December 2, 2005

Defending Alito, Senator Specter conveniently forgets his own role in destroying the Miers nomination.

There's an amusing passage at the end of the NYT report on Senator Specter's statement today after meeting with Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Specter opined that people ought to wait until the confirmation hearings to find out what Alito has to say about a memo on abortion he wrote as a lawyer in the Reagan administration.
Ms. Miers was "really sort of run out of town on a rail," Mr. Specter said. Senator Specter himself helped to weaken the nomination when he suggested that Ms. Miers needed "a crash course in constitutional law."


Gabe said...

He said, "by me" in a really small voice after "was really sort of run out of town on a rail". The reporter probably just didn't hear it. The interview was during the 2nd half kick-off of a 'Skins game at RFK right?

Also, is it possible to be really sort of run out of town? I would have thought only one or the other.

D.E. Cloutier said...

China's leaders think about the next generation. American senators think about the next election.

wildaboutharrie said...

Specter ran her out of town? Really.

Apparently, she did need a crash course. I heard conservatives say worse about her.

Specter also said, "Look, the lady was White House counsel dealing with totally other subjects until Sunday night when the president offered her the job. And Monday she's sitting with me. I'm not going to ask her questions which she hasn't had a chance to study or reflect on."

He was pretty decent when she (apparently) changed her story on their discussion of Griswold. And he was asking pundits to lay off and her go through with the hearings.

She was run out, for better or for worse, by her own people.

reader_iam said...

I haven't been able to understand the workings of Arlen Specter's mind since back in the days when he was Philly's DA and actually hung out with Ira Einhorn, who at the time was considered some sort of intellectual guru by Specter and others. Between the time he finished his stint as DA and became a senator, Specter then served as his friend's attorney, even managing to have a miraculously low bail set, which Einhorn later jumped.

The '70s were a weird, weird time in Philly--even for Sen. Specter.

(Sorry for diverging OT, but honestly, I do take this into account any time Specter opens his mouth, and have since following the story in real time 25-odd years ago.)

Gabe said...

Wildabout - I was lumping Spector in with her own people. About the only people who didn't run her out of town were the "obstructionist" Dems.

But they will get the blame.

wildaboutharrie said...

I think Specter treated her well. I'd say she was "run out of town" by the President, for nominating her and offering her such bizarre support, and the staff who were supposed to help her with that questionairre and prep her for interviews. (Seriously, where was Karl Rove in all this? Isn't he supposed to be some sort of mastermind?)

The moderate Republicans had to finally get the word to the White House that it wasn't happening. And I found it embarrassing that they found their "exit strategy" in a newspaper column. The whole thing was transparent and awkward.

I don't think Specter HAD a role in "destroying" the nomination. For a while there he was the one keeping it afloat.

wildaboutharrie said...

(I laughed at your "by me", though.)

Eli Blake said...


I'm used to it (as a Democrat).

Half the Democrats in the Senate were willing to vote for Roberts.

They were ready to support Miers.

But if they oppose Alito, you you will hear Republicans use the word 'obstructionism' nonstop, because giving them almost everything they want is pointless, they want 100% cooperation. The word, 'compromise' is meaningless to this crew of Republicans.

Simon said...

I partilly agree with wildaboutharrie, insofar as I, too, "don't think Specter HAD a role in "destroying" the nomination. For a while there he was the one keeping it afloat." However, I dissent from the suggestions that it was the moderate Republicans that ran her out of town. The Miers nomination didn't collapse, it instantly imploded on contact with reality. The moderates thought she was terrible, the conservatives thought she was terrible; in fact, the only people who thought she was any good at all were the Democrats, and they only because they thought that she was manna from heaven, a Souter-in-training that dropped fully-formed from a distracted White House. Nobody who can be taken seriously supported Miers in anything more than the most tacit sense, moderate or otherwise, and the pulling of the nomination, in retrospect, was at best a matter of time.

wildaboutharrie said...

Simon - I didn't mean the moderate Republicans ran her out - only that they had the job of finally convincing the President that it was over.

Conservative pundits were brutal, yes, but, I suppose, brutally honest.

The blame rests on the President.