Before or After?

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Does Harriet Miers pull herself out of the Supreme Court derby before or after the Nov. 7 start of her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee? Normally I'd say before, but there is that Nov. 8 election day hanging around that might help to divert attention.

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  1. I predicted she’d be out by the end of last week. I’m extremely upset with her, and with the conservatives who failed to make her feel unwelcome enough.

  2. If she does pull out, she’ll get a Presidential Medal of Freedom for it.

  3. No, the only way to abort a potential nomination is for the man to pull out before it begins. Therefore, Harriet must carry this nomination to term.

  4. Me thinks Sandy is right.

  5. Sandy-

    Are you saying that a Judgeship begins at nomination?

    I support the Senate’s right to choose.

  6. We were chatting about this at the office yesterday, and someone brought up the very good point that, hey, I thought it was supposed to be good to be a Bush friend? This is not something a friend would do to you. He might as well have made her Chief Landmine Prodder.

    Frum at NRO is circulating a petition to get her the heck out of there here.

    If she goes, it would have to be the biggest mea culpa this administration has ever seen.

  7. it would have to be the biggest mea culpa this administration has ever seen

    …which is why it probably won’t happen.

  8. thoreau,

    Barring some unusual events, the Senate will confirm Miers.

  9. thoreau,

    In the 19th century, the confirmation process was much less complex.

  10. Hakluyt, I can’t believe you’re not getting the running joke in which Sandy and thoreau are engaging. Unless you’re studiously ignoring it.

  11. andrew,

    Yes, its a joke alluding to abortion rights. And yes, I am ignoring it because it doesn’t profit me to get involved in it and I assume that thoreau is being half-serious as well.

  12. I think Bush is about to learn what lame duck means. The Dems are collecting ammo for voting against her (the Roe stuff) – business as usual.

    The Repubs, though, are looking around and not seeing any reason to vote for her. The only reason to vote for her is to keep Bush happy with them – the party faithful don’t like her, the press doesn’t like her, the only place where voting for her will earn any cred is in the Oval Office.

    Of a lame duck President with crappy approval ratings.

    I predict Republican defections.

  13. R.C. Dean,

    Getting rid of her and putting someone up who would spark a debate on the nature of the Court’s role in our government would be helpful.

  14. R C Dean-

    I hope you’re right. I hope they do defect. Whatever one might think about this nominee, it would be nice if once, just once, they showed some defiance.

  15. Ah, and just a short time ago he was bragging about all that “political capital” he was going to spend like water.
    Has he run out already?

  16. Johnny,

    He pissed away all his political capital trying to kill Social Security.

    Can you blame him for blowing off the small government conservatives?

  17. Johnny Clarke,

    No, he’s just a second term President.

  18. “He pissed away all his political capital trying to kill Social Security.”

    I would say ‘trying to reform Social Security in a way that required up front expenditures while already having spent too much money.’ I think the killer of that debate was the size of the national debt and not the concept per se. The result is the same though.

  19. Jason Ligon,

    Privatization is going to be painful. To undo such a horrible decision as making SSI in the first place is going to take some effort and some “bleeding.” That Democrats and Republicans turned out to be gutless wonders re: this issue isn’t surprising.

  20. I wonder, assuming that Miers testifies, but doesn’t somehow make it to SCOTUS:

    Could Miers say things dyuring the hearings to hurt the next nominee? Help the next nominee?

    For example, what if Bush instructed her to say that she thought legal abortion was an unchangeable precedent and promised to abide by it. Would this quiet anti-choice criticism if the next nominee is pro-choice?

    I am not sure what the wise strategy is here, but if Bush/Miers are willing to sacrifice this nominee, maybe there is some strategic advantage in having her talk to the national audience.

  21. I wonder, assuming that Miers testifies, but doesn’t somehow make it to SCOTUS:

    Could Miers say things dyuring the hearings to hurt the next nominee? Help the next nominee?

    For example, what if Bush instructed her to say that she thought legal abortion was an unchangeable precedent and promised to abide by it. Would this quiet anti-choice criticism if the next nominee is pro-choice?

    I am not sure what the wise strategy is here, but if Bush/Miers are willing to sacrifice this nominee, maybe there is some strategic advantage in having her talk to the national audience.

  22. Let me be the first to pledge $50 to Ms. Miers if she withdraws. An additional $50 for her if she convinces the president to nominate Janice Rogers Brown. Could Reason take up a collection? More importantly, would this brib–I mean, donation–be tax deductible?

  23. Any predictions for the first republican to defect to democrats after next fall’s election?

  24. ElamBend,

    I’ll go so far as to say “a Representative from a rural area in the Southwest.”

  25. ElamBend,

    Well, one of the New England Senators would be the most likely candidate. But that was always the case.

  26. I predict House, and not Senate, because the House is much more likely to change hands in the next election, and what’s the fun of changing parties if you don’t join the majority?

  27. Whether or not she is confirmed is going to depend on Bush’s popularity in about one month’s time.

    When Ronald Reagan nominated Antonin Scalia to SCOTUS, Scalia was confirmed unanimously. A year or two later, Reagan nominated Robert Bork, but this time he was fighting the allegations of the Iran-Contra scandal, which had seriously eroded his popularity among the public and in Congress. Bork was, well, Borked.

    Watch the Rove-Plame fiasco and see how the GOP senators react. If Rove is indicted, they will certainly feel safe making criticisms of the prez and will vote agianst Miers if they feel like it. If only Libby or someone else in the White House is indicted, some may still feel safe in doing it but it may not be enough. If no one is indicted except maybe the White House pizza delivery boy, then she will be confirmed.

  28. Perhaps the whole nomination of Meirs is Bush’s revenge for Congress screwing him on Social Security reform, a challenge that threatens to truly make them question what they stand for, a back door effort to make them position themselves as conservatives, so then he can drop that back on them and say “Well, if you are truly conservative, then how about taking a look at private accounts again and telling me what you think”.

    Naw, there’s no way he’s that smart. Or is he….

  29. I predict Republican defections.

    We can only hope.

    But more than caring about Miers, I hope something happens to get spending under control.

    In order to continue hoping, I expect I’ll have to take up sniffing glue. I’ll let you know how it works out.

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