Tuesday, October 04, 2005
What Makes Harriet Miers Tick
El Jefe pulled a rabbit out of the hat. Harriet Miers was a possibility but not at the top of the list of most of the pundits who ventured to express their opinions about a possible nominee. Initial reactions indicate that Conservatives are more unhappy than the Democrats. That, however, is not enough to feel good about the nominee. The Conservatives' ire could be part of the plan. Remember El Jefe's stated admiration for Scalia and Thomas ? It is hard to believe that he changed his position and risked displeasure of his core constitutency, especially the Christian right, by picking a person who would be radically different. A tiger does not change his stripes. G.W. Bush remains an opportunistic, hypocrite. Either he has reason to be assured that Ms. Miers will deliver by siding with Justices Scalia and Thomas or he decided to avoid a brutal, long drawn-out confirmation process by nominating one who could sneak by without causing a fire storm. He has enough problems on his desk to discourage him from adding another.
As he always does in such unrehearsed settings, during the press conference this morning the president butchered the English language but spoke strongly about the nominee. He also disparaged polls. That must be taken with a grain of salt. The White House does pay attention to polls.
The problem with the nomination is that Ms. Miers' positions on various issues remain unknown. She never held a judicial position--there is no public record of her beliefs and opinions. Details of her work in the White House will be protected under "executive privilege". The perfect stealth candidate.
- Scenario I: The president is confident of Ms. Miers' position on issues that are important to his core support groups and they will soften their criticism.
- Scenario II: Ms. Miers comes with an open mind and, if confirmed, will follow the path of retiring Justice O'Connor.