Bush Nominates Harriet Miers for Supreme Court


The news is out this morning that Bush has decided on White House Counsel Harriet Miers to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. It's notable that Miers has never served as a judge, so she has even less of a record than John Roberts.

But what immediately jumps out in the wire story about Miers is that she's "a loyal member of the president's inner circle," having served in the past as Bush's personally attorney. We've seen some what some of the other people in his inner circle are capable of, so I personally can't imagine that's a good thing. And another Bush partisan, "Axis of Evil" speechwriter David Frum, wrote on the National Review website about Miers' loyalty that right now is "no time for the president to indulge his loyalty to his friends." He was referring to the fact that Miers once told him that Bush "was the most brilliant man she had ever met." I'm supportive of the idea that the President deserves a lot of leeway to pick Supreme Court nominees. But this pick -- no matter what Miers' ideology -- seems to be the most egregious example of Bush cronyism we've seen so far.

Those are my initial thoughts. How about yours?

Update (Jerome): Be sure and check out the comments on RedState's Confirm Them. Gov Dean used to recount (it's in his recent book too) that Bush all along was faking it to the wingers, telling him something along the lines (when they were both Governors) that "I can't stand those nuts". This is cronyism, sure, typical Bush-like, choosing the chooser. Bush and Rove are beyond caring about what the public thinks, including the cons. It's obvious that Miers isn't a movemement conservative (she gave money to Bentson & Gore in the late 80's). Apparently she's on the Dems "no filibuster" list (laugh along as the cons cry about betrayal and cut loose). If she turns out to be a true conservative, it won't come out until after the next mid-term; let the damage be done.

Harriet Bush Miers

Yikes, her mother is 93!

For Bush, it's all about himself:

"I remember seeing him in her office many years ago, before he was governor, before he was running for anything," Clements said. "So it's been a long relationship and a very loyal relationship."

Feingold to vote yes on Roberts

I have not really engaged in the matter much, and it's not changed from day one, when we found out Roberts was a DC insider, as a losing cause. I understand the arguments that are made for building a number for the second nomination, seemed logical, but that doesn't seem to have been an effective sway for the votes against Roberts. I think they probably drew straws, and Baucus got the short stick, and Reid said, let me go first to feed the left a bone (that's just my imagination). Anyway, Fiengold is on board now, from the PR email they sent out:

From Senator Feingold,

Mr. Chairman, I will vote in favor of the nomination of Judge John Roberts to be the Chief Justice of the United States.   This has not been an easy decision, but I believe it is the correct one.  Judge Roberts's impeccable legal credentials, his reputation and record as a fair-minded person, and his commitment to modesty and respect for precedent have persuaded me that he will not bring an ideological agenda to the position of Chief Justice of the United States and that he should be confirmed....

We all know that Roberts will be easily approved with a 60+ majority. But, the question remains, will any of the '08 Senator contenders vote against Roberts? Sounds like a good poll question.

There's more...

We Lose On Roberts

So, Leahy will vote for Roberts, after in his statement making a strong case against him. That's just fucking great. I'm not going to be eloquent on this one: get bent Senator Leahy. Anyway, this pretty much ends any hope of even achieving 34 No votes, which would have been the minimum possible requirement to claim victory and already be in a strong position to oppose the next nominee. We lost this one, and lost is pretty badly. I'm not going to have a detailed post-mortem on this one, but Liberal Oasis has a pretty good one:Sen. Min. Leader Harry Reid put the nail in the coffin of the already limp Roberts opposition yesterday.

He announced his personal opposition to Roberts, but it was empty posturing to keep the base in check.

He also announced that the nomination "do[es] not warrant extraordinary procedural tactics to block" it.

In other words, no filibuster and hello Chief Justice Roberts.

Furthermore, he removed any pressure on his caucus to vote No, predicting that Roberts will get "plenty of votes" from Dems and that the nomination is "something people have to vote their conscience on."

That's code for: "I'm not twisting any arms."(...)

But that doesn't excuse us from developing and executing a strategy for when there is a nominee with little paper trail, especially since that was and is a very live option.

The proper Day 1 message in that scenario is "No Blank Slates." Without a clear record of impartiality and respect for basic rights, you have not earned a free pass to a lifetime appointment.

However, such a message now will be even harder to execute, because the Senate will soon confirm a Chief Justice who was very much a blank slate when he was first nominated (and only slightly less so today).

And if the next blank slate is a person of color, attacking that person while passing on Roberts will be quickly and gleefully branded by the Right as racism from the Left.(...)

We can't be shocked that "plenty" of Senate Dems will vote for Roberts, because so little was done by liberal activists, pundits, bloggers, and politicians to create the conditions for a strong opposition.

If that doesn't change the next time around, we will badly lose again.

And Dubya, while at 40%, will have succeeded in further moving the Court to the Right, possibly for the next generation.

Read the whole thing. It is amazing that even when he is at 40%, we still can't mount a credible opposition to Bush and modern conservatism, otherwise known as whatever Bush does today.

Baucus Conspires With The Enemy

Here is some history on Max Baucus:When the chips are down, and it is time for all those who are not complicit with the radical conservative agenda in this country to be counted, almost every single time Max Baucus has chosen not to be counted. On the majority of the most egregiously foul pieces of Bush-led legislation over the past four years, Max Baucus has been complicit with the incompetence, deception, and destructive force that is modern conservatism (otherwise known as whatever George Bush did today). He only came back into line on Social Security after extensively cajoling. Today, he has outdone himself, by undercutting his own caucus leader by stating he would vote to confirm Roberts only hours after Harry Reid said he would not.

Even setting aside for as moment whether or not confirming Roberts is the right thing to do, why would Baucus issue a press release only hours after Reid's? Is he intentionally trying to undercut the Democratic Party, and make us all as complicit as him? I think so. For that matter, why would he release a press statement at all? Baucus is not on the judiciary committee, he is not running for re-election in 2006, he has no national profile, he is not a member of the Gang and he will never run for President. What does the nation care what Baucus will do on Roberts? Why would he release this statement now, unless he was intentionally trying to undermine Reid? Why couldn't he just vote however he wanted and shut up?

Baucus said in his statement ""I call 'em as I see them." What I see is a President who has worn out his welcome with the public, and is now finally seen for what he is: incompetent, uncaring, and with an agenda that only promises more destruction. I also see a Senator from Montana who has a voting record that shows he is complicit with that agenda. Baucus must see this too, and view his only avenue of escape as working to make as many other members of the Democratic Party complicit as well. By undercutting Reid, Baucus can potentially secure several more Democratic votes for Roberts, thus making more Democrats complicit with stealth nominees and evasion tactics, and even more Democrats complicit with whatever fundamental rights the Roberts Court overturns. Bush, Baucus, and the agenda they voted for are going down, and now their only hope of saving face is to bring down as many other people as they can take with them.

Contact Baucus and let him know his treacherous activities are disgusting. Tell him to stop undercutting his own leader, and to stop being complicit with deception and radical conservatives. Enough is enough. I mean, we are going nice on Roberts--no one is whipping votes against him, and no one is even thinking about mounting a filibuster. For Baucus, this isn't enough--he wants to undercut his own leadership and force public complicity from Democrats. For Schweitzer's sake, that is what Republicans want--we don't need Democrats trying to do that too. Go nuclear on this backstabber. Contact one of his offices now.


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