Miers On The Outs

I’m going to make a not-so-bold prediction that the Miers nomination will collapse by the end of the week. Already Eric Erickson’s White House sources are indicating that the vetting process for a replacement has quietly started. John Fund of the Wall Street Journal writes that the Miers nomination was a debacle from the beginning and that Bush is now realizing his position is untenable.

Fund’s analysis is a good one:

The botched handling of the Kerik nomination was a precursor of much that has gone wrong with the Miers nomination. This time, the normal vetting process broke down, with Mr. Card ordering William Kelley, Ms. Miers’s own deputy, to conduct the background checks–a clear conflict of interest. Even Newt Gingrich, a supporter of Ms. Miers’s nomination, says that “the president believes in her so deeply, he is so convinced she’s the right person, that I don’t think it ever occurred to him to go through the kind of normal opposition research and normal vetting.”

Miers was basically thrown to the wolves – unintentionally to be sure – but the effect is the same. The White House had nothing they could use to defend her, and based on her flimsy record, she wasn’t a defendable candidate to begin with. Bush wanted a woman, and Miers turned out to be one of the few candidates that the White House thought would survive a Senate confirmation. It was a major tactical mistake, and a major black eye to the White House.

The Miers nomination was one of the single biggest political mistakes of Bush’s political career. It’s the first time that Bush’s conservative base has truly begun to fracture, and that is severely hurting the Administration. Conservatives are no longer willing to ignore the fact that the Bush Administration is only playing lip service to key elements of the conservative agenda. The Bush Administration has been trying to engage in a series of increasingly ineffective tactics to salvage the Miers nomination, all of which have only exacerbated the problem.

Bush needs to have a “come to Jesus” moment with the conservative base. He needs to realize that he’s eroding his own base of support, and conservatives political loyalty is based on advancing an agenda, not just filling seats. When a Republican President has National Review calling for a judicial nominee to be defeated it is clear that the battle has already been lost.

Miers was a poor choice to begin with, and there’s little point in continuing to make things worse. It is time for her to gracefully bow out and allow the process to go forwards with a qualified nominee.

2 thoughts on “Miers On The Outs

  1. What gets me is the flexible standards conservatives apply to their leaders. When it comes to a Supreme Court Justice, only those with Harvard Law degrees need apply. Anything less is not worthy of the snobbish elitism of a relatively small percentage of movement conservatives who now want to undermine the theocratic wing of their party now that they’ve used their numbers to attain an electoral majority. On the other hand, when it comes to the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, Republicans of all stripes were perfectly willing to accept a C student who didn’t hold his first job until age 40 when he put the beer bottle down….and who basically rode into office acknowledging he wouldn’t be one to “overthink things.”

    When you try to sell America the need for a man-of-the-people President at the same time as you undermine Supreme Court nominee who lacks the rigid guidelines of Ivy League snobbery, you really lose some credibility.

  2. Of course, Mark, you are deluding yourself into thinking the Republican argument is what you want it to be. Only Ann Coulter has really said that a Supreme Court nominee must be from an Ivy League school, and even she said that an SMU grad would be preferable as a political appointee to some Harvard snob.

    Trying to make the argument you made just makes you look too stupid to comprehend what you read.

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