So long

It’s so entertaining watching spin spun. Bush on why Miers withdrew:

“It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House — disclosures that would undermine a president’s ability to receive candid counsel,” Bush said.

  • http://weaponofmassdisturbance.blogspot.com Weapon of Mass Disturbance

    Nepotism just gets embarrassing after a while.

  • Angelos

    Notes like “You’re the best Presidnet ever!!!!! XOXOXO”, do they count as candid counsel?

    What was really funny yesterday, when he announced the refusal to release documents, he said it was so he and future Presidents could receive good cousel and make sound decisions.

    We’re still waiting for one….

  • http://speakspeak.org Eric Jaffa
  • ICallMasICM

    ‘Nepotism just gets embarrassing after a while. ‘

    I’m guessing you don’t know what nepotism means?

  • http://ruthcalvo ruth

    Remember the Nixon line? respect for the *presidency* was the ‘sine qua non’, and I guess it carries over, along with the attitude toward the public.

  • Hunter McDaniel

    Of course it’s spin. We all know he’s using the Krauthammer option to save face. But the need to save face is human nature, not some flaw particular to George Bush. Do you seriously think that a President Kerry, faced with a similar debacle, would not have found some way to sugarcoat a similar retreat?

    Bottom line is that Bush made a mistake, took some time to realize it, but then cut his losses. He’s no dummy.

  • EB

    (btw: I think they meant cronyism, not nepotism.)

    Can he re-nominate Bork ? (only partially kidding) It will be someone really right of right this time… Harriet we hardly knew ‘ye. But you were the best nominee ever! (I wonder if her answers on the questionaire had exclamation points? !!!!!)

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Considering that the Republican base won, and the next nominee is going to be a solid conservative originalist, instead of the nice, wobbly-left barely-Republican Miers, it’s hard to see what Democrats are so happy about today.

    That Bush made a mistake and is having to back out of it? That might be a little thrilling today, but unless he simply repeats the mistake, it’s not likely going to trouble him or Republicans in the future. It would be worse for Bush if Miers sailed through and his base remained angry forevermore — now, one Janice Rodgers Brown or Ted Olson and all is forgiven. And, along the way, things are worse for Democrats judicially.

    A more likely future for this story is that tone-deaf Democrats will try to raise it over and over as a major campaign issue during the mid-terms, reminding everyone else that they still haven’t been working very hard on ideas and solutions and must instead continue to natter about things that are no longer an issue for anybody else. Just a wild guess.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    More briefly:

    1. This particular kind of spin employed by Bush here used to be called simply “saving face”.

    2. The real deceptive spin is that this is a good day for Democrats. Harry Reid lost, Ann Coulter won.

  • APF

    That Bush is slow to change course in the case of a mistake is an inevetable consequence of the concrete obstinancy that many of his supporters like about him. “Luckily” for him, the damage done by this aborted nomination pales in comparison to the damage done by a host of other events–including the Katrina response, the “Plamegate” scandal, and as always, the events in Iraq.

  • http://marycalvo marym

    What a wonder that anyone would be pleased to see an unqualified nominee who doesn’t have real familiarity with the law not be put on the supreme court. I can understand why that would astonish the deeply self-deceived.

  • Angelos

    Exactly marym.

    This wasn’t about a victory for Democrats. Sure, it’s nice to see yet another Bush failure, but this is the SCOTUS we’re talking about. A complete mediocrity such as Meirs had no business even being in the conversation.

    Look, there’s a Republican president, we can expect conservative nominees. No surprise there. But an unaccomplished idiot with the emotional maturity of a teenaged girl? C’mon.

    Let’s see if he tries a completely insane fucknut like Janice Brown next. I doubt it, because his office is so weak, but you never know.

    We’ll see how many people get indicted first. He may have no one left to turn to for advice. And we all know how smart he is on his own.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    That’s “an unaccomplished idiot with the emotional maturity of a teenaged girl” that Harry Reid initially supported, of course.

    I’m sure Bush thought this lose-lose was going to be a win-win. Essentially, Miers was a liberal evangelist (she’s from my town, of course; here, the Republicans are very liberal). I’m sure his thinking was that she was the best of both worlds, and she had a little something for everyone.

    You know, many Republicans never really appreciated what a conservative, right-wing ally they had in a triangulating Bill Clinton, but at least they took what they wanted when it came their way; Democrats similarly seem as if they will never appreciate the *voluntary* gifts that Bush constantly gives them, only to be slapped away in disgust. Democrats may have badly misstepped, here; if they could have mustered an effort to be convincing and persuasive in their support for Miers, they would have got the O’Connerish swing vote that they desire without much of a fight. Instead, the compulsion is too strong to sneer and mock at the hated Dubya. For the momentary pleasure of schadenfreude, Democrats have squandered their best chance, and probably sealed the deal through purposeful inaction that the next *two* justices will be solid arch-conservatives, guaranteeing a solid right-wing SCOTUS for a generation. And there were Republican factions that would have joined *them* if they had merely spoken up in support of the middle-of-the-road candidate!

    Now, all Bush has to do is nominate somebody else besides Miers. Democrats have blown it for a good long time. Between the two, it’s hard to see Bush as the idiot.

  • Jorge

    I think our fearless leaders fight is with his own party on their turf. It seems Bush is in a catch 22 and the public will end up the being the victim. No matter Who or what he chooses our liberty and our economy are going to be screwed.

  • http://ruthcalvo ruth

    Maybe the next nominee will be in accordance with the expressed wishes of so many of those who objected to this one, and maybe that nominee will have the distinction and legal eminence to elicit the support of those who have principles as the basis for their vote. We can hope. And surely then we can expect that that nominee will be worthy of an ‘up or down vote’, which not so long any nominee was supposed to deserve? Or will it be different spin this time?

  • http://theheadlemur.typepad.com the head lemur

    Top 10 reasons George Bush’s screwed the pooch on Harriet Miers
    http://theheadlemur.typepad.com/ravinglunacy/2005/10/top_10_reasons__1.html

  • Ethan

    “That’s “an unaccomplished idiot with the emotional maturity of a teenaged girl” that Harry Reid initially supported, of course.”

    Bzzz. Harry Reid never came out and endorsed her.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    Reid didn’t just endorse her, he recommended her. Be honest, Ethan.

  • http://unbeknownst.net KirkH

    Well at least it’s not all bad in Washington. Denny Hastert, speaker of the house just started a blog:

    “The internet is changing the way we share information. My office has been talking a lot about some of the conversations going on in blogosphere. So I thought, hey, I should start one and give you unfiltered updates on Capitol Hill.

  • http://www.stocksorbonds.blogspot.com Jack K. Miller

    Short sighted responses; the big picture is that Bush has managed again to manage expectations, like none before him. Wouldn’t you know that the wheels are falling off a year after and a year before elections?

    Don’t be surprised if Bush is the only president ever to gain party seats at two mid-term elections!

    A year from now, stocks will be up, employment will be up, supreme court vacancies will be filled, the budget deficit will be on the mend, soldiers will be coming home, oil prices will be down, the dollar will be strong, inflation will be low, medicare will be subsidizing drugs and Bush will be campaigning.

  • Ethan

    “Reid didn’t just endorse her, he recommended her. Be honest, Ethan.”

    No, sorry, he never actually committed his vote to her. And that’s a fact, jack.

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    That’s a strawman, Ethan, Reid was Miers’ biggest supporter. After she withdrew he took the floor of the Senate to denounce her critics and praise her greatness. Who do think you’re kidding?

  • http://ruthcalvo ruth

    Funny, Richard, I thought Bush was the Big Tamale.
    And a truly telling statement is that “conservatives will come to regret making their willingness to contradict their own principles plain for all to see.”

    See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/27/AR2005102701849.html

  • Angelos

    Kepp smoking that crack Jack Miller…

  • Angelos

    Keep smoking that bushcrack Jack Miller…

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Bzzz. Harry Reid never came out and endorsed her.

    No, sorry, he never actually committed his vote to her. And that’s a fact, jack.

    Oh, brother. From a liberal press organ:


    Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) urged President Bush to pick White House counsel Harriet Miers as his nominee to the Supreme Court, RAW STORY can confirm.

    In a conference call held with liberal bloggers last week, Reid declared that he had told Vice President Dick Cheney and White House Chief of Staff Andy Card that Miers was a good choice for the Court.

    “I said, ‘I think that rather than looking at the people your lawyer’s recommending, pick her,” the senator remarked. “The reason I like her is that she’s the first woman to be president of the very, very large Texas bar association, she was a partner in a law firm, she’s actually tried cases, she was a trial lawyer, and she’s had experience here. I could accept that. And if that fits into the cronyism argument, I will include everybody as a crony, but not her, when I make my case.”

    “I personally think that I would like to see someone who has not had judicial experience,” he added. “I think that we need somebody to go on that Court in the mold of the people on the Berger court, people who have not spent their lifetime holed up in some office writing opinions and reading briefs.”

    So because we didn’t even get as far as the hearings… far too early for *anyone* to announce that they were finally committed to vote for her one way or another… you can weasel an argument that Miers didn’t have Reid’s initial support? After reading his own words?

    Reid not only initially supported her, he was an instrumental part in the choice, but I don’t blame him for backing off of it now. Bush, meanwhile, was quite clearly trying to play at the “uniter not divider” thing again, and getting burned for the umpteenth time. It looks like Reid was busy doing what he should do, which was taking advantage of Bush’s generosity and trying to get the best deal he could for the minority party (despite some of the tinfoil hat brigade stories that he played Bush like a fiddle… again, how does this outcome benefit Democrats? It puts them in a significantly worse place, despite Reid’s efforts)

    I’ll admit that I was having a fun little dig up there, but we shouldn’t hold it against Reid or Bush for trying to find a candidate that will make both of their bases happy. But in this case, it just didn’t work out. There’s no point in trying to rewrite history over the issue.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    In fact, I’m probably wrong in saying that Reid has backed off from his initial support at all. On the withdrawal of the nomination:

    Nevada Senator Harry Reid blames radical, right-wing republicans for killing Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court.

    The Senate Democratic Leader is urging President Bush to reject the demands “of a few extremists” in picking a new nominee to the Supreme Court.

    Reid said he had recommended Bush consider Miers because he was impressed with her record of achievement at a major law firm in Texas, where she became the first female president of the Texas Bar Association.

    But he says her qualifications apparently did not satisfy the right-wing extremists who he says want to pack the high court with rigid ideologues.

  • Ethan

    “That’s a strawman, Ethan, Reid was Miers’ biggest supporter. After she withdrew he took the floor of the Senate to denounce her critics and praise her greatness. Who do think you’re kidding?”

    No, it’s really not a strawman at all, and I certainly don’t mean to be kidding anyone. Reid had proposed her name, yes, that much is well-known, as is the fact that he was publicly pleased with the pick; but he never explicitly promised his vote, nor did he rally other Dems, and no one can honestly say how he would have voted in the end if her nomination had proceeded. If this thing had gone differently, Reid very well might have withdrawn his support.

  • Ethan

    “you can weasel an argument that Miers didn’t have Reid’s initial support? After reading his own words?”

    Not my argument. Reid offered her his public support, but he didn’t say he would vote for her. Sort of a big difference.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Not my argument. Reid offered her his public support, but he didn’t say he would vote for her. Sort of a big difference.

    Man, I’m not even a Democrat anymore and you’re embarrassing me with this, Ethan.

    My statement that you took issue with was that Reid “initially supported” Miers. Now, in the midst of trying to defend your parsing of the inarguable, you say that Reid “offered her his public support.”

    Initial support… offered his public support. Heh. Sort of a big difference?

    You’re splitting hairs a bit too thin, son, and you just cut your finger.

  • John

    “Bottom line is that Bush made a mistake, took some time to realize it, but then cut his losses. He’s no dummy.”

    If only he could realize his larger mistake, the one that so far has cost 2000 American lives…

  • http://bennett.com/blog Richard Bennett

    OMG, 2000 lives! Shocking! What a travesty! Horrors!

  • Ethan

    “Man, I’m not even a Democrat anymore and you’re embarrassing me with this, Ethan.

    My statement that you took issue with was that Reid “initially supported” Miers. Now, in the midst of trying to defend your parsing of the inarguable, you say that Reid “offered her his public support.”

    Initial support… offered his public support. Heh. Sort of a big difference?

    You’re splitting hairs a bit too thin, son, and you just cut your finger.”

    Clearly it’s a difference. Reid publicly announced his support. Whether or not he supported her AND would have voted for her, or would have announced he was going to vote for her, are only matters of speculation at this point. But they’re distinct issues. He could have, hypothetically, supported her publicly and then declined to vote after the hearings.

    I know nuance doesn’t play well with you right-wingers, and sooner or later, that trait comes to bite you in the ass.

  • John

    “OMG, 2000 lives! Shocking! What a travesty! Horrors!”

    Well yes, as a matter of fact it IS a travesty. What planet are you from, Richard?

  • Angelos

    The Reid argument is unresolvable.

    Carson has all the relevant quotes. Ethan is correct that we don’t know for a FACT that Reid would have voted for her, and encouraged other Dems to also, to avoid a big fight.

    Was this a reverse-psychology thing on Reid’s part? Sure George, nominate the tool. We LOVE that choice! So will all your buddies on the right fringe… (snicker)

    While that’s funny to think about, is it supportable? Nope.

  • Angelos

    Minimizing the troops again, Richard? That HAS become the winger thing to do. Who cares about them anyway? You’d rather have people forget your little WMD excursion.

    Oh wait… Madman! Democracy! Niger! Yellowcake! Plame! Terra. 9/11. Madman.

    Crushing dissent, just like any proper democracy should! Freedom. It’s on the march.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    The Reid argument is unresolvable.

    The argument that he supported her in the first place? Heh, don’t you start now, Angelos.

    Carson has all the relevant quotes. Ethan is correct that we don’t know for a FACT that Reid would have voted for her, and encouraged other Dems to also, to avoid a big fight.

    Ethan’s straw man is correct, right. Whether Reid would ultimately vote for Miers never had anything to do with his initial (or even his continued) verbal support for the candidate.

    This isn’t important, really, in the grand scheme of things… but it’s great insight on the lengths that many on the left now go to in order to see things the way they want. Reid supporting a “moron” like Miers is embarrassing, therefore, er, it never happened because he never stood on his head and said “I vote for thee, I vote for thee!”

    Reid initially supported Miers, and continued to voice his support for her to the bitter end. If you read his public statements on the matter, it is *inarguable* and not even close to being “unresolvable”. Even if his support was a lie, or made up, it was still verbal, public support.

    Was this a reverse-psychology thing on Reid’s part? Sure George, nominate the tool. We LOVE that choice! So will all your buddies on the right fringe… (snicker)

    I suspected that this was what was really behind Ethan’s objection, but he never got around to actually voicing it. (I’m so bad… the second I heard that Miers withdrew, I went and looked up the flash crackpot theories on DemocraticUnderground) It is, of course, perfectly reasonable to argue whether Reid truly believed in his support, or was performing some Machievellian trick.

    But you have to look at the outcome, Angelos. If this was Harry Reid “playing Bush like a fiddle”, what was the desired result? Did Reid get what he wanted? Did Democrats?

    We had three results of Reid’s machinations: 1. Bush bumbles again; 2. a conservative split; and 3. a middle-of-the-road candidate goes down in flames.

    1. Bush bumbles again!
    Unfortunately, this was only good for those of you who already hate Bush. As I noted above, those who don’t just hate him irrationally understand his motives, even if we don’t agree with his decision. The Democrats’ personal satisfaction that this was a horrible embarrassment for Bush is about the only thing I can see that they got out of this. But that will whisp away on the wind. It means nothing.

    2. Conservative split!
    It already existed. There are potential splits in all political parties… but was this split used to create division or unity? The faction that supported Miers isn’t particularly upset. I supported Miers as a good compromise candidate, but I’m not crying now that she’s out (why compromise if you’ve got the votes? Especially when the people you’re trying to compromise with keep spitting in your eye and kicking you in the nuts). A few evangelists have voiced dissappointment, but even they don’t seem to be too great in numbers. The “split” was more of a pocket rebellion of influential conservative voices. So this one actually works against Democrats, because now Bush *has* to nominate a more acceptable candidate to the right wing. The right wing understands that Bush was trying to be accomodating to the left… they’ll forgive him as long as he gets back on the ranch. Meanwhile, those of us who are more tolerant of liberalism among conservatives won’t mind a more “pure” conservative like a Janice Rodgers Brown. She and other “originalists” tend to be eminently qualified, so liberals who were eager to jump on board to help decry Miers as a birdbrain won’t be credible now. Only the worst of the Republican moderates (Jim Jeffords types) will object. The only way this will become a benefit to Democrats is if Bush *truly* bumbles and nominates, after being warned once, another candidate that Harry Reid might like.

    3. Middle-of-the-road candidate goes down in flames
    This is where the “Machievellian Reid” story really falls apart. Miers was about as liberal a swing vote as they were going to get. Bush miscalculated and hoped that her religious background would make her acceptable to the right, while her politics were quite definitely “compassionate conservative” (i.e., liberal)

    If Reid was being a Machiavelli, his inner Machiavelli was working for the right wing. I don’t see how Democrats are anything but screwed by this outcome, despite the usual outbursts of schadenfreude.

  • http://www.elflife.com/cgi-bin/txt.cgi/ Carson Fire

    Clearly it’s a difference. Reid publicly announced his support. Whether or not he supported her AND would have voted for her,

    My gosh, Ethan, do you not realize that you are arguing with *yourself*? Nobody has said anything about Reid’s vote except for YOU. You can have the stipulation that Reid may not have voted for her… that has never been at issue.

    Other than that proviso, you are arguing that Reid did not support Miers because Reid supported Miers. You said it again: “Reid publicly announced his support”. That is all that anybody else has said… except for you, constantly running back to your strawman. This isn’t about nuance; your argument is simply crackpot.

  • http://www.heidikoch.com/pharmacy/25 Pharmacy Man

    Should have his licence revoked; if this man is not happy with dispensing legal drugs because of his beliefs perhaps he should try other employment, or does his income come before his beliefs? WBR LeoP