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The Miers Nomination and the Tipping Point:
One of the notable aspects of the Miers nomination is how much trouble the White House is having finding a clean selling point for Miers that they can use to push her case. Looking back over the last few weeks, "trust us" didn't work; religion didn't work; experience didn't work; personal interviews with Senators didn't work; Texas judges coming to the White House didn't work; and letting Miers make her case through her questionnaire didn't seem to work, either. There are a few cards left to be played, but the number is dwindling quickly. [UPDATE: Looks like "judicial temperament" is up next.]

  The key question now is whether the White House can push through the Miers nomination despite these problems, or whether the problems accumulate and reach some kind of tipping point when Republican Senators begin to flip and come out against the Miers nomination. I don't have any special insight into which will happen, but news that Senators Brownback and Graham are calling for the White House to disclose its internal records on Miers' work as White House Counsel seems to me to lend some credence to the tipping point theory.
The General:
you forgot to add her lack of judicial experience and unfamiliarity with constitutional law, which, of course, seem to be odd selling points.
10.20.2005 5:29pm
TallDave (mail) (www):
Does this mean there's still a chance for a Justice Volokh?
10.20.2005 5:34pm
mike:
we don't need "Judicial Experience". We need someone who can understand english .... shall not be infringed, shall make no laws, etc. I'm sick of harvard barstards stealing my and my children's liberties.

Sen Graham is borderline RINO, quite a surprise for many of us. His request is no different than coming from his Dominatrix, Traitor McCain.
10.20.2005 5:45pm
John R. Mayne (mail):
TallDave:

Justice Volokh would be excellent. I suspect he'd be difficult to confirm due to some blog posts, but his punctuation couldn't be reasonably criticized.

I'm pretty sure Mike Laussade's next in line if Miers fails, though; I'm sure the senators wouldn't find anything objectionable in his blog.

--JRM
10.20.2005 5:46pm
stewstew03 (mail):
didn't someone say she was a good bowler, too? but even if that's true, what is her golf game like? that's what i'd like to know. golf, after all, requires more cognitive skill than bowling.
10.20.2005 5:54pm
TomHynes (mail):
Tradesports has her at 65%, down from about 75% recently. About 95%of what I read about her is negative, which implies that I am not reading a representative sample.
10.20.2005 5:57pm
stevesturm:
I think Maxwell Smart is handling her nomination.

Would you believe she's a strict constructionist?... would you believe she'll overturn Roe?... would you believe she's a really good bowler?... would you believe _____?
10.20.2005 6:08pm
JayJ:
Given that Senators clearly are going to want extensive hearings, it is quite possible that Miers will say something in the confirmation hearings that will become a key piece of televised evidence that enables Republican Senators to vote against Miers. Television of course is a very powerful medium, and will likely serve as the key to Miers's fate. If Miers looks impressive on television, the Republican Senators would be much more likely to decide to vote for her. If Miers makes a poor impression on television, then that will likely seal her doom.
10.20.2005 6:16pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Jessica Alba for Justice!!!!!
10.20.2005 6:17pm
Perseus (mail):
Speaking of golf, I think it's time for the president to take a Mulligan on the nomination.
10.20.2005 6:31pm
B. B. (mail):
"Sen Graham is borderline RINO, quite a surprise for many of us. His request is no different than coming from his Dominatrix, Traitor McCain"

Conveniently, you didn't mention Brownback, on the polar opposite end of the Republican spectrum. I know he may be posturing for his own political reasons, but it's clear the opposition isn't just from the Dems and the centrist Republicans.

Anyways, I think the entire Republican Party is RINO these days seeing as they've become even more fiscally irresponsible than the Democrats. How does this happen? I find it hard to believe that Clinton was the force reining in the spend-happy Republicans, but the president does seem to be the only difference between the "balanced budget" days and the "cut taxes yet spend even more than before" present.

On topic, I still will be surprised if she's confirmed unless she absolutely aces the confirmation hearings. I think people on both sides of the aisle are looking for any reason they can to not vote for her given the general distaste for the nomination. I think it's great that Bush nominated a woman. I think it's terrible that he nominated this one when there were others that could have made it through and had good qualifications, either from the judiciary (i.e. Clement?), or outside the judiciary (Mahoney).

My friend thinks this was all a Rove ploy to get the entire party riled up again about something, kind of a wake up call to get them going in the year before the mid-term elections. Rile them up with a crappy nomination, then withdraw her and bring in someone they'll really like, thereby getting them what they want and having a re-energized party ready for action. Given it's Rove, the master of underhanded tricks, it frankly wouldn't be that shocking even as unlikely as it sounds, and it very well could work.
10.20.2005 7:45pm
mike:
B.B. I am thinking along the lines of your friend .... that Rove is gaming us. I can't see your Victory Through Withdrawl scenario as likely. Just to risky, what if she got confirmed, what will be the fallout when she drops out, etc. Plus, W doesn't seem the type to send friends out to get shot.

My thoughts are that Rove's targets are the liberals on the bench. Show them that W will nominate muddle of the road types, then they may be more willing to retire than try to hold out for the next President, who may or may not be a Democrat. That is the real prize, replace one of the anti-liberty leftist with a fire brand conservative and then W will have really made his mark.
10.20.2005 8:18pm
A reader:
I am amazed to read here, and elsewhere, these suggestions that the Miers nomination is some kind of scheming strategery that precedes the "real" Bush nomination. In some flavors of this meme she is a sacrificial red herring, or, as in mike's post, a moderate Siren beckoning Stevens and Ginsburg into retirement.

No - the pick is nothing more than it appears to be. If Bush wanted to appoint fire-breathing conservatives (of whatever "conservative" persuasion), he would have done so, given that he has had two opportunities, and would have had the votes on either occasion.

I think the only explanation for this is that people can't believe that Bush is (a) this stupid or (b) hardly "conservative" at all.
10.20.2005 8:42pm
SimonD (www):
Desparate times mandate slim pickings at Chez Bush. "[A] clean selling point for Miers seems more elusive than a coherent rationale in a Kennedy opinion! :p
10.20.2005 10:56pm
Cornellian (mail):
Uhh, yeah, he's really thrown in his lot with all those hardcore lefties, like Charles Krauthammer, George Will, David Brooks and Robert Bork. Or haven't you noticed that all the flack on this nomination is coming from the right?

"Sen Graham is borderline RINO, quite a surprise for many of us. His request is no different than coming from his Dominatrix, Traitor McCain"
10.20.2005 11:02pm
A Guest Who Enjoys This Site:
Senator Brownback was on FOX News this afternoon. Brit Hume asked if it would be appropriate to characterize his current position on Miers as "...cautious but not unwilling..." in terms of whether he might vote to confirm her nomination. Brownback responded that such a statement would be fair; but, stipulated that he felt that much more was needed to be learned and that the hearings would be 'critical.' He also indicated that he had not learned enough in his meeting with Miers.
10.21.2005 12:05am
A Guest Who Enjoys This Site:
Alright, I just saw the piece again. In the interest of accuracy, Brownback agreed that the statement "...undecided, but not unwilling..." would be appropriate. And, he said the hearings would be 'determinative.'
10.21.2005 3:09am
mike:
Tin Foil hat time ... I'm thinking Rove has coordinated with specific opinion makers in the Conservative movement ... Rush, Krauthammer, and Brownback ... to create this backlash agianst Miers, which is very Art of War like. When you are strong, act we weak.

I just can't see W betraying his campaign promise. I volunteered on the campaign and Justices like Thomas and Scalia was a major point. I just don't see him betraying it like his loser father when Bush 1 raised taxes. Even that broken promise/compromise had a pseudo conservative rationale .... get government spending under control.
10.21.2005 7:27am
Big Pita:
Ah Mike,

As much as I would like to agree with you, I think that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Despite all the talk of W being more like Reagan than his mushy moderate dad, Bush is much more his father's son than any Reagan echo. We'll be lucky to see another Reagan in our lifetime. For some strange reason, W is consistently nicer to his enemies than he is to his friends. Because of this strange behavior, we'll need to be consistently vigilent and hold W's feet to the fire on judges and other issues to make sure he doesn't follow his groveling/RINO inclinations. We'll probably never be enemies of W, but we will always need to trust but verify instead of simply trusting him.
10.21.2005 9:38am
spot:
WHat drove this nomination is simple- Bush thought that Miers would vote exactly how he wanted her to on specific issues and thought that the Dems were going to let her through. He massively overestimated how the base would react to the nomination.
10.21.2005 10:19am