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Miers Withdraws SCOTUS Nomination

Miers and the White House are saying it was about documents, not qualifications:

President Bush said he reluctantly accepted her decision to withdraw, after weeks of insisting that he did not want her to step down. He blamed her withdrawal on calls in the Senate for the release of internal White House documents that the administration has insisted were protected by executive privilege.

The President's statement is here.

Confirm Them points to the pdf of the withdrawal letter.

K Lo is relieved and Jonah Goldberg thinks it was brilliantly Rovian.

Trent Lott on Fox News just now: "In a month, who will remember the name of Harriet Miers?" Ouch.

The big pro-Miers bloggers have yet to comment, but I'll keep my eye on them. Update: Hugh Hewitt says, "I think Ms. Miers has been unfairly treated by many who have for years urged fair treatment of judicial nominees."

Bill Kristol is on Fox smiling right now: "I think it was the exact right thing for her to do."

Who will be next? Trent Lott mentioned Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. I like Alice Batchelder, too. Folks are saying a nomination may come at the beginning of next week.

Scott Ott has a spoof: "Miers Withdraws to Spend More Time WIth Humans"

Ankle Biting Pundits gives the news a couple exclamation points, and predicts the President will come through with a solid nominee:

If he does, the fissures between the President and conservatives that opened up on account of the Miers nomination will certainly be quickly forgotten, much like the fights you had with your siblings when growing up.

Let's also not forget that the very wise Charles Krauthammer offered this document exit strategy.

Ed Gillespie on Fox: "We felt very good about her confirmation...WE were looking forward to those hearings... I was looking forward to the time Harriet Miers could voice her own views on the Constitution."

The Daily Kos calls it a win for wingnuts, and People for the American Way says:

Harriet Miers' withdrawal from her Supreme Court nomination demonstrates that ultraconservatives are so determined to swing the Supreme Court sharply to the right that they pounded their own president's nominee into submission, and now demand a nominee with unquestioned far-right credentials, said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way.

Dick Durbin on Fox: "What we need now is a centrist nominee, someone who's not too far to the right or too far to the left...If the President picks and extreme nominee, I'm afraid of what will happen on Capitol Hill." Duhn, Duhn, DUHN!!!

Harry Reid: "I hope the President doesn't reward the bad behavior of his rightwing base."


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Comments (33)

Wow, this is EXACTLY the st... (Below threshold)

Wow, this is EXACTLY the strategy proposed by Charles Krauthammer:

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/contributors/charleskrauthammer.html

Good call, Charles.

I guess that's the end of t... (Below threshold)

I guess that's the end of the quagmiers.

If ultraconservative is wha... (Below threshold)

If ultraconservative is whating someone that is overwhelmingly qualified for a job, then call me an ultraconservative.

But I think folks are trying to paint us with the NAZI brush and use ultraconservative as a gateway to NeoCon.

The real Nazis are the Islamists, people. Iran wants to kill each and every Jew. Hmmmmmmm....who else in the history of the world has wanted to kill each and every Jew? Think. It's a tough one...

Get off the backs of the people who want good and accountable government and lets focus on this war we are in.

Sorry to go off subject, but we are getting a little frustrated out here.

I can't help but think this... (Below threshold)
Phil:

I can't help but think this nomination was bogus all along, I think this now puts Bush in a perfect position to really put a conservative nominee in place now. The elephants and donkees have been chomping at the bit for a slugout on this...here it is boys.....I see a little Rovian smoke here......

'Miers and the White House ... (Below threshold)
ICallMasICM:

'Miers and the White House are saying it was about documents, not qualifications:'

whatever. see ya!

You mean the fissure betwee... (Below threshold)
Diane:

You mean the fissure between the White House and the conservative PUNDITS. I can assure you there arae plenty of conservatives who are appalled at the treatment Ms. Miers has received and agree with people like Hugh Hewitt that she was owed a hearing and a vote.

Quite frankly, it will be interesting to see how the bulk of the conservative pundits intend on managing the fissure they have created between themselves and a good chunk of their audience.

You mean the fissure betwee... (Below threshold)
Diane:

You mean the fissure between the White House and the conservative PUNDITS. I can assure you there arae plenty of conservatives who are appalled at the treatment Ms. Miers has received and agree with people like Hugh Hewitt that she was owed a hearing and a vote.

Quite frankly, it will be interesting to see how the bulk of the conservative pundits intend on managing the fissure they have created between themselves and a good chunk of their audience.

And since when does Trent L... (Below threshold)
Diane:

And since when does Trent Lott get to pick who gets nominated? Who gives a crap what he says?

So little blood. Karl Rove ... (Below threshold)
PTG:

So little blood. Karl Rove must have been behind it; perhaps he 'planted' the Krauthammer story.

Hmmm.Frankly I alm... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Frankly I almost wish Miers had been confirmed; just to hear all the screaming from the pro-Miers campers about "why didn't someone speak up and prevent this...".

Anybody who hasn't figured out that Miers would have been a complete and utter disaster on the bench is fooling himself.

If my brother smeared me in... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

If my brother smeared me in public the way the folks at NRO and ABP have done with Bush and Miers, there would first be blood spilled then years of silence between us. In my house growing up you disagreed in private not public.

This was not a fight between siblings. As Mr. Hewitt says, "It isn't the conduct of a gentleman".

"As Mr. Hewitt says, "It is... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"As Mr. Hewitt says, "It isn't the conduct of a gentleman"."

Oh please. Hewitt was mudslinging with the lowest of thjem. He deserves no kudos or the moral high ground here.

I have to believe that cons... (Below threshold)
chevy1569:

I have to believe that conservatives have won the battle but lost the war. With all of the MSM telling the world how "ultra-conservatives" have taken over the Republican party, this is surely the smoking gun they need. People for the American Way is still too far left to carry much weight, but what they are saying might ring true enough for some moderates to start listening to their other babble. Ten years from now, we might be looking back at two terms of Hillary and a tight election coming up and see that the meat started to be torn away from the bone today. I hope that the next truly conservative nominee gets on the court, because it might be our last chance for a while... and, if so, we did it to ourselves.

Diane,I am most ce... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Diane,

I am most certainly NOT a pundit. I and a lot of other NON-pundit conservative friends of mine ALL thought that the Miers nomination was HORRIBLE.

This was not about elitism or sexism, or pundits. There was much more of the conservative BASE against this nomination than you seem to realize.

Reid says the President sho... (Below threshold)
Levans:

Reid says the President shouldn't reward "the bad behavior of the rightwing base." But, in fact, the essential problem with the Miers nomination was that it was precisely a reward for Reid (remember, Reid recommended Miers to the administration before the nomination) and his fellow Democrats for the threats and obstruction they have thrown at potential nominees known to be conservative in interpretation of the Constitution.

If the President now nominates a truly capable conservative justice (of the stamp of Luttig/Brown/Owens/Alito or many others commonly mentioned by conservatives) he'll get huge support from conservatives and the Republican base in general. Dems and a few RINO's will protest and attack, but will be ineffective in stopping confirmation
unless they resort to filibuster, at which point public opinion will turn against them strongly.

The nomination of Miers was a bad decision and its promotion was badly handled. But a solid choice by the President now will significantly raise his approval numbers and give Republican Senators opportunity to win the support and praise of the bulk of their party.

If my brother smeared me... (Below threshold)
rls:

If my brother smeared me in public the way the folks at NRO and ABP have done with Bush and Miers, there would first be blood spilled then years of silence between us. In my house growing up you disagreed in private not public.

I have followed this closely and I don't recall anyone smearing Meirs or Bush. There has been a tremendous debate regarding her suitability for the court and some debate about her qualifications. I was initially for her because I considered it Bush's place to nominate and thought that he deserved my support. The more I learned of her, the more disappointed I became. It is apparent to me that she is not an "originalist", supports affirmative action and racial proportionality and (God help me) thinks that the Pledge of Allegiance is one of our governing documents.

I think you take principled opposition as smears, when in fact it was just principled opposition.

And there was an elephant i... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

And there was an elephant in the room that few would talk about: Miers is a spinster.

I want a rock-solid conservative, but also someone who knows what it is like to have children, watch them grow, worry about them every moment, deal with school bureaucrats, help them earn their Boy/Girl Scout merit badges, yada-yada.

There, I've said it and I feel much better.

Hey old coot, you're not th... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Hey old coot, you're not the first I've heard that from. I've raised kids and I'm not sure what raising kids has to do with gaining insight into constitutional law. But, OK.

Dems and a few RINO's wi... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Dems and a few RINO's will protest and attack, but will be ineffective in stopping confirmation
unless they resort to filibuster, at which point public opinion will turn against them strongly.

I couldn't disagree with you more. The only people whose opinion will turn against them are those people who care about this nomination, and their opinion is pretty much against them anyway.

The average American doesn't give two hoots about the conservative credentials of a Supreme Court nominee. They don't care about filibusters. Te average American doesn't really know (or care) how the decisions of the Supreme Court affect his/her life.

The people that take the time to follow these matters and understand the implications are not "average" Americans. They may think they are because they live in middle America with their 2.3 kids and the minivan, but they aren't because they care about important things. The average American gets their news from "Access Hollywood." That's as challenged as they'd like to be.

If ultraconservative is ... (Below threshold)
Phinn:

If ultraconservative is wanting someone that is overwhelmingly qualified for a job, then call me an ultraconservative.

Hear, hear!

Let's see -- we believe that a Supreme Court justice's job is to enforce the Constitution as it is actually written, not as one would prefer it to have been written.

We beleive that if the law is to be changed, particularly our bedrock Constitutional law, it should be changed by the people, through their elected officials, not by a group of insulated legal dictatos with life tenure and guaranteed salaries.

For this they call us "extremist." For this they call us "radical." For this they call us "far right."

If it's "extremist" and "radical" or "far right" to expect a justice who will read the Constitution without making things up, then so be it.

Let the Left come forward and explain what they mean by "extremist" and "radical." Let them try to get past the empty name-calling and the labels and the propaganda.

Bring it on.

I think the Meiers nominati... (Below threshold)

I think the Meiers nomination brought about a conflict that will in time strengthen the Republican party. The GOP gained control of Congress by adopting a conservative agenda, but many have become more loyal to the party than to those principles they were elected to uphold.

This has the potential to change that drastically.

Bush, on the other hand, needs to display some backbone and make some moves that, although they'll be vilified by the MSM and the liberals, are points that are of vital importance to those who supported him in the last election.

In other words, the GOP needs to remember the classic admonition to "dance with the one who brought you."

RE: BoDiddly's insight (Oct... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: BoDiddly's insight (October 27, 2005 02:44 PM)
The GOP gained control of Congress by adopting a conservative agenda, but many have become more loyal to the party than to those principles they were elected to uphold.

Bingo. In the pursuit of perpetual employment in the country's most powerful positions, easier paths are a pretty strong aphrodesiac. Promising everything to everyone or furthering conflict avoidance only allow government to impose deeper into the individual's domain. I'd like to see a return, even if it was a brief one, to the days of yore when federal politicians went to Washington as part-timers under the pressure to return home to handle things domestic. It's a longing clouded in ignorance, I'm sure; but the trends in our contemporary political environment are not particularly savory.

Consider this a change of c... (Below threshold)

Consider this a change of course, not related to previous comments, I'm going to throw out a scenario and see what the reaction to it is...

Miers withdrew on the concept of impasse between the Senate and White House on the release of documents. At first it seemed like the perfect plan, a way out for everyone to save face. But...

Is it not possible that now the Democrats can throw this out there every time they want to dump a nominee without having to resort to a filibuster? As in: Next time anyone with records that could conceivably be withheld (a lot of them) comes up in nomination where there is no way the administration will release said records, all they have to do is protest loud and long (amplified, inevitably, by the press) about how "there's just no resolving it, look at Harriet Miers" and demand that they withdraw to break the impasse "as Harriet Miers did in 2005"?

Falze,Yes, this ex... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

Falze,

Yes, this excuse may be presented again; but, it is a legitimate argument. What Senators (and constituents/pundits) must do is discriminate to what degree such a defense is sincerely valid or disingenuous posturing. Senate rules allow for real filibustering to test the extent of party commitment and majority rule to pass or fail anything presented.

I think another question that needs to be posed is "do we, as constituents, want honest, intense (even if brutal), and transparent debate to further this nation's and that body's interests?". Impasses will be broken, whether long or short, because Congressional tools have been provided to remedy them. It may get ugly but it works if the players understand and apply the rules. We, the fans, get to decide if we like the way the game is played and may rotate the players every few innings if the caliber deteriorates. That is our obligation to the sanctity of the sport.

Executive priviledge must be protected; and Senators must be provided enough information to provide guidance. Not everyone gets what they want and wise decision makers select the most viable path based, in the long term, on the whims of commoners.

I'm not sure the executive ... (Below threshold)
Chris:

I'm not sure the executive privilege argument would apply to "a lot" of nominees. Most nominees tend to be Federal judges. The only reason it applied to Roberts and Miers is because they both worked in the White House. There's only so many solicitors general to go around. Unless, of course Gonzalez gets nominated, which would certainly make for great spectator sport.

I agree with what Diane wro... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I agree with what Diane wrote here, earlier in the thread, and a few others, too (but mostly Diane expresses my perspective really well).

I am mystified by the (no exaggeration given my experiences of the day) negativity and hostility to and about Miers by mostly media personalities and in turn, by, it seems, the people among us who mimic and mirror those media personalities' opinions, like some sort of -- argh -- Republican zombie.

I'm a Republican, I voted for President Bush (I'm tired of typing that out as a qualifier), I voted for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (despite his terrible staff), I just cast votes in the CA special election along GOP party lines (as advised, although I also agreed with how I voted) and yet to read what has been written to and about me today, elsewhere, for stating that I relied on Bush's statements about Miers -- that she was and is a Constitutionalist, would not legislate from the bench, and that Miers herself says that about herself and in these facts I entrust that she is, in fact, so -- all hell (literally, because it then became a context of me being damned and such by those who really, really didn't "want" Miers) broke loose by people ridiculing Bush, denigrating Miers, and me for being "a Bush bot" (now, what exactly IS that?). There were other nasty pejoratives but it's not productive to repeat them now, here, anywhere.

I am left wondering just who us Republicans are. Is it now that conservative is "bad" and that liberal and Libertarian are the new GOP? Because, it sure seems as much. Someone even labelled me a "troll" because I did NOT oppose Miers and wrote that I respected President Bush's ability to select a or any candidates, as per the Office he holds. While I am able to and have criticized areas about which I am disappointed in Bush (is that now, also, prohibited?!), I've always maintained that Miers deserved better than what's happened these past weeks.

And here all I ever opined was that the woman should be given a chance to make her presentation and that she was a conservative. The details I write about in my own blog so I'll not go on anymore about this here, but to conclude, I am very much offended by the nastiness and derisive emotionalism being lobbed to and about anyone who doesn't write (and this includes me as not having done so) some or another demand for Bush to withdraw Miers' nomination and otherwise be chastised by "conservatives" -- just who are they, at this point because I think it's more accurately a case of the liberal element among the GOP who doesn't care for Miers because it sure isn't many of us who are, actually, conservative.

What in the heck has happened to the GOP? I've never read the words of so many phoney conservatives manipulating these issues into a Hillary White House. They are practically paving the way.

It's sad. Very disappointing.

Curiously, all the newslett... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Curiously, all the newsletters I received from the GOP about Miers encouraged my support of her and her nomination. I can hardly be labelled a "troll" for supporting what the GOP has advised...so...who, exactly, has led this assault upon us reasonable numbers among Republicans?

Moreoreless a rhetorical question, since I have a good idea already.

AnonymousDrivel...I don't k... (Below threshold)
-S-:

AnonymousDrivel...I don't know. All I can attest to is that, as to my principles, they are more well refined now than ever before. I am not above criticising "the party" if and when it merits it, and I have as to some specific issues, but it does not seem that principles have motivated this Miering so much as personalities.

There is now a dreaded faux-conservative media who seems able to foment a certain personality among us and who is motivating the faux-conservative media is more the issue here. They've been upset about Miers from seemingly five minutes before her nomination was even announced, and, upset about Bush long before that.

What I think it is is that there was a desire to punish, correct, so to speak, Bush. And they appear to consider that they've done this, by effectively arriving at a Miers withdrawal of candidacy.

IF it's a Constitutionalist that's desired, Miers was/is that. So, what's the problem? I think it's because Bush has been the target here, more than Miers, but the question should be, why and to whom?

-S-,We'll just hav... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

-S-,

We'll just have to agree to disagree on the merits of Ms. Miers. I based my preliminary opinion before the talking heads took her on. Their analysis, the slow drip of documents and the lack of them, the appearance of cronyism, and other missteps just reinforced my gut reaction. I think the debate on the GOP side was healthy despite concerns of divisiveness. I don't approve of "trust me's" or winks and nods. This is too important for the Republic to reflexively accept a nominee without considered and extensive review no matter who is making the appointment. Frankly, I do not trust Bush's brand of conservatism and at times I feel he has succeeded in spite of his performance. Give credit for that to the base that he admonished when he presented an inadequately vetted candidate. Likewise, pass some blame to the weak-kneed cliques in leadership who seem to fail periodically to recognize that they are the majority party.

It's unfortunate the Ms. Miers had to get exposed in the manner that she did, but I suspect that it would have been the only way for many concerned "conservatives" (NOT RINOs) to express their strong disapproval before the Senate hearings became a rubber stamp. The fact that so many Democrats backed her should give any red-tinted American pause. That's the political flag that catches my eye. Many other flags have since arisen that, to me, made her unqualified in my limited but not insignificant observations.

Was this "targeting" of Bush by the Right? Maybe, but I don't think that was the major thrust of this action. We all (non-D's anyway) want this President to succeed, and it was with tough love that we thrashed him. Unfortunately Ms. Miers was the conduit for the response, but a response had to occur. Her reputation has not been irreparably harmed and her stock will rise as history records that she withdrew to save her boss and President. She remains a valuable cog in this administration's machine and the GOP engine will motor on with extra octane should he nominate a known, Constructionist, commodity. This is democracy at work and I won't attribute the collective antagonism to an "elitist" punditry. I am as common as anyone and did not need their nudging to feel betrayed.

I liked the Miers nominatio... (Below threshold)

I liked the Miers nomination (strategically anyway) until I started reading her work -- then I scratched my head and wondered what the hell they were thinking. She was all over the map and hardly articulate.

DaveD: Sorry I'm late back ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

DaveD: Sorry I'm late back to your comment. I understand what you said and I'm admitting that my desire to have judges with some real-world family experience (and you don't need to tell me that some have nannies and might see their kids more often via photos than in real life) is in conflict with wanting strict constructionists. But I guess until we come up with a judge-bot, I at least want those on the bench to know what it's like to change a diaper and put bandages on skinned knees. Regards.

AnonymousDrivel: I don't d... (Below threshold)
-S-:

AnonymousDrivel: I don't disagree "on the merits of Miers" but upon the cannibalism of Miers and her nomination (and Bush for the nomination of Miers) by an element among Republicans who are anything but conservatives and certainly people of little manners. The only parallel in my experience as to what occured during these past few weeks as to Miers and those who created and hyped their various upsets about her was reading once a thread on DU, or trying to.

There is a process that any nominee deserves based upon mere humanity, mere civilization. I hear this morning several of the more higher profile critics about Miers now claiming, "she's a nice woman, but" and "she would never have passed the confirmation process, so..." all in justification for their behaviors now, not anything to do with Miers.

She and anyone nominated deserves the process of review. BUT, what I've discovered is that there is no safe social place among the Republican Party, no more than there is among the DNC. They both have their element of crass, irresponsible and irrational people and the party lines seem to matter little. Meaning, I had higher expectations for Republicans -- at least with Democrats, there's an expectation that they'll behave "moonbatty" but I now think that the Republicans have their own "spongebatty" numbers: absorbant, puffed up at the mention of fuel, full of infectious agents when left too long without scouring. So fake, so false, it just seems that, say, FR and DU are the Batty Twins.

Miers was the sacrificial n... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Miers was the sacrificial nominee. What makes that a wretched reality is that she is a human being, not a concept. Unfortunately, that significant point is missed by many and it bothers me that we conservatives are being wrongly blamed for these, the Miers miscarriage of process and discourse. It wasn't and it isn't conservatives responsible here, not "right-wing" among Republicans. Those responsible for the din here are the liberal element among the GOP, the Libertarian-more-or-less media-driven personalities. It has nothing to do with conservativism, among which most of us have been moderately willing to allow Harriet Miers the process she was nominated for. And, I don't agree that she wasn't qualified, was not a Constitutionalist (that's just Liberatarian "the sky is falling" untruth for emotionally upsetting purposes). President Bush says she's a Constitutionalist, she says she is...and yet, without any review, there's media personality decision that she isn't. I think the denigration here has been aimed at President Bush, has been for purposes of "punishing" Bush by the liberal interests among the GOP, and Miers was just the vehicle to do so, with accordingly, little regard for her and for the nomination itself.

I'd have preferred Bush nominate Luttig at the very outset (and now may still, which I hope he does). However, President Bush had his reasons for selecting Miers and I tried to respect that, his privilege, his duties of office, his opinions even. And, I've read from many other conservatives exactly this, as I have reasoned and responded. The ONLY people responsible for this Miers withdrawal have not been conservatives, they've been the socially liberal Republicans (equals Libertarian), and most of those are now campaigning to get Justice Brown nominated. Yet ANOTHER "unrepentent Libertarian conservative." By the mere fact that Brown is their ideal nominee for the S.C. now, it sure does indicate to me that my deduction as to the fact that Libertarians among the GOP have led this onslaught as to Miers, and been the ones in need of "correcting" President Bush. It's not been actual conservatives, is my point, but people intent on driving the GOP farther toward liberalism.




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