Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Harriet Miers Show

Shawn at Liquid List writes exactly what I've been thinking about Harriet Miers' withdrawal from the Supreme Court nomination: What a shame.

The news of Miers defeat is interesting, but we know not yet what it means for the sane wing of America. Harriet was clearly uninspiring and unqualified for a seat on the Court. However, the bits of propaganda we news junkies consumed did carry with them a faint scent of centrism. Might Miers have been dumber but more moderate than , or at least as moderate as Sandra Day O'Connor? We'll never know.

What we can now bet on, unless the White House becomes totally crippled by St. Fitzmas, is that the next person nominated by Bush will be a Christian fundamentalist nutjob ready to reign Old Testament fury down upon the American legal system. Indeed, while Democrats are smiling over Harriet Miers's defeat, Republicans will be too, recalling their powerful majority in the Senate and the ample supply of right-wing jurists.

In full swing GOP Senators and their massive noise machine certainly could ram a fundamentalist judge through the confirmation process, regardless of what the "Gang of 14" thinks and certainly heedless of the electoral cost their party may later pay. In that situation, where Republicans have succesfully put another lunatic on the court--even perhaps at the cost of being knocked from power by a fed-up citizenry--are we better off with a Scalia swing-vote on the Court for the next 40 years? I don't think so. We'd all be dreaming of a court that, maybe, could have been anchored at the center by a vacant-eyed sycophant, a mediocre but moderate Harriet Miers.

Over at The Washington Note, Steve Clemons suggests that liberals remember Sam Brownback's take on why so many Republican senators were queasy about Miers: no paper trail.

...Brownback said on NPR's "Morning Edition" ... that the "hill to get to the Supreme Court is already pretty big -- and her hill was just getting bigger." He also said that much of the Senate (read, Republican Senate) opposition to her was the difficulty in accessing her record and documentation of her views from the Executive Branch.

File that one away for future use.

Whether Miers' White House records were the real reason she withdrew her nomination, or just the face-saving excuse, the democratic wing of Congress (small "d" intentional) should be prepared to remind Senate Republicans of their desire to clarify Miers' views should they cry foul when the shoe is on the other foot.

Now that Harriet Miers is history, ACSblog has info about the history, experience, and possible judicial philosophies of the leading candidates for Bush's next nominee.

The Heretik is thinking about the film version of the Miers saga; it'll be called "Titanic Failure." Or maybe "After the Fall." Depends on whether we're going for the commercial hit or the critical success.

And Shakespeare's Sister gives Pres. Bush a tip about how to forestall congressional requests for White House records about the legal advice his SCOTUS nominees give him:

Memo to Shrub: If you don't want people finding out about the couns[e]l you receive, then don't nominate your own goddamn personal lawyer for a spot on the nation's highest bench.

No comments: