ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Monday, October 10, 2005

Miers and Misunderestimating Bush

H/T InstaPundit

Skymusings has a GREAT post on Miers and the larger political context involved. Readers of this blog will recognize many of the same points.

Previous ARC posts on Miers (from oldest to most recent):

Now, on to Skymusings!
My belief is that we should be looking past Ms. Miers herself to learn why the President has nominated as he has. Going back to the John Roberts nomination and confirmation, a few things present themselves:
  1. Roberts was not shown to be a firebreathing conservative; rather, he appears to be solidly conservative while still being acceptable to all but the most fevered moonbats.
  2. Senator Leahy broke with the Dems and publicly came out for Justice Roberts well in advance of the vote, leading to a split in the Dem coalition and a solid if not overwhelming confirmation, avoiding the party-line vote. This 78-22 vote indicates bipartisan support and lends validity to Justice Roberts.
  3. The President knows that of his majority numbers in the Senate, he has no more than 44 or 45 that he can reliably count on when a fight is in the air, especially on social conservative issues. The odds of getting Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chafee, et al on board for a hardcore like Luttig are effectively nil. There is little point in starting a war that you know your soldiers will not fight.

Senator Leahy and the rest of the backdoor Dems undercut their party. This is never done lightly in those circles, and it is reasonable to assume that some sort of deal was worked out with the President. My take is that in order to get Roberts in with a minimum of fuss, he had to agree to provide another apparent O'Connor to Dems. A woman with a history of supporting affirmative action, giving money to Dems in the past, etc, must have appeared irresistible to the Dems, and so they jumped at the opportunity to give us Roberts in exchange for Miers. The ringing endorsements from Dems like Reid give reason to believe that even if some Reps defect, there will be more than enough votes to support the confimation.

While I support and trust the President, I am certainly not one of the cheerleaders. That being said, I believe President Bush has done it again -- he got everyone (including his own supporters) to misunderestimate him in order to achieve the larger goal, which in this case is to rein in the Supreme Court and return it to a more originalist bent.

The President has demonstrated an ability and willingness to nominate solid conservative judges over the course of his time in office. Ms. Miers has been a major part of this, from assisting in the process of selection to vetting and finally to preparing nominees for confirmation, including Justice Roberts. They have a close personal and professional friendship that dates back to the Reagan years. It is safe to say that he truly believes and trusts that she will embody the principles he seeks to invest in that seat.
[...]
The President knows fully that had he nominated Luttig or one of the other Scalia types that we have hungered for, it would have triggered war with the Dems (not necessarily bad in and of itself). The problem is that this war would likely be lost due to the defection of his own RINOs, and the guarantee of Dem solidarity. Why fight the war you can't win? It makes infinitely more sense in these circumstances to slip in a Stealth nominee that will fool the Dems into thinking she's another O'Connor. If the President is convinced she will in fact be a solid conservative originalist, then he will have achieved true diplomacy in that he made the Dems think they won while he got exactly what he wanted. From his gubernatorial contests on down through his presidential contests he has consistently been the Dummy That Outsmarted The Smarties. He is a risk-taker, and he knows his opponents better than they know themselves.

I would only add that having the judicial battle before 2006 is only likely to embolden the Dems, regardless of the outcome. If they lose and an openly conservative Janice Rogers Brown takes the bench, the amount of liberal money pouring into the Senate campaign would only increase. However, if two justices are appointed with clear supermajorities in the Senate, how can the Dems and the leftist special interest groups assert that Bush nominates only extremist judges?

I have to say that many of the specifics regarding Miers are beginning to concern me, but I am going to hold any criticism until she actually speaks at the hearings.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler