatives want to wage with a Janice Rogers Brown, and would be more happy with a pick that would be friendly to him, especially after this Miers fiasco.

A key rule of politics: when rolling out something big, run it by your allies first and make them feel like they are involved/have a stake in its sucess. Just ask Hillary Clinton about her Health Care Plan.

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