Carol Platt Liebau: <i>Bipartisan</i> Unhappiness

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bipartisan Unhappiness

At this point, it's extremely important to point out that the discontent over the Miers nomination was bipartisan, at the very least -- because Barbara Boxer has just been stating (on Fox radio news) that she "had no problem" with Harriet Miers.

Ha. Check out this quote from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Barbara Boxer: "Here's what I know about Harriet Miers," Boxer said. "I know that she's a crony of the president. I know she thinks he's the most brilliant man she's ever met. I know that she was head of the search committee and wound up being the nominee, and I know that she is personally anti-choice. Those are things I know."

And Russ Feingold said (as reported here), "The president has chosen someone here about whom objectivity and independence is a very real question. He's selling this to the American people, saying, 'This is a person I know real well. You should trust me and trust her.' This is one of the president's closest confidantes."

As for Patrick Leahy, check this out: "Leahy Has Concerns About Harriet Miers." In it, he said, "What I do know is that she has a reputation for being loyal to this president, whom she has a long history of serving as a close adviser and in working to advance his objectives." That's not a compliment, coming from him -- and don't forget he was one of the first to note that some had characterized Ms. Miers initial questionnaire as "insulting".

Hillary Clinton's reaction to the Miers nomination was described as "cool."

And this piece notes that Teddy Kennedy may have been working to defeat the nomination behind the scenes.

And, of course, MoveOn.org was digging for dirt.

The long and short of it is that no Democrat had pledged support for Ms. Miers, and Republicans were unhappy. Seems to me that few of them can fault the President for listening to some of his conservative constituents when they themselves were unwilling to press for Ms. Miers to get a hearing.

Let's not permit the liberals to start rewriting history.

4 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Twister said...

No Democrat spent the past two years proclaiming that all of the President's nominees had a right to an up or down vote. That was the Republican party and the Right Wing Elites.

No Democrat wanted to deny the President's nominee the right to an up or down vote. That was the Republican party and the Conservative Intgellectual Elites.

The withdrawal of Harriet Miers due to pressure from the punditocracy completely undercuts everything the Republican party has claimed that it stood for. Turning your back on stated principles always has a political price.

Turning on Harriet Miers has done more than just weakened the President--it has shifted the general ground of the battle.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Langley said...

There is a dramatic difference between forcing the president to withdraw an unqualified nominee before hearings even start and filibustering an up-or-down vote for a nominee who has already been through the system. Harriet Miers was not fit to be on SCOTUS, and it just took the so-called "punditocracy" to expose this.
Filibustering worthy appointees who have majority support of the Senate, on the other hand, is wrong.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Langley opined, There is a dramatic difference between forcing the president to withdraw an unqualified nominee before hearings even start and filibustering an up-or-down vote for a nominee who has already been through the system.

I think you have missed a few important somethings here, Langley.

First, with a few notable exceptions (e.g., George Will) the Conservative Priesthood did not turn on Harriet Miers because she was an unqualified nominee; the Right Wing Elites turned on her because they didn't trust her conservative bonafides. The Aristocracy of Republican Pundits vetoed Harriet Miers because of her ideology.

Second, it doesn't matter if there is a technical nit-picky difference between your two situations. What matters is the public perception and public perception is not built on technical quibbles.

The original public perception was that Republicans stood for two overarching principles, "an up or down vote for each Presidential nominee" and that "ideology should not come into play during confirmation." By forcing President Bush to withdraw Harriet Mier's nomination, the simple morality play is set. Republicans have turned their back on the principles of an "up or down vote for each nominee" and that "ideology should play no role in confirmation."

Republicans have sacrificed the moral high ground and made following this President down the nuclear route a risky gamble.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

Hey, Hugh Hewitt agrees with me. Hugh writes

Now, with the withdrawal of Harriet Miers under an instant, fierce and sometimes false assault from conservative pundits and activists, it will be difficult for Republican candidates to continue to make this winning argument: that Democrats have deeply damaged the integrity of the advice and consent process.

9:45 PM  

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