Friday, October 28, 2005

My Reactions to the Miers Withdrawal

I was out of the office yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to weigh in on the Miers withdrawal. I won't say that this is necessarily a bad thing. I was not impressed by her at all. Here is my reaction:

1) The right wing activist have shot themselves in the foot on this one. The mounting criticism of her, culminating in the right wing groups running attack ads before she even got to hearings destroys any credible argument against the filibuster. She was not given a hearing. She was not given an up or down vote. It was the right who were the obstructionist this time. They can't go back now.

2) Bush shows that he is beholden to his far right base. Not a single Republican or Democrat had publicly said they would vote against her. In fact, Arlen Specter has opined that she would be confirmed, even if by a narrow margin. Bush could have weathered the storm with some bumps and bruises, but would have gotten Miers on the bench. While Miers was an extremely lack luster nominee (Frist even alluded to not fighting the Democrats if they did choose to filibuster), she would have still made it to an up or down vote if not for the pressure from the right wing activists.

3) The right wing calls Democrat Senators obstructionist when it comes to judicial nomination. It is clear now that it is the right who is looking to pick a fight, not the other way around. The right was not happy that there was not Democratic opposition to Miers. The right wants a fight, and if Bush nominates someone who is going to spark that fight, than he is intentionally splintering this nation even farther than he has already done.

4) Out of the frying pan, and into the fire - We will have to wait now to see who Bush nominates next. He has two moves. One, nominate a center right judge who can be a consensus nominee. Or, two, bow again to the far right and nominate a contentious nominee who appeals only to the far right. With his public approval levels at dismal levels, both options have draw backs. With the first option, he further alienates his core base, but at the same time, he could draw back some support from independents and conservative Democrats. This is important if he wants to push through any more of his agenda over the next two years before he really becomes a lame duck. On the second option, he rallies his base of support, but will further distance himself from the mainstream of America. While his legacy for his judicial nominations could be set, it could destroy any chance of accomplishing any more of his domestic and foreign agenda.

The far right may have been the key in getting him elected. But the far right is increasingly the cause of the unraveling of the Bush presidency. For a good rundown on all of the problems surrounding the nomination from the begining, read "Nomination Was Plagued By Missteps From the Start"

Update: quotes from the queen of darkness herself, Ann Coulter self grandizing the right's blocking of Harriet Miers

"[Miers withdrawal] demonstrates that the movement conservatives, or the radical right wing as we're being called, is the one with the power in this relationship, the power in the country."

"And, by the way, you know what led to this problem? A) Bush listening to the Democrats. ... And, number two, this insistence that he [Bush] nominate a girl."

I wonder if this is really the face that the right shoulc be putting forth at this moment.



Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Holy crap!

There's a lot in your post I agree with- in paticular, the 'politics' of it all, the no hearing, the beating of the system.

The down side, as I have said, is that they have tasted blood- and won.

Don't think, for even a minute, this won't impact the dems. It will, in the same negative way.

Dingo said...

I am not understanding how you think this puts negative light on the dems. Please explain.