Monday, October 17, 2005

Hey Wait! You Weren't Suposed to Actually Confirm Her!

I don't know whether the Miers nomination is in actuality some sort of political head-fake designed to lull Democrats into a false sense of smugness while Bush softens them up in preparation for the real nomination, but no matter what happens it's not very good news. James Taranto, referring to the facty that Republicans generally were supportive of the Ginsburg nomination 12 years ago, has one of the best lines in today's Best of the Web:
The Republican attitude, that is, is that a Democratic president's Supreme Court nominees are entitled to support as long as they are excellent. The Democratic attitude, by contrast, seems to be that a Republican president's Supreme Court nominees are entitled to support as long as they are mediocre.
And he's completely right. Of course they will support this nominee, and they will support her precisely because she is such a lousy candidate for the job. They know perfectly well that they've dodged a second Roberts bullet on this one.

It's the rest of us who should be worried. Is Bush serious? Putting aside the Macchiavellian possibilities that might lie behind this nomination that I alluded to above, one has to wonder who the hell was presiding over the meeting where this decision was made. One begins to fear that it was Bush himself, and that this is what happens when you let him play with the grownups' toys. We wait thirty years for this chance--some of us voted for Bush only because of this possibility--and this is what we get. And the Roberts nomination, of course, was just cruel now that we see how clueless our fearless leader is. Imagine getting us all excited and everything, only to dash our hopes when the climax was upon us.

I suppose it's too much to hope for that even if all the Democrats vote for her there will be enough Republican votes against her to kill her nomination.

2 comments:

Mike L said...

Scott, I don't share the general pessimism of social conservatives about this nomination.

It can only be one of three things: (a) a way to get a reliably anti-Roe nominee on the Court, one who will avoid filibuster because she has no paper trail on the subject; (b) as you suggest, a head fake to set up the eventual real nomination; (c) spectacular stupidity and cravenness.

I don't believe (c) because Bush has outsmarted his opponents time and again. If they're fooled this time, they're even dumber than they think he is. I don't believe (b) because there's no evidence that Bush toys with personal friends like that. So I believe (a), which is the face-value interpretation. I know that seems to weird to be right in Washington's hothouse world of political junkies, but to me that fact only confirms (a).

I think I'll post something about this on my own blog.

Best,
Mike

Scott Carson said...

Mike,

I agree with you that (c) is entirely unlikely--in fact it's completely unbelievable as far as I'm concerned.

I'm not sure that (b) is true, but I'm equally unsure that your reason for ruling it out is the best one. I agree that Bush wouldn't treat friends "like that", if by "like that" you mean that he's doing this to Miers against her will. But I wonder if it's at all possible that she's in on it and thinks that it's a great way to sneak another Roberts onto the Court. I'm not saying that this is what's going on, mind you--I'm just agreeing that Bush isn't a scumbag so there must be some other reason to do this if he is doing this.

I agree that (a) is the most natural and, probably, the most likely explanation, but if it's true it's still worrisome because as anti-Roe as I am I have to think that it's not the only reason to put someone on the Court. There were other folks in the Roberts pool who were equally papertrailless but far more qualified. It seems to me that we want someone who not only opposes Roe but who is also a sound jurist who will rule correctly on other matters as well, and it's difficult to have any confidence that this is the case with Miers, since she is so poorly qualified.

But I look forward to reading what you have to say at your blog on this one.