Tuesday, October 04, 2005


So everyone is asking, who is it Harriet Miers? Why did Bush pick her? and will she get confirmed?

None of us seem to know much about Miers yet. The fact that she hasn't been a major jurist or lawyer means that she hasn't argued a lot of cases or published law journal pieces which can give an insight into her views. From what we do know, she is definitely Conservative but somewhat of the Bush model. She supports gay rights, but opposes abortion rights; not an absolutist, which has really upset Bush's base.

She is in line with what the Senate has been calling for, a politician not a jurist. The Senate has been very alarmed in the recent past that the Supreme Court has been establishing itself as above the Congress in reversing their legislation. They have called upon the President to appoint someone with political experience to this seat, as O'Connor had been the only sitting justice who had held elected office during the Reinquist court.

Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid has already come out in support of Miers, which makes sense considering that he had recommended her to the President. It is a certainty that the Dems will not fillibuster this nominee as she is not an extremist. That said, we can expect to see some skirmishes among the liberal Senators as they point out that this is another example of Bush cronyism (see Browwn, Michael - FEMA). There will also likely be disputes over the fact that the White House will seek to hide as many documents as possible (claiming privileged communications), and that she does not have a large record and will not be forthcoming. This is very alarming to the future of Congressional power and echoes the concerns that have been raised in the Bolton and Roberts confirmations. The claim to a check and balance on White House authority by the Senate has been severely eroded by this White House. That said, there are consequences to elections, and losing in 2004 means we must accept the President's nominee if she is palatable.

The most interestign aspect of this nomination is the indignation and the outrage being expressed by the Right. President Bush has essentially abandoned his base on this nomination, not delivering on the extremist that he has repeatedly promised them. My take is that between the backlash from the failures in response to Hurricane KAtrina, the multiple investiagtions in DC rigth now (DeLay, Abramoff, Safavian, Rove, Libby, Frist...), and Bush's failures on Social Security - the President felt that he could not waste capital right now. Despite leading DC for 5+ years as if the Dems did not exist (with the Dems willing help), Bush has finally reached a point where he had alienated too many moderates and realized that if he wanted to accomplish anything during the rest of his presidency he needed to avoid conflicts that would minimize his importance. He is finally moving to the center. While his base is pissed off, they have no where to go to. However, if he permanently loses the moderates, then his agenda would be dead. It's not only the Dems who want to keep the 'powder keg dry' this time.


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