October 9, 2005

A good excuse for withdrawing the Miers nomination?

Relying on this might work nicely to allow Bush to save face.

31 comments:

paulfrommpls said...

While drinking heavily with friends last night, I found myself wondering if senior Congressional and administration Republicans are talking among themselves about instituting a kind of informal de-facto presidency for the next three years. For example, taking over conscious control of designing and explaining Iraq policy.

Did anyone notice W's major Iraq speech a few days ago? I was amazed: the conservative blogs barely even mentioned it.

Simon said...

There is a website, a proiject of RedState.org, called http://www.confirmthem.com. Its founding purpose was to support the confirmation of President Bush's judicial nominees. Yet most of the posters and virtually all of the commenters on a website which exists solely to urge the confirmation of the President's nominees are opposed to the nomination, to the point of calling it a travesty and an embarrasment. This is a doomed nomination that should never have been made, and should be Kericked without further delay before a head wound becomes a haemorrhage.

The nomination must be withdrawn, period. Whatever pretenses the President needs to use to save face are fine with me as long as he does the right thing and withdraws the nomination.

CS said...

I'll just note that one would have to look hard to find more egregiously abusive marketed shelters. It's like they weren't even trying. The opinion letters sound extraordinarily weak, leaving aside their cookie-cutter nature. Just another of those "what could they have been thinking" situations.

The potential problem with your theory, AA, is that this is an extraordinarily unsympathetic reason for withdrawal. I figured the nomination was another Rovian exercise in motivating the base. Confirmation would be secondary, and the direction of the Court tertiary, to having a sympathetic nominee get knocked around, pumping people up for '06. However, it becomes a harder sell as base motivation if the sympathetic nominee withdraws, not because she's just folks, but because the big law firm she ran made a bunch of money from crooked tax shelters.

Anyway, speaking of "what were they thinking," who vetted Ms Miers? Who signed off on the shelter letter issue?

Ann Althouse said...

CS: I'm just saying that this material is available now to be used as a nice parachute (like a nanny problem or pot smoking), not that they had it ready to use all along as part of a big Rovian plot. They can get out of the problem now by using this and still say that the original choice was sound (though it wasn't). I might also speculate that this new material is being developed now and released to us as the first step in the exit strategy. It's awfully convenient. It's negative but it's coming when Bush needs something negative to sever her from him

Mark Daniels said...

What amazes me is that this story has been out there for about four or five days and nobody seems to have jumped on it.

Under normal circumstances, I would be extremely surprised if the President withdrew this nomination.

But if the story develops "legs," the President may well decide that with Rove and DeLay already in trouble, he'll need to cut his losses by withdrawing Miers' nomination. (Or, by having her withdraw it herself.)

Ann Althouse said...

I'm picturing her withdrawing gracefully, saying that the allegations are wrong, but she believes they would be a distraction, blah blah blah. Problem solved. New pick: one of the solid, conservative female judges.

bearbee said...

DALLAS - Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers was co-director of a major Texas law firm that paid more than $30 million to settle claims that it vouched for the reputation of two clients who cheated investors out of millions.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051005/ap_on_go_su_co/miers_law_firm

Even though there was no evidence that she knew what was happening this cannot reflect well...

alikarimbey said...

Bob Novak (on Sat. via RealClearPolitics) said that Judge Callahan was considered a pick by Bush, but he offered to HM, as he was worried about the RIGHT. If HM withdraws, and Bush again passes on Callahan, the Hispanic vote is gone forever.

Thus, HM withdrawl has an even bigger problem. Hispanic voters are upset of being passed over. Now, what will Bush do?

AKB

alikarimbey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Brent said...

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that Con Law Prof Hugh Hewitt has just wiped all of the smug arguments off your faces with his latest post - he even took ol' Robert Bork's tedious blowhardness hypocrisy to task, and scored big (how Bork has shown his face in this argument has given me more humor in this than anything else).
Second, you all are completely misunderstanding the evangelical response to this - there will be support among the base from evangelicals (we are the real base - we leave, there is no Republican majority - guaranteed and believe me, the WH knows that no other faction of the base REALLY ultimately matters).
Last week the White House quietly pulled in 250 evangelical pastors for an update (the third time it has done so under the radar of the press or blogs this year and my pastor is one of those involved)and explained Miers and other situations.
If you need a further explanation of why evangelicals will line up (and that means the ones that matter - not Robertson or Falwell: nice guys, but in the "pat them on the back, now go stand over there" group of evangelicals - let me know.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Unrelated request:
Jonesin' for a podcast.

BTD_Venkat said...

That's a pretty serious stretch. Some pretty old line firms (including I think Sidley and Kirkland) have gotten into trouble for the same thing. (This offense may differ in degree only is my guess.)

Sloanasaurus said...

Don't ever believe the press when they write about tax law. They are nearly always wrong.

Simon said...

If HM withdraws, and Bush again passes on Callahan, the Hispanic vote is gone forever.

Oh, what rot. Even if racial represenation was pertinent to the Supreme Court, which it is not, there are several emminently qualified latino candidates who could be nominated who would rally the base.

As for Hugh Hewitt - he has offered nothing all week, and he continues to offer nothing today. According to Hewitt, we should all just trust Bush, and if that's all they've got, it's not enough.

Simon said...

Incidentally, note how the defenders of hte Miers nomination are trying to change the battleground. They know that they cannot defend Miers against the charge that Bush promised a Justice in the Scalia/Thomas mold, and neither Roberts nor Miers is any such thing. So now they are attempting to change the battleground from her being in the Scalia/Thomas mopld to voting with Scalia/Thomas. Justices are not just votes!

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, I went over to the Hewitt site, saw that he'd written something really long, scanned it, and noticed a lot about how it's actually not that hard to be a Supreme Court justice, so what's the big deal. Really, what did I miss? In 100 words or less. Blogging should be concise. I don't trust bloggers who go long. What are they hiding?

Ann Althouse said...

Simon: Yes, the continual use of the word "vote" in connection with the Supreme Court is telling.

My verification word: dvism. Sounds like a belief system of some kind.

Troy said...

I doubt Hewitt is trying to hide anything. Of course I don't know him... he could be a wife beating puppy kicking old lady walker stealing mook for all I know, but I don't think he's hiding anything. He cops at the top that it's a longer than usual post.

Alas -- he's doing so in vain. Harriet, poor Harriet doesn't look like a successfull candidate unless she does a great job on the boarda and wows the Sen. judiciary.

Judging from the questioning in the last few confirmation hearings though -- can the Senate really adequately judge her intellectual creds? Her heart (and the fullness thereof -- Shumer's standard) is in the right place so she's got half the committee right there.

PD Shaw said...

Did anyone else see Bill Krystal on Foxs News Sunday state that the White House was telling anxious conservatives that the other conservative female candidates had problems that might have kept them from being confirmed?

It was during the roundtable discussion toward the end of the program.

Brent said...

. . "justices are not just votes"?
Please explain to me the how the brilliant Scalia dissent in Kelo mattered more than the "Votes" on the other side?
Get this . . . Votes ARE it!

VietPundit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
VietPundit said...

"My verification word: dvism. Sounds like a belief system of some kind."

Maybe that's a message (from?): Dump Very Intellectually Shoddy Miers.

Ann Althouse said...

PD: Kristol said that Batchelder had a lot of political activism in her background.

Finn Kristiansen said...

Is it just me or does it seem like Kristol always has a lot of words stumbling out of his mouth that never really amount to anything worthwhile or of predictive value?

He is the last person whose words I would give any credence to.

Also, I think if Meirs turns out to be a born again Christian, as some sources have suggested, then her views are pretty preditable and I would doubt Bush would be searching for any changes or outs whatsoever.

Finn Kristiansen said...

In the above post of mine, stick a "C" in preditable. I left it on the floor.

OddD said...

Sloanasaurus...allow me to fix that for you:

Don't ever believe the press when they write about [anything]. They are nearly always wrong.

Simon said...

Finn-
I think if Meirs turns out to be a born again Christian, as some sources have suggested, then her views are pretty preditable

Nonsense. Jimmy Carter is a born again Christian. So is Robert Byrd. I personally know no fewer than ten Democrats who attend our church which the pastor describes candidly as "pretty conservative." As Gary Bauer was saying earlier today, it's nice to know that she's a Christian, but it's irrelevant. It tells us nothing about how she will rule or why, and if there were any suspicion that it would tell us something about how she will rule, that should disqualify her for the bench, on the grounds that she would be results-oriented not process-oriented.

Mark Daniels said...

Finn:
To your point that her being a born again Christian makes Harriet Miers' views "predictable," I want to make a few points.

First, all followers of Christ can claim to be born again. According to John 3:3, that's what happens to all Christians. They turn from sin and death and turn to forgiveness and life, offered through Christ. This is what Paul is talking about in Second Corinthians 5:17, where he says that if anyone is "in Christ," that is, trusting their past, present, and future to Christ, "there is a new creation" and the old has past.

So, my second point is this: In spite of the attempts of some to co-opt the term or to change the meaning of the term, all Christians are born again and there are no inherent political principles to be derived from one's being a born again Christian. I consider myself to be "born again," particularly because I came to faith in Christ as an adult, after a period when I was an atheist. I assure you that there is simply no way that you could predict my political views based on my confession of Christ.

Harriet Miers herself seems to be a Christian of the conservative variety. She also appears to be a conservative, at least when it comes to the issue of abortion. Such a coalescence of perspectives is admittedly, increasingly common. But it is far from universal.

Mark

PS: My verification code is"yevuetz." Looks like a word I might run across in my study of Old Testament texts.

Brent said...

Mark, you are getting closer to the point. Assuming that HM is a born-again Christian, now take the next step into the Evangelical brand of born-again Christianity, and you will begin to see why the WH sees the support of the largest part of the base (again, evangelicals)as coming along enough to provide, if necessary, individual pressure on senators and let the WH have its way. While there is always the chance that a mistake can be made, those outside the evangelical ring won't get it when the president winks "trust me".
Among the things that evangelicals "get": history, especially morally sound history, isn't always made by those who have "Earned" the right to be elevated. The Bible (again, important to evangelicals) is full of examples of obscure right thinkers (David, Gideon, Peter) making far more of an historical, morally sound impact than any of the "qualified" people around them.
Don't misunderstand - merit, hard work, and talent count in the evangelical world view - but they are not worshipped in that world view as they certainly are worshipped in academia and the general culture. Character, especially "redeemed" character, is the virtue that matters most to evangelicals, and that includes George W. Bush. We can't always get the person with the highest character politically, but when we can get character with a chance of winning, we'll stick up for that every time.

PD Shaw said...

I watched a repeat of Fox News Sunday and wrote down these words:

"Other Appellate Judges . . . these women weren't qualified."

Kristol said this after trying to get Britt to admit that the WH was dishing dirt on Batchelder. The flow of the conversation suggested that Kristol was attributing the above comment to the WH, but Kristol had been animated for a while, so he could have been criticizing comments made by other Miers supporters.

Seemed outrageous this morning; passe this evening. Of course, the WH has to question the qualifications of competing candidates. Kristol and others are complaining about Miers' relative merits, not that there is some disqualifying factor.

PD Shaw said...

On the original post, I can't say I understand the tax issues, but if the word "Enron" can be used, she's a gonner.