October 5, 2005

Three conspiracy-takes on the Miers nomination.

Washington State polisci prof J. Mitchell Pickerill gave me permission to quote this funny message he had on one of those academic email lists I belong to:
Three conspiracy-takes on the Miers nomination:

(1) Bush knows full well Miers will deliver his agenda if confirmed (for all we know she promised in person), but that she will appear as a total stealth candidate. So far so good. In addition, conservative commentators are in on the game, decrying the pick in hopes that the Dems will throw up their hands and say, "whoever those guys are against, we're for."

(2) In the event #1 is wrong OR Dems see through it, Miers is a sacrificial lamb. Dems and some Repubs will oppose her, and publicly base their opposition on her lack of credentials (the types of things people on this list have already pointed out). The White House plans on this and has a follow-up nominee ready to go. The follow-up nominee will then be a "home run" and will have such credentials that those who voted against Miers on this basis will have difficulty voting against the new nominee. In a loose sense - this game says let's start with Kennedy and get Bork instead of vice versa.

(3) #s 1 & 2 are plain silly. Miers is an alien from outer space and has infiltrated our government and gotten herself to an appointment to the Supreme Court with plans to extend the right to citizenship - not to mention the right to privacy - to aliens.


Meade said...

Teed-up to hit a grand slam out of the ballpark and into another galaxy. Check the Senators' washroom... betcha it's been painted pink.

Most brilliant.

vnjagvet said...

Great stuff.

nappy40 said...

I think Bush is teed up to kick a field goal to win the game.

PatCA said...

I feel sorry for her.

Go Harriet!

Jacques Cuze said...

I think what's going on is a play for the repeal of the 22nd amendment. In case of Bird Flu, Bush will partition the country. In case of a bioweapon terrorist attack in the country, Bush will partition the country. He wants to repeal posse comitatus and use the military. He will declare martial law. And he will repeal the 22nd amendment as he will be the best qualified president to save the country. He will need Miers on the bench to safeguard his coup past 2008.

gs said...

My guess is that three rope-a-dopes are being played out here, two by Bush and one by the Democrats.

Bush's first rope-a-dope was to keep his base in arms about Gonzales so his actual preference would come as a relief. That hasn't worked.

Bush's second rope-a-dope is with the Democrats. It dilutes opposition to nominate someone whom Reid has mentioned.

Reid's rope-a-dope is walking into Bush's trap. Those Republicans who don't believe Bush should be Rushmore's fifth face are not thrilled with Miers. The Democrats will go along with Miers after voicing conspicuous doubts. Then, having legitimized themselves with Roberts and Miers, the Democrats will squash by any means necessary the meritorious, intellectually dangerous conservative nominated to replace Stevens or Ginsburg.

Only a guess...

vbspurs said...

(4) Conspiracy theories are monumentally silly. The truth is the President thought he could get away with this nomination (hey she's a woman! She's an evangelical Christian! I trust her, my party trusts me, so...!), without much hullabaloo, depression on the part of his fellow Conservatives, and with a minimum of ridicule.

As Bill Kristol said, "he blinked".


Bruce Hayden said...

What no one seems to be considering is that if she is a sacrificial lamb, it is that the Senate is not going to thwart the President twice in a row. Not with 55 seats. If loses this one, he will be able to run someone more overtly conservative through next time, regardless of the views of the Democrats.

Derailing this nomination would take some Republican defections. And these are not going to risk doing so twice in a row. Some Democrats in the same position, like our Jr. Senator here in CO, Ken Salazar, who voted for Roberts, will probably vote against Meirs, and for the next. Most likely not against two in a row for the same slot. And the remaining Democrats risk appearing obstructionist.

So, all in all, if he loses this one, I think he could run another Thomas for the replacement and get him/her through.

Hamsun56 said...

I'm not a fan of Bush, but like his father there seems to be a loyalty to long time supporters/friends. I don't think he would intentionally make someone like Miers a sacrificial lamb. Maybe he is being manipulated by his evil genuis?

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Andrew's comments hit the nail on the head.

The Bushies don't make sacrificial lambs of their buddies. Period. There is no clever strategy here. There is brute force and will.

Simon said...

It seems to me that either the Senate will confirm Miers, or Bush will use a recess appointment gambling that she will make rulings that please social conservatives before the midterms. If she doesn't - that is to say, if no opportunity presents itself, or if she just flat-out doesn't deliver (can anyone honestly imagine this woman going toe-to-toe with Breyer at Conference? With Scalia? With Roberts? With Ginsburg?) within a very, very short timescale - social conservatives will stay home for the midterms, and we risk losing the Senate, and thereby guarantee that we get less than the Court needs.

Bush dropped the ball. He had a historic opportunity to remake the Supreme Court, just as his father did. The father got one out of three; the son seems to have gaven us zero out of two, with a side order of civil war. Dissatisfying isn't really the word.