October 8, 2005

"Luttig is getting huge free publicity."

A reader emails:
It seems to me that the big winner from the whole Miers brouhaha is Luttig. Before her nomination, he had practically no chance of being nominated, since he's not a woman or a minority. But now, every time someone says Miers is unqualified or mediocre, they add "unlike Luttig, who is a brilliant, supremely qualified conservative intellectual." Why people don't mention Karen Williams or Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown as the primary preferred alternative, I don't know. Luttig is getting huge free publicity. If the Miers nomination is withdrawn or if she is not confirmed by the Senate, there will be huge pressure for the President to nominate "Luttig or someone like Luttig."
Very interesting. And clearly, this ties to ideas about affirmative action. Some Miers supporters are even throwing the word "sexist" around. Don't say she's not qualified, or you're a sexist? That translates into: See, you wanted a woman hired, and this is what we had to do to find a woman, so please be discreet and don't mention her inferiority. Don't compare her to Roberts. If we could pick a man, we'd find someone lustrous, like Luttig. But everyone says we shouldn't. We tried picking Roberts for the O'Connor slot, and everyone complained. We're doing what you insisted upon, so you'll have to accept the consequences.

How insulting to women this is! And the implicit critique of affirmative action is quite cheap, because, as the emailer notes, there are impressive women the President could have chosen.


Matt Barr said...

I find it hard to believe Bush would nominate whoever the "consensus" thinks should have been nominated. Even setting aside the Miers nomination (please!), he does have a trong strain of "I'm calling the shots, here" contrariness in him. If Miers is rejected or withdraws I expect him to nominate someone like Karen Hughes.

Pat Patterson said...

Unless chicken little is proven right, Michael Luttig has now joined the distinguished and not so distinguished list of wannabe Supreme Court Justices. Maybe he can avoid destroying his reputation like another Justice in waiting, Laurence Tribe.

Alcibiades said...

Of course, some people might begin to think that this exact scenario is why the Miers nomination has the characteristics of a Karl Rove plot. You really want Michael Luttig or Mitch McConnell, but you can't get them by nominating them straight out due to the pressure of nominating a woman. Instead, you nominate Miers, the nomination goes down or the nominee withdraws. And then and only then, you nominate the justice you really want.

SippicanCottage said...
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XWL said...

The view that she is a sacrificial lamb on the altar of true conservatism is given some credence by the repeated mantra of "wait to you see her during the confirmation hearings" coming out of various people in the administration.

I think she may be surprisingly candid under questioning, thus destroying her own chances at confirmation, but at the same time if she does so with enough glibness and humor she could make the Democrats look very bad in opposing her judicial views.

She may be there to get Borked as many have speculated but rather than be irrascable like he was, if she is charming and defferential as she clearly elucidates her judicial conservatism she will damage the Democrat's chances of thwarting the next candidate even as her nomination is shot down in flames

(or is that falls of the side of the rim, or maybe just lips out of the cup, or curls off into foul territory, or thuds bloodied to the canvas, that should be enough sports metaphors for now).

Ann Althouse said...

Alcibiades: You mean Michael McConnell.

I don't believe the theory that Miers was set up to fall. It's way too damaging to Bush. I think he foolishly thought he was avoiding a fight, that the Democrats had pre-committed not to fight her, and he failed to predict how mad it would make hardcore conservatives.

I'm not one of the people who were hoping for a Luttig type, I hope you realize. My opposition to Miers is completely based on high standards for Supreme Court appointments.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Someone in an earlier thread gave a link to the satirical Harriet Miers blog - which by the way, has been updated.

Now there's one for Michael Luttig.

Ann Althouse said...

Pastor Jeff: I had done a post on that blog before that earlier link. I wonder how many times we have to discover it.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's my post on the Harriet Miers blog, from 1:51 p.m. on Monday, the day Bush announced his pick.

And check out my podcast #8, from Monday evening, where I talk about sending out the link to that to the UW law faculty email list and get numerous lawprofs wondering if it's really Miers's blog.

Alcibiades said...

I don't believe the theory that Miers was set up to fall. It's way too damaging to Bush. I think he foolishly thought he was avoiding a fight, that the Democrats had pre-committed not to fight her, and he failed to predict how mad it would make hardcore conservatives.

I was actually being satirical with the Rove comment. It always amuses me how much is attributed to Rove. If this scenario occurs, I'm sure that the Rove meme will return.

OTOH, in this particular case, part of me would rather attribute this disaster to the shadowy Rove with his dark powers and all seeing eye because I agree that read straightforwardly, whether Miers succeeds or fails, it is very damaging to Bush.