Carol Platt Liebau: A Person Worthy of Respect, and Thanks

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A Person Worthy of Respect, and Thanks

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name as a nominee for the Supreme Court because it presented what she called "a burden for The White House."

This seems to me to be proof positive that she had all the fine qualities that the President ascribed to her. And, rarely for someone in Washington, she had the decency and generosity to put the interests of others before her own.

Perhaps those who denounced her in such unfair and deeply personal terms will find it in their hearts to express some words of value and appreciation for a person who has clearly served the President (and many causes all of us care about) with great loyalty -- and will continue to do so.

Let's all work together to potential political fallout created by what, in my view, was the unfair denial of a hearing and vote to Ms. Miers. And there is work to be done. On CNN, John King has already asked Senator Brownback about Republican senators' document requests that (as King described it) ran counter to the Republicans' previous positions on court nominees.

Minority Leader Harry Reid has asserted that "the radical right wing of the Republican Party drove her right out of town."

Dianne Feinstein is concerned because "the right wing conservative movement believes that it has a say -- a definitive say -- on this nomination . . . I've been dismayed at what the right wing has done to Harriet Miers. I don't think she deserved the treatment she got . . . the right wing moved in and effectively killed this nomination."

And Teddy Kennedy has, predictably, denounced the withdrawal of Ms. Miers due to the behavior of "extreme factions of the President's own party."

Of course, all of this is hyperbole -- but (as I noted here)there's a danger in this meme being picked up and amplified by the press until it hardens into conventional wisdom, as some of the most unfair and damaging lies of Anita Hill were. And it needs to be rebutted quickly, lest Democrats shape the debate and use this accusation to tar the next nominee as a right wing troglodyte chosen only to appease the supposed "radical right wing."

But first, how about a word of praise and thanks to a wonderful, dedicated and trailblazing public servant -- Harriet Miers?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely you cannot be that naive? She withdrew her name because she was told to so that Bush could now nominate his actual choicwe with next to no resistance. Wake up folks!

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The piece is beautifully written and shows the grace with which Miers withdrew. As for the anonymous first poster, the MSM isn't far from believing that kind of thing either, which in the medium term hastens its demise even more. Nex

8:21 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

I thought the entirety of the ConfirmThem crowd's philosophy was that the President has the right to nominate and the Senate must give each nominee a fair hearing and an up or down vote. I must have been mistaken. Given the events of the past month or so it is clear that the majority of members at and the right wing punditocracy believe that they should have veto power over Supreme Court nominees.

We can get into the political fallout later, but for now I would like to commend Carol for the consistency on her principles in this regard.

8:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your plea for some "words of value and appreciation" for Miers from those who trashed her leaves me cold. Why add more hypocrisy than they've already demonstrated?

I'm afraid that what you take to be hyperbole and the danger of a "meme being picked up and amplified by the press until it hardens into conventional wisdom" is already well understood by many of us conservatives out here in flyover country. It has been apparent for weeks that Harriet Meirs was being Borked by the right wing pundits who believe that they have the final say in SCOTUS nominees. They now believe that they have succeeded in imposing their collective will. It will be interesting to see whether GWB capitulates to their demands and thus proves them right.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Draino said...

I give Harriet Miers credit for graciously stepping down.

With that said, a conservative president has a right to nominate a conservative justice. We'd be well served, however, if Bush would stick to nominating:

a) Someone more qualified and

b) A mainstream nominee. We don't need another "wink, wink, nudge nudge" "USDA Dobson approved" religious zealot who is unlikely to separate their personal views from their duty to interpret the constitution in an unbiased fashion.

Hip Hip Hooray for those who follow scripture. However, unless I'm mistaken it is not the official rulebook of the U.S. Supreme Court.

I believe it was John Roberts who said justices are "umpires". Well these "umpires" are charged to make decisions based on a more secular document.

Which reminds me. Congratulations White Sox! You waited even longer than Boston. Now, just one more curse to reverse (next year)...

9:24 AM  
Anonymous mountain noise said...

Draino: Sounds like something Ralph Neas/PFW would say....

10:26 AM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Kudos to Miers for stepping down. An even more basic point for the next nominee is this:

The Dems will not be happy with whomever Bush nominates. The president may as well make them furious.

Select someone qualified and mainstream (i.e. not a crony), and go full tilt on conservatism. Go with Jones or Brown. Part of me wishes he'd re-nominate Bork just to tick off the left.

A more-sane version of that wish is to nominate Estrada. That would be justice -- the Dems rejected voting on his nomination for a lesser court, only to find him nominated for SCOTUS.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Draino said...




From the LA Times:

White House Plans to Deflect

WASHINGTON — The prosecutor hasn't announced any indictments, but President Bush's aides and their allies in Congress are working on strategies to counter the blow if White House officials are accused of crimes.

The basic plan is familiar to anyone who has watched earlier presidents contend with scandal: Keep the problem at arm's length, let allies outside the White House do the talking, and try to change the subject to something — anything — else.

The White House doesn't plan to attack Patrick J. Fitzgerald [but don't worry, they will] the special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation — at least not directly [mmm hmmm], several GOP officials said. Instead, expect Bush to unveil a flurry of proposals on subjects from immigration and tax reform to Arab-Israeli peace talks....


Wouldn't it be ironic if it took indictments in a scandal surrounding the invasion of Iraq to bring peace to the middle-east.

Wait a minute. Wasn't Dubya recently seen on the Today Show building Habitats for Humanity with wife Laura and Matt Lauer. Now's he's doin' "the mideast peace thing"... Is he trying to be like Jimmy Carter???

10:35 AM  
Blogger Mr. Twister said...

HouseOfSin wrote, The Dems will not be happy with whomever Bush nominates. The president may as well make them furious.

The Right Wing elites were the ones who turned on Harriet Miers, not the Dems. The Priesthood of Conservative Intellectuals chose to oppose an openly evangelical candidate, not the Dems. Harriet Miers was borked by Judge Bork, not by the Dems.

The Dems were willing to give Harriet Miers the up or down vote that Republicans used to claim a judicial nominee is entitled to. They just forgot to tell us about the step where the Right Wing Elites gets to have veto power of the President's nominee.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Draino said...

Some very good points being made here. I agree with Mr. Twister that it was Bush's elite "base" that borked Miers (sorry, that came out sounding like something Clinton would do...)

I've heard the rumors that Miers was a red herring to help greenlight a Scalia clone. While I definitely wouldn't put it past the whitehouse even I am not so much of a conspiracy theorist to believe that the entire right-wing establishment was in on it. Besides, the collateral damage to the administration from this whole fiasco is such that, if it was a ruse, it was an extremely costly one.

My conclusion, Miers may have started out as a push-pull-replace strategy but with Rove either in the fetal position under his desk or in a witness stand all month, signals probably got crossed.

Bush is now in a very untenable position. He has perhaps permanently damaged his standing with the right wing and now has to chose between going "extreme" to please them at a time when he can ill-afford to do so (how much lower can his poll numbers go?) or he must go full throttle in an effort at conservative repentence, turnoff ever more mainstream voters and give the Dems ever more fodder for '06. It will be interesting to see what happens.

12:42 PM  

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