Friday, October 21, 2005

Demoralizing Harriet

At National Review Online, Byron York reports that "[s]trategists working with the White House in support of the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers are becoming increasingly demoralized and pessimistic about the nomination's prospects on Capitol Hill in the wake of Miers's meetings with several Republican and Democratic senators. On a conference call held this morning, they even discussed whether Miers should simply stop visiting with lawmakers, lest any further damage be done — and so that time spent in such get-acquainted sessions will not cut into Miers's intensive preparation for her confirmation hearing."

Miers has been meeting with senators. How have those meetings been going? Says one source: "The meetings with the senators are going terribly. On a scale of one to 100, they are in negative territory. The thought now is that they have to end... Obviously the smart thing to do would be to withdraw the nomination and have a do-over as soon as possible. But the White House is so irrational that who knows? As of this morning, there is a sort of pig-headed resolve to press forward, cancel the meetings with senators if necessary, and bone up for the hearings."

Be still my beating Schadenfreude.

Kevin Drum: "Goodness. A 'pig-headed resolve to press forward'? From George Bush? Who would have guessed?"

New Donkey: "Now I realize that the magazine Byron York works for is one of the major sources of the conservative revolt against Miers. But he's a solid, old-school reporter, and moreover, the fact that people involved in the Miers lobbying operation are talking to him, even on 'deep background,' is significant in itself. Like John Fund's leak-fed revelations about the incompetent vetting of Miers in the White House, it shows that Republican discipline has completely broken down."

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I'll have more on Miers later today and over the weekend, including another round-up in the wake of the SJC's return of her questionnaire -- and those "inadequate," "insufficient," and "insulting" responses.

See The Moderate Voice for a great update.

Outside the Beltway: "I have serious misgivings about this nomination and, unless something happens in the hearings to massively raise my impression of her as a legal mind, I believe she should be rejected and the president asked to try again with someone from the upper tier of the conservative legal team (and preferably, a younger one to boot). Nonetheless, this business about incomplete questionnaires is silly." I agree with the former sentiment, but her questionnaire responses seem to be, on the whole, embarrassingly bad.

Ah, but I see that Outside the Beltway reverses course on the questionnaire in a follow-up post: "Of course, the fact that she only spent 3-1/2 pages answering the substantive questions is, to put it mildly, less than impressive. Indeed, her answers amount to a regurgitation of the first few days of an undergraduate ConLaw course." Fantastic. (This post contains links to other right-wing blogs. Check them out should you be so inclined to dig deeper into the conservative crack-up.)

PoliBlog: "Certainly we should expect a nominee to the Court to have at least something to go on, in terms of assessing legal reasoning and qualifications, than this questionnaire -- a document that would normally be largely ignored if Miers had some other obvious qualifications." Ah, but she doesn't. THAT'S THE PROBLEM!

Hugh Hewitt continues to defend Miers, but who cares?

Not I. Not I. Not I.

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