Monday, October 31, 2005

Supreme Strategy

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, was complimentary of Miers. He raised Miers' name during a September 22 breakfast meeting with the president in which Sens. Frist, Specter, Leahy and he discussed possible candidates with the president, Reid spokeman Jim Manley said. Reid believes Miers would bring a "fresh perspective" to the court, Manley said.

"I like Harriet Miers," Reid said in a statement. "As White House counsel, she has worked with me in a courteous and professional manner. I am also impressed with the fact that she was a trailblazer for women as managing partner of a major Dallas law firm and as the first woman president of the Texas Bar Association." (CNN)

Shmuli is the person who pointed out to me that Reid's endorsement of Miers is the linchpin to understanding the recent series of events. I stand utterly astounded that Reid can still stand by his endorsement of Meirs, in light of all the criticism which has ensued. At the very least it just seems ill-advised politically; but that is neither here nor there.

Bush attempted to choose a candidate for the Supreme Court that would have bi-partisan support. Who would not nominate their personal attorney to the bench, whose conservative views are clear and has the support of the Senate Minority Leader?! In the end, however, it was the conservative lobby, not the Liberals or Dems that forced Miers to withdraw. I had thought earlier that the Dems ought not attack Miers before the hearings, as then they would look like they were just playing partisan. The result has been that Bush, seeing that the Right brought his former nominee down, chose to rally his party around a strong conservative nominee instead of making another bipartisan offering. Because the Dems stayed pretty silent on attacking Meirs, there was no need to cater to their base--they are irrelevant.

Alito looks to be a good guy (read: qualified- well educated and experienced, and has a family for what it's worth). From Scotius, anyhow, he does care about issues like feminism, racism and people with disabilities--he is just more strict about applying laws. I can live with that.

1 comment:

Shmuli said...

I'm not sure it is completely accurate to say that the conservative lobby, not the liberals or the Democrats, forced Miers' withdrawal. Most directly, the withdrawal forcer was the anticipated loss on the Senate floor. I do think that Miers would have received a larger portion of GOP Senate votes than of Democratic Senate votes. Indirectly, the meme that Miers was unqualified played a huge role in her loss of support and this was pushed primarily by the conservative punditocracy (who had the advantage visa-vis their liberal counterparts in being seen as more credible because it was against partisan interest).