Miers withdraws

In the face of sustained strenuous opposition from many conservative pundits, Harriet Miers has withdrawn herself from consideration for the Supreme Court seat to which her friend, the President of the United States, had nominated her. Let the fallout begin. She cites the likelihood that demands for White House documents will threaten the separation of powers, but nobody is convinced by the smoke screen.

Everyone now is naturally focused on who will replace her as nominee. The President, known for liking to surprise people, could choose someone from the lists published by the pundits who expressed dismay over Miers. You know the names: Michael Luttig, Michael McConell, Janice Rogers Brown, Edith Jones, and a few others.

People for the American Way is already crowing  that the White House has surrendered to ultra—conservatives. Harry Reid is citing the "radical right wing" as controlling the President. Far uglier things will certainly be said by others. How long will it be until  the religious affiliation of David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and some others will used to claim that 'Zionist neoconservatives' have demonstrated that they are the puppet masters of George Bush? I would wager that it has already been published somewhere in the Middle East, and similar allegations will reach these shores soon.

Choosing someone from the list of his conservative antagonists would risk confirming the stereotypes of PFAW and the anti—Semites. It would also be somewhat out of character for this surprise—loving president. I have no insight on whom he will choose, but I suspect that he is far more worried about the reactions of the Senate Gang of 14 than he is about the conservative punditocracts. But a repeat of the storm over Miers might accompany a choice like Alberto Gonzales. I doubt that the President is anxious for a rerun of the divisive controversy.

In my ideal world, the President will be able to go to his shakier allies among GOP Senators and convince them that party unity is now more important than it was prior to the Miers nomination. He might ask them which of those on The List they would have the least trouble supporting, and obtain a commitment to a Luttig or a McConnell or a Brown.

But this world is far from an ideal one. Ask Harriet Miers.

Thomas Lifson   10 27 05

In the face of sustained strenuous opposition from many conservative pundits, Harriet Miers has withdrawn herself from consideration for the Supreme Court seat to which her friend, the President of the United States, had nominated her. Let the fallout begin. She cites the likelihood that demands for White House documents will threaten the separation of powers, but nobody is convinced by the smoke screen.

Everyone now is naturally focused on who will replace her as nominee. The President, known for liking to surprise people, could choose someone from the lists published by the pundits who expressed dismay over Miers. You know the names: Michael Luttig, Michael McConell, Janice Rogers Brown, Edith Jones, and a few others.

People for the American Way is already crowing  that the White House has surrendered to ultra—conservatives. Harry Reid is citing the "radical right wing" as controlling the President. Far uglier things will certainly be said by others. How long will it be until  the religious affiliation of David Frum, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, and some others will used to claim that 'Zionist neoconservatives' have demonstrated that they are the puppet masters of George Bush? I would wager that it has already been published somewhere in the Middle East, and similar allegations will reach these shores soon.

Choosing someone from the list of his conservative antagonists would risk confirming the stereotypes of PFAW and the anti—Semites. It would also be somewhat out of character for this surprise—loving president. I have no insight on whom he will choose, but I suspect that he is far more worried about the reactions of the Senate Gang of 14 than he is about the conservative punditocracts. But a repeat of the storm over Miers might accompany a choice like Alberto Gonzales. I doubt that the President is anxious for a rerun of the divisive controversy.

In my ideal world, the President will be able to go to his shakier allies among GOP Senators and convince them that party unity is now more important than it was prior to the Miers nomination. He might ask them which of those on The List they would have the least trouble supporting, and obtain a commitment to a Luttig or a McConnell or a Brown.

But this world is far from an ideal one. Ask Harriet Miers.

Thomas Lifson   10 27 05