opines on the Bush strategy in the Miers SCOTUS nomination:
Over the past three and one-half weeks, I have been having a pleasant debate with fellow conservative Skip March
Skip has been of the opinion that Harriet Miers is a practical and overall good pick for Supreme Court Associate Justice.
Skip argued "If George W. Bush expects a fight, can he count on his 'army' in the Senate to go to war? I don't think he can."
With the likes of Lincoln Chafee, Arlen Specter, John McCain and others I don't disagree with Skip. If you want to win, you need to recognize the ground you are fighting on and then choose your tactics. Skip makes a practical argument. If all we want is a "win" then I think Skip's rationale is dead on.
But I think that W's choice of Miers wasn't the best choice for many reasons:
She was a "stealth" nominee. No matter how much W trusts her, the rest of us have no idea who Harriet Miers really is. I think that W thought he could slip one past Chuckie Schumer and The Swimmer (Teddy Kennedy) by nominating someone W could count on and that no one could question as she has no record to evaluate. As Ann Coulter said "I've had five 'trust me's' and look what happened".
She was a nominee made from weakness. Fer cryin' out loud, we have the Presidency, The House AND The Senate... if we can't get a good nominee through now, when are we going to be able to manage it? I agree with Skip that the soldiers we have in the Senate aren't the most reliable, but for something this important W needs to twist arms and tell our weak Republican sisters to "grow a set" or we don't really have a party... it would be more like a club with loose membership requirements.
Harry Reid likes her. If that isn't a loud klaxon warning I don't know what is. It isn't exactly an indictment of Harriet Miers as a Republican, but my stomach turned a little when I saw Harry Reid smiling when her name was announced. I reached for the Pepto Bismol when I heard Chuckie Schumer say "It could have been a lot worse!". I firmly believe that what is a "lot worse" for Chuckie Schumer is a "lot better" for America.
If it has to be a woman nominee, there are a lot better choices. Janice Rodgers Brown comes to mind. So does Edith Brown Clement. Both have impeccable legal resumes and experience. Chuck and Ted could thrown themselves against their reputations and find themselves broken into many pieces. Let the Democrats wail, it only makes them look more petty. Let them rail against a woman, or better yet a minority woman.
This is what we worked for? An unknown quantity? It's been a hard fight, getting the majority and getting the Oval Office back in Republican hands. You have to reward the people that fought for you, and Harriet Miers was not a reward. It was more like W turned away from his support.
There are times to play the political odds, and times when you HAVE to do the right thing. If I were W I would say "This is the most important domestic decision I am going to make in my Presidency, let's make the right choice and let the political chips fall where they may". Sure, it would be harder to get Brown, Clement, Michael McConnell or Michael Luttig confirmed but the most important decisions are sometimes accompanied by the biggest fights. Conservatives want a fight, we want to see a debate of ideas and we're not going to shy away now. George W would have been much better off just going with the best nominee and accepting the fight.
If we can't win an argument with Chuck Schumer, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton then we can't win any argument. The Left is on shaky ground, but they are doing EVERYTHING they can to hang onto power. Conservatives in this country can't shy away from the fight for what is right, not now. It is a watershed moment in American history. And if you'll forgive the golf analogy, W hit one in the water with Harriet Miers.
W has a mulligan, a second chance. If he's going to win this particular tournament he can't shy away from taking his best shot. He needs to take the driver out of the bag and smack one down the middle of the fairway. Go on, be a Tiger.
We'll all be better off for it.-- Mike