Monday, October 03, 2005

Miers: Flyer, you may be right about this being a bad pick. My fear is that an untested conservative jurist is a liberal jurist in the making. However, as to the politics of the pick, this article indicates that she might be an up-front compromise candidate:
Democratic and Republican special interests groups had been braced for a political brawl over the pick, but they may not get it. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had urged the president to consider Miers, according to several officials familiar with Bush's consultations with Congress.
I'm guessing she's comfortably moderate, perhaps quietly pro-choice. Something like that. It's possible that Bush looked at the Democrats (bristling because they had no real way to Bork Roberts, now spoiling for a real fight) and lost his nerve. He doesn't have a whole lot of political capital right now, you may have noticed. I heard a lot of right-leaning comment to the effect that Bush should now try to "ram through" an ideological nominee, perhaps even one of those that the Dems have already filibustered at lower court posts. That's the dumb move. If Bush were still riding a first-term, post-9/11 patriotic surge, he could nominate Lemmy and make it stick. Right now, though, he has to choose people who can at least pretend to be moderates.

Miers might turn out to be a solid conservative, but who the hell knows. Right now she's just a brain for hire. Until these bastards actually get on the bench, you can't which ones will be able to handle the power and which ones will use it to advance an agenda.

In the end, I'm actually pleased. Bush will end up, I think, having to pick right-of-center law geeks (like Roberts, perhaps Miers) over fire-breathing Jesus geeks. He'll appease the base as much as he can, so we can be fairly sure that another Souter is not in the offing. So we end up with judges who are politically (perhaps methodologically) conservative, but socially more moderate. It ain't the same thing as libertarian, but it might be as close as we get.


Flyer said...

I'm not sure which is the bigger risk right now - a filibuster fight or losing your base. Bush is not running for anything in '08, so if he believes Miers is a qualified candidate - or the most qualified he can get through- then that's fine with me. But if he's looking for political capital to push an agenda, I'm not sure this does him any good. It's not like Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi are going to give him three seconds of credit for this even if she shows up at the swearing in ceremony with Cindy Sheehan as her date and wearing a NARAL ribbon.

I don't know anything about her, and I think most of the public is the same, other than she's a Texas crony. And that's going to be the story so it's a lose/lose situation, politically speaking. Maybe the upside is she'll be a qualified justice who'll hold the line on many conservative issues, while not advancing the ball on Roe. So (maybe) props for the pick judicially, but it's still a killer politically.

Razor said...

See, I come at this from a wholly different perspective (surprise): how in the world do you nominate someone to the Supreme Court of the United States who has never been a judge before?

I know it's hardly unprecedented in the history of the Court, but in recent times, we've liked to put up someone with at least a modicum of a body of work that we can evaluate. But Miers? Bush's personal attorney? She's not only a cipher, but she's totally beholden to the Pres.

I'm sure he's saying things like "She's a good woman." and "I know her, I like her." And don't get me wrong, these are amazingly helpful insights, but it's almost like they just said, "awww, fuck it, you want the job?" I mean, she was only in charge of the selection process!

The laziness of this administration never ceases to amaze me...