Patterico's Pontifications


Breaking News: Miers Withdraws

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:18 am

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination. The 1993 speech was clearly the final straw: clear evidence of her liberalism, overlooked by a shoddy vetting process.

It’s time to look forward, not back. I sincerely hope that the President nominates a solid judicial conservative such as Michael Luttig or Michael McConnell. Such a choice will do much to heal the deep rift in the party. Conservatives can unify and rally around a nominee of true excellence.

P.S. We’d rally around Edith Jones, too. Or Janice Rogers Brown.

P.P.S. Yes, I have come in off the ledge. Thanks for your concern.

P.P.P.S. I just discovered a post from The Angry Clam that I have taken down because I didn’t think it struck the right tone.

104 Responses to “Breaking News: Miers Withdraws”

  1. I think we’re getting a woman come hell or high water.

    Wasn’t Maureen Mahoney lead counsel on the pro-AA side in Grutter? Gulp.

    Allah (cc4e8d)

  2. Presumably, you are delighted. You were, after all, victorious.

    IMVHO, though, this is a victory very much analagous to the one achieved over the Romans in 281 BC at Heraclea and Asculum. The victor there was named Pyrrhus.

    Enjoy it, though. You are certainly entitled.

    jim (a9ab88)

  3. Please come in off the ledge! We look forward to your commentary on less distressing events.

    Marie (1e7a27)

  4. Jim, you are so wrong it hurts.

    This nomination was a disaster because even those who support the President couldn’t come up with the talking points to justify the pick.

    Jim, please explain why withdrawing Meirs will be a net negative for the Prez.

    politicaobscura (59a577)

  5. Harriet Miers has withdrawn

    Hooray! Now Patterico came come back inside from being out on that ledge
    How much do you wanna bet Bush has already got in mind who he wants to pick to replace Miers at the nominee?
    MSNBC news is reporting:
    WASHINGTON – Confronted with criticism …

    Sister Toldjah (a936fc)

  6. How about Diane Sykes (7th Cir)?

    biwah (f5ca22)

  7. Say, is that Hugh Hewitt who’s out on the ledge?

    Attila (Pillage Idiot) (dfa1f1)

  8. Crossing the wires now: Hewitt has committed seppuku.

    Allah (cc4e8d)

  9. Ah…the sun is out, a new day has arrived. Time to stuff Janice Rogers Brown down Ted Kennedy’s throat.

    Craig Hancock (0d0969)

  10. Victorious?

    Hmm. I don’t think anything about this nomination could be called a victory.

    In the end it may serve some purpose for good though. If the White House looks at what happened and analyzes where they went wrong on the nomination and how they lost their base in the process it could serve as a very useful wake up call. Its good to see someone at the White House could hear the phone ringing. I admit I was getting worried about that.

    Contrary to what some seem to think Cons have principles and goals for this Republican government and we have (reasonable) expectations for them to at least be tested politically.

    It’d be nice to see them get tough, serious and focused again about what’s facing the country. Talk up the economy. Explain the significance of the Iraqi constitution victory. Get started on the 2006 elections and explain why the country needs a Republican majority. Get new blood in the administration if necessary.

    Ennui, drift and ‘oh just give it to Joe’ aren’t going to be acceptable and its a disservice to the country and the millions of people that have spent years supporting this administration.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  11. Breaking News: Harriet Miers Withdraws Her Nomination

    Breaking news: I’ll round up the links as they become available – as well as blogger reaction. Stay tuned!
    Our previous tepid who-cares commentary:
    Harriet Miers – Decoy?

    Harriet Miers’ letter to the President to wit… (20aa0c)

  12. Attila, Hugh’s loyalty has been to W, not Miers.
    If W picks Patrick J. Fitzgerald, would Hugh defend the pick? And would that send Patterico back to the ledge?

    Patterico’s right about the vetting process being non-existent for Miers. Whatever process gave us Roberts has been completely dismantled.

    Someone should make sure the window out to the ledge is barred.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  13. […] Fortunately, the news of the withdrawal has brought Patterico back off the window ledge, while Scott Ott notes the lighter side of the whole affair. […]

    Opposing The Miers Nomination, Or: I AM The Base, Jive Turkey! at Literal Barrage (227d24)

  14. The conservatives’ clarion call (CCC) has consistently been that a qualified candidate nominated by the president deserves an up-or-down vote on the floor of the US Senate. The “targets” of previous CCCs have been the Dems on the Senate committees who used parliamentary games to prevent those nominees from getting to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

    So, what have we here?

    Miers – who was qualified – just got denied a floor vote; one she’d probably (IMVHO) have won, likely due you CCC’ers.

    This is a victory for all of you CCC’ers. Enjoy it. Indulge in mutual congratulations.

    Carpe diem.

    jim (6482d8)

  15. Despite never having come down as pro- or anti-Miers myself, I’m relieved not to have to argue about this issue anymore. I’ll be more relieved (or not) when we find out who the next nomination is.

    Xrlq (428dfd)

  16. This is a win for all people who love our constitution … I’m so proud of all our conservative leaders and how the internet has worked for the power of truth and integrity.

    It’s so amazing how we the people could immediately have access to documents and read for ourselves and intrepret for ourselves how we viewed this nominee. The GOP now is well aware that we’re online and our loyalty is to conservative principles. My flag is flying high

    alexandra morris (8d0335)

  17. Wrong again, Jim. Miers was not qualified to be on the highest court in the land. Her amateurish answers to the questionnaire only cemented that opinion. I saw absolutely nothing that distinguished her from 10,000 other lawyers around the country, except that she was the President’s friend and confidante. That’s not a qualification.

    peege (287a8b)

  18. To peege

    I suggest that there are two metrics of qualification:

    – objective, such as age, citizenship, selected by individual in a statutory position, or other attributes specified by statute, and

    – subjective, mainly opinions of pundits and critics.

    I suggest that Miers met the first type but not, in your opinion, the second. You are welcome to your opinion, just as President Bush is welcome to his. This, however, was Bush’s choice to make, his opinion. You CCC’ers just managed to defeat POTUS outside the process … just like the Democrats.

    Enjoy it. Party-hearty. The Moore the better.

    jim (6482d8)

  19. “…just got denied a floor vote…”

    Actually she wasn’t denied a vote. She withdrew. There’s a difference between having serious doubts about a nominee and expressing those doubts and denying him/her a vote. I know that was going to be Hewitt’s talking point of the day prior to her withdrawing but that doesn’t mean its true or that it makes sense in light of people simply debating her nomination.

    But I’m not one to stand in the way of a rapidly developing meme so…

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  20. Harriet Miers Has Withdrawn Her Nomination

    BREAKING: Fox and CNN are reporting that Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination. No online stories yet….
    8:57 am EST UPDATE: has a newsflash
    President Bush “reluctantly” accepts Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers&#8…

    Myopic Zeal (739a0c)

  21. I’m truly enjoying the statements of Dems about how W shouldn’t have accepted the withdrawl and how he gave in to the extreme right wing of the party. Shows what they thought of Miers.

    MOG (36fd70)

  22. Jim, conservative opponents of the Miers nomination didn’t defeat POTUS. Miers withdrew following calls for information regarding her qualifications that went largely unanswered; there was no filibuster to prevent cloture in the Senate. So, no, we’re not just like the Dems.

    Deference to the President’s pick isn’t unqualified. When he picks someone as close to him as WH counsel, then there’s plenty of justification for closer scrutiny. And since the President didn’t make sure that her judicial philosophy was well known to people other than himself, even preemptively foreclosing the possibility of release of Miers’ writings, claiming the WH’s privilege and the need for confidentiality, the criticism was bound to be made based only on the scant info available. Btw, the claims of privilege and the need for confidentiality are valid reasons not to make disclosure, but they don’t remove the need to inform the Senate and the public of the nominee’s background, qualifications and judicial philosophy. That information needs to be supported by more than “just trust the President.”

    TNugent (6128b4)

  23. BREAKING NEWS: Miers Withdraws

    So, now, can we all kiss and make up?
    AP reports: “Under withering attack from conservatives, President Bush ended his push to put loyalist Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court Thursday and promised a quick replacement. Democrats accused him of b…

    California Conservative (53ecd1)

  24. So, Jim, let me see if I understand this:

    Your claim (and Michael Reagan’s as well) is that:

    A. unconstitutional obstruction by a minority party in the Senate, effectively establishing a 2/3rds majority requirement to confirm a judge, when the Constitution explicitly requires only a majority vote

    is absolutely morally and politically indistinguishable from:

    B. The President’s most ardent supporters questioning the qualifications and temperament of the current candidate.

    I believe you (and Reagan) are incapable of supporting this facile and arrogant claim.

    Jasyn Jones (bd626d)

  25. Blog Swarm Strikes Again: Harriet Miers Withdraws Nomination

    Miers is gone.
    But I predict George Bush will nominate another unqualified person. Perhaps his tailor. Or his dentist. Or his dog walker.
    What did Bush learn? Maybe he learned that the people who put him in office actually expect him to be a conser…

    La Shawn Barber's Corner (1b383c)

  26. […] Ok, perhaps I am the one with the bizarre worldview (as noted in the comments), as Patterico echoes Armando: […]

    Balloon Juice (c62e7c)

  27. Harriet Miers Withdraws

    Says it was the documents issue.

    Maybe we can all get over this and come together for the next nominee.

    In a letter to Bush released by the White House, Miers said she was concerned that the Senate confirmation process “presents a burden for th…

    Musing Minds (59ce3a)


    The Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  29. TNugent –

    I’m not surprised that’s your story. There is no such “need” that you cited in statute. The spectacle of current self-congratulation weakens you assertions. You may honestly view yourself as different but I do not, nor will others who will cite this affair as a useful precedent for their own mischief.

    Jasyn Jones –

    Sorry, but the Dems’ reprehensible strategy is not illegal by the US Constitution. I have no clue what the source you cited as being equivalent to me has or has not said, and I remain uninterested in it. Certainly, I made no such claim. Those are your words. Perhaps you fear it is so. If so, you may well be right.

    In fact, your insulting comment was likely elf-definition.

    jim (a9ab88)

  30. Missed a letter!


    Was not calling you an “elf”.

    jim (a9ab88)

  31. I won’t say I’m terribly disappointed by Miers’ withdrawal…so…I won’t, but now let’s move on to something constructive…Michael McConnell for SCOTUS!

    Joel B. (c0bbd9)

  32. Let’s get Rovian!!!
    It’s Fitzgerald for SCOTUS!!!!!

    Joaquin (4e659c)

  33. Miers – who was qualified – just got denied a floor vote; one she’d probably (IMVHO) have won, likely due you CCC’ers.

    What are you smoking? She was not denied a floor vote. If she had not withdrawn there would have been a vote.

    Gerald A (fe1f90)

  34. Weren’t conservatives (myself included) arguing that a withdrawal was not a fillibuster (and hence a denial of a floor vote) when we talked about the Abe Fortas withdrawal?

    Christopher Cross (ee574f)

  35. Gerald A

    I do not smoke, and never have. You are spouting precisely the same line as the Dems’ for the nominees they defeated by not letting them get out of committee to get a floor vote. Those same nominees then give up and withdrew.

    The same line.

    Doesn’t that make you feel good?

    jim (6482d8)

  36. Enough is More that Enough,

    After weeks of listening to HH, Beldar, and others defend the indefensible, along with WH bully boys calling us sexist snobs and elitists, now we get more phony arguments and bogus name calling.

    Well, congratulations to all the sour grapes losers in this stupid fight. You guys supported an obvious crony nomination, insulted honest conservatives who rightly stood up to oppose an unqualified nominee to SCOTUS, and now you act like MoveOn types and continue the insulting nonsense. To what end?

    Tell me how what you are doing helps America or any cause you say you care about.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  37. Jim, I was referring to traditional qualifications rather than statutory or constitutional ones. Of course the filibuster isn’t illegal, but it wasn’t traditionally used for judicial nominees either. Traditionally, nominees for the court have been people with demonstrable qualifications, not people whose records are hidden from public view by executive privilege, and although we can expect the president to choose someone he trusts, we don’t expect him to pick his own lawyer. The people’s lawyer, the AG, maybe, WH counsel, no.

    No one should be congratulating himself over this. I’m not. I think it was a poor choice by the president, and I don’t like to see this president make poor choices. Maybe he got bad advice. Maybe someone told him that someone with a record as a judicial conservative couldn’t get confirmed. John Roberts’ easy confirmation should have told him otherwise — Roberts doesn’t have a long record, but no one is mistaking him for anything other than a judicial conservative. It’s all about the quality of the nominee. Only 22 Dems found it politically safe to oppose Roberts; no Republicans were inclined to do so. There’s no reason to think that Luttig, or McConnell or any number of others on the short list couldn’t accomplish something similar. But I think Patterico is right when he says it will be more difficult in the wake of this pick.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  38. I would keep the champagne on ice, just yet, until we know who her replacement is.

    If there’s anything we’ve learned from these two nominations, it’s that the WH has no stomach for a nasty confirmation fight. I can’t imagine that this fiasco has restored it.

    Bush has been pushed somewhere he’s never been before, which is having had to back down after staking out a position so unequivocally.

    Bottom line: no one really knows how he’s going to react here. Me, I foresee another choice of out of left field, in all sense of the word.

    Elvis, Esq. (c493b3)

  39. Black Jack –

    No sour grapes here. The “congratulations” are all yours. You’ll find no insults in any post of mine, other than recognizing those directed at me for what they are. No name calling by moi, though I have been called some. I do find it interesting that CCC’ers who used certain tactics to achieve their ends here now assert that it was the supporters of POTUS’ right to nominate Miers used those tactics, not them.

    One need only go to here:

    to see that others have picked up the apparent hypocrisy demonstrated here.

    The Dems’ have repeatedly denied nominees a floor vote because, essentially, the nominee properly selected by POTUS was not liberal enough. Now, CCC’ers have denied a similar nominee a floor vote because the nominee was not conservative enough. Hide behind “qualifications” if that makes you feel better.

    Heck, many previous members of SCOTUS had not previously been judges, something like 40. Rehnquist himself had not previously been a judge, per his bio:

    Posture all you want, but this has created a precedent we are likely to rue in the long term.

    jim (a9ab88)

  40. Fair enough- your microphone.

    That said, I’m glad that Miers was ground into the dirt- for too long has the Bush Administration and the GOP political establishment generally treated conservatives as a group to pander to, rather than actually serve.

    With this, I think they can no longer do so.

    Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  41. Over at JustOneMinute someone named Syl just coined the perfect description and listed her reasons in several comments that speaks for probably Bush’s real base. She called the group the “Snit Throwers”. Before too much celebration goes on, someone really should address the rift. It is real but for reasons I do not think the petition signers would understand.

    owl (cb7ea5)

  42. TNugent –

    Isn’t one definition of tradition just history repeating itself?

    Those who do not learn from history probably stick with tradition the strongest.

    As I posted here some weeks ago, the US Constitution establishes that is the opinion of POTUS as to who is qualified to be on SCOTUS, with the advice and consent of the Senate as a check. That check is the votes of the Senators.

    The Dems found a wrinkle in the process and have been merrily exploiting it, as CCC’ers so lavishly decried.

    The blogswarm or the CCC’ers just inserted their opinions into a process that does not seem to be written down in my copy of the Constitution. All citizens should certainly have felt entitled to petition their Senators and offered their views on how they would wish them to vote on the Senate floor. Do you feel that is what happened here? I do not.

    A few weeks ago, the CCC’ers claimed the moral high ground as they lambasted the Dems who had used arguably-shady means of denying nominees a vote. That idealistic piece of property is still there, but (IMHO) you don’t live there anymore.

    jim (a9ab88)

  43. Qualifications Do Matter

    Despite the tremendous importance of politics in Supreme Court nominations, the single most important determinant of a successful confirmation is the qualifications of the nominee. We have measured the qualifications of all nominees since Hugo Black (1…

    OUPblog (af7df9)

  44. jim –

    Please explain to the class (in short words and simple phrases, please) how exactly Miers was “denied a vote.”

    The hearings were scheduled for the 7th of November, so the hearings have not occurred. Ms. Miers was not forced to withdraw – she did so of her own volition. Whether or not she did so because she could read the tea leaves or did not want to subject the President to a client confidentiality conflict is immaterial.

    Miers was NOT denied a vote. You can post here all you want, but that will not alter the fact that this nominee withdrew before a vote was taken, because of information that came out after the nomination. This occurred with Zoe Baird, and with Kimba Wood, and also with Bernard Kerik, just to name three recent ones.

    The President also had the option to go recess appointment on Ms. Miers had he felt so strenuously that she was the person for the job, but chose not to do so – probably based on the shytestorm that the WashPost started with the transcripts of those speeches that Miers gave 12 years ago.

    The only weakness that is pointed out here is the lack of vetting of such a candidate.

    Perhaps the folks in the White House will realize that the SCOTUS is not a place for OJT.

    JD (b67426)

  45. So Jim contends that Bush has the absolute right to pick anyone he wants without any criticism from his own supporters, simply because Dems have been unfair obstructionists in the past. It’s a perfect example of “Caligula’s horse” thinking.

    Ernest Brown (645009)

  46. A withdrawn nominee is not denied a floor vote.

    Repeat as needed.

    Christopher Cross (ee574f)

  47. JD,

    I believe that O’Connor’s resignation only takes effect upon the confirmation of her successor by the Senate, which is why she is still on the Court hearing cases. No vacancy, no recess appointment.

    Ernest Brown (645009)

  48. I’m afraid I don’t follow this argument at all.

    Where is it written that “petioning” is limited to phoning your senator? Surely the Senate is entitled to listen to public opinion, blogosphere or otherwise. They did. They considered it. Frist then goes to the WH and tells them they don’t have the votes. The WH choses to withdraw rather than seek a vote.

    If anyone denied her a floor vote, it’s Bush.

    Elvis, Esq. (c493b3)

  49. To JD –

    I addressed that in #34. After the Dems’ obstructed, the candidates have withdrawn leaving the Dems’ to offer the same argument as yours. CRepublicans have rejected the Dems’ attempts to hide behind that before. Now, however, the CCC’ers have just done the same and now even used the same defense. “Oh, no! Not us! S/he withdrew!”

    BTW, I stand corrected. After someone above posted about HH, I went over there and took a quick peek. That moral high gound I was talking about? That nice piecve of property that I said was untenanted? Well, it’s not entirely vacant after all. HH’s there. But he’s looking mighty lonely up there.

    To Ernest Brown –

    No, sorry, though the “Caligula’s horse” precedent is indeed an amusing factoid. However, that would require POTUS to be Caligula with the powers of the emperor of Rome and the Senate of the US to be a non-factor. It is the Senate confirmation process prescribed by the US Constitution that kills the analogy.

    To Christopher Cross –

    While you’re repeating that, you might add, “just like the Dems said all these years.”

    jim (a9ab88)

  50. Jim,

    Wrong, wrong, wrong, on so many counts I can’t even tabulate them all. But some high (or low) points.

    1. Undoubtedly, there were some in Bush’s base who opposed Miers because she “wasn’t conservative enough.” A few. There were a few more who opposed her because they DIDN’T KNOW if she was conservative enough. A few. If you read the ACTUAL objections of most conservatives (including Patterico), it was ALL ABOUT her lack of qualifications (and we did NOT require prior judicial experience). And no, this wasn’t a “cover.” Real conservatives are about merit . . . Miers didn’t have it.

    2. The Senate has a Constitutional obligation to “advise and consent.” Not to engage in obstructionism. Unless the Dems can muster a majority to defeat a nominee (which they can’t), they lose. Yes, Senate rules require a 60% vote for cloture . . . but the Senate makes the rules, and it can remake the rules. The Dems were, basically, using obstructionist tactics to PREVENT a vote, because they knew they would lose. They were shirking their Constitutional duty to “advise and consent.” They were entitled to vote “no,” they have NO right to prevent a vote. If we have to change the rules, we’ll change the rules. If you can’t distinguish between that and conservative commentators (who have NO obligation whatsoever with respect to ANY nominee), then you are well and truly blind.

    Flagwaver (e5f08d)

  51. To Flagwaver –

    Btw, nice siggy! 😉

    I have yet to hear any serious commentary that suggested that Miers would not get enough votes. The problem was, instead, which votes would comprise her 51+.

    On a non-related matter, and not wishing to single out anyone, I must confess that I find it most amusing when folk talk of recess appointments to SCOTUS.

    jim (6482d8)

  52. Jim,

    Had the democrats actually made that argument re: withdrawls, you’d have a point.

    But what separates Democrat obstruction was the inability to get 60 votes to invoke cloture (remember the lame attempts by the GOP to force the issue with the “Justice Marathon” or whatever it was called?)

    Dems were invoking a procedure that had not been applied to judicial nominees–which is what made is unprecedented and obstructionist.

    That didn’t happen here.

    Christopher Cross (ee574f)

  53. To Christopher Cross –

    I am sure I have seen the Dems use it. If I have time, I will play with google and try to find some examples.

    jim (6482d8)

  54. The Next Nominee

    I don’t envy the political environment and scrutiny the next nominee to the Supreme Court faces from both sides of the political aisle. Conservatives, however, appear ready to unite and get behind the President, relieved that Harriet Miers has stepped…

    ProLifeBlogs (dbeed7)

  55. Jim,

    Thanks for the props on my handle. It is intended to be a little self-deprecating humor. However, I STRONGLY disagree about the votes for Miers. I believe that, based on the information we were beginning to get about her ideology, based upon her disastrous meetings with various Republican Senators, and based upon the (quite credible) reports that a “promise” re: overturning Roe had been extracted to bring Dobson on board, we would have ultimately seen a close vote, with Miers losing (by 3 – 5 votes) to a very INTERESTING combination of liberal Democrats (trying to preserve Roe) and conservative Republicans (wanting a true judicial conservative).

    I’m a conservative/libertarian, pro-life (philosophically, not necessarily legislatively . . .but that’s a different story) Catholic. For me, and, I believe, for MANY conservatives, it’s not about Roe (well, except to the extent that ANY rational justice or nominee should find the “reasoning” in Roe intellectually offensive). It’s about, and should be about, a consistent, well-articulated philosophy of judicial conservatism. “Knowing” that Miers would vote to overturn Roe impresses me NOT AT ALL. How would she vote on Kelo? Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas have all voted “against” me (or the outcome I preferred) from time to time. So what? Each of them has a reasonably consistent judicial philosophy with which I am comfortable. Miers had NO articulated judicial philosophy, no track record of ever even being concerned with Constitutional issues, a track record of speeches and writings which could only be called (if you are feeling charitable) “confused.” Her writings and speeches I have read reflect muddy thinking, inconsistent positions, positions taken without thought to consequences, etc. She, frankly, scared the crap out of me. More than that, there was NOTHING in her background that suggested she had the experiential and intellectual qualifications to make her an APPROPRIATE nominee for SCOTUS. Frankly, if Miers is qualified for SCOTUS, so am I . . . and I’d be the first one to tell you that I’m not.

    But, again, there is a WORLD of difference between commentators commenting on the apparent (dare I say manifest?) lack of qualifications of a SCOTUS nominee and the Democrats in the Senate refusing to fulfill their Constitutional obligation to advise and consent. All we were doing was exercising our First Amendment right to speak our minds about the qualifications of this nominee. That she and W chose (belatedly, unfortunately) to listen speaks well for them, but it CERTAINLY doesn’t absolve the Democratic Senatorial Caucus from charges of unconstitutional obstructionism, and only a partisan could argue that it does.

    Flagwaver (e5f08d)

  56. And there’s an added bonus for conservatives in the Miers’ reason for withdrawing. Because she cited the confidentiality of her Presidential advice (the Krauthammer Gambit), it pretty much precludes Gonzales from getting nominated.

    steve sturm (e37e4c)

  57. Or you could say the people formed a circular firing squad and politically assassinated the nominee before she could appear before the Senate.

    Anyway, I heard one Texan issue a dire warning about the next pick.

    Oh shit… It’s Enberg…


    George Turner (baae16)

  58. Those saying she was “denied a floor vote” must be taking classes in liberal logic.

    alexandra morris (8d0335)

  59. To Christopher Cross –

    Note the url below. This is Sen. Feinstein’s defense of the Dems’ behavior. Two things I’d like to point out are that 95% of Bush’s judicial nominees were confirmed. She got that figure, by my unrefined calculations, only be subtracting out those who had withdrawn for the non-confirmed list. The other thing is that Republicans were asserted to have consistently but more opaquely blocked Dem nominees in committee w/o a floor vote.

    Also, here is one blog that stated that the Dems had used a similar argument:

    To Flagwaver –

    I have every confidence that Reid would have been able to deliver the Dems. That’s ~45 votes. I find it hard to credit that fewer than 5 Republicans would have voted for Miers, and even more than enough to replace any isolated Dem defections. THAT was the problem. It would have been a judicial NAFTA.

    Anyway, I think I’m out of here. Drink up, but watch out, though, for all those corks on the floor! They’re a nasty fall just waiting to happen.


    jim (a9ab88)

  60. Start Talking About Facial Hair and Meat! Now!

    Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name from nomination to the Supreme Court. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the blogosphere can finally get back to talking about things important to us non-Americans. Like mustaches and, er, ham. You can read the re…

    Sortapundit (af7df9)

  61. The conservative zealots have gone to far. I’m going to support John McCain from now on. You guys blew it and in following Barry Goldwater’s trail your result will be the same. I will no longer support nor vote for a conservative, preferring a moderate pragmatist to anything you folks can offer. Goodbye conservatives.

    Robespierre (365706)

  62. XRLQ –

    Who do you think you are kidding when you say “Despite never having come down as pro- or anti-Miers myself…”??

    Somebody read these XRLQ posts and tell me if you get an impression one way or the other on this –

    By the way, Frum is a HERO!

    Justin Levine (ee9fe2)

  63. Jim,

    Your logic has gone “wanting” on this obstruction issue. Nobody, repeat, nobody on the right side has prevented Miers from receiving an up or down vote. What concerned people did was voice their opinions regarding this nominee. HH and Beldar, to name just two, voiced the opinion and argued for her. Others such as Frum and the Corner crowd voiced their opinion and argued against her. That is the political process – the Democratic way.

    When you equate private citizens voicing their views with duly elected representives of the people obstructing nominees via the filibuster your logic disentegrates. What the Senate does as a branch of the Government is so inherently different than private citizens voicing their concerns.

    rls (0516f0)

  64. jim,

    “Pyrrhic Victory” can come in several forms. The original you cite, and the sort we see on the horizon now. Consequently, Miers supporters can continue this foolish and unnecessary fight, they can continue to claim her Conservative critics are disloyal to GWB, and are using Democrat tactics. It’s completely untrue, but that doesn’t seem to slow them down.

    The real Pyrrhic aspects of this sorry episode show conservatives how lacking in principle GOP loyalists can be. GWB made a clear blunder which provoked this ugly squabble, then made a bad situation worse when he refused to acknowledge it for the crony nomination it so obviously was. Next White House bully boys attacked critics with Lefty name-calling and fraudulent accusations.

    Conservatives have eyes and ears. We can tell a hawk from a handsaw. And, we can judge the worth of our association with those who attack us.

    Now, that the Miers nomination has been withdrawn we see even more evidence the GOP really doesn’t understand us, or respect us or our positions. The GOP wants our campaign contributions and our votes, but will ignore our fundamental concerns and throw us overboard if it becomes politically expedient. That’s a significant point.

    The Miers nomination revealed the GOP as little better than the Dems when it comes to CYA. GWB has been undercut by his own hand, Conservatives have been insulted and maligned by the GOP. And, now we are back to square one, waiting for a nomination.

    So, congratulations to everyone who sees any value whatsoever is this whole sorry mess. It escapes me.

    Black Jack (ee9fe2)

  65. Jim,

    Re the Feinstein speech, I don’t think it stands for the proposition that all withdrawn nominees are denied a floor vote–rather she’s justifying the filibuster of (then) current nominees by hearkening back to Dem nominees who couldn’t get out of cmte or had failed cloture votes.

    Moreover, there’s a diff b/w what happened here and what Feinstein was defending. Namely, Feinstein’s examples (both Dem and Rep) were withdrawn followed BLOCKED attempts to get the nominee a floor vote (either via failed cloture votes or dying in cmte)

    There, when no other options exist (save the nuclear one), you could say that a withdrawn nominee was denied a floor vote and the withdrawal was all that was left.

    But here, you don’t have an Senatorial attempt to deny her a hearing or kill her in cmte or fillibuster. Had Specter or Leahy or whomever tried to delay the hearings so long that Miers was forced to withdraw, then you could say she was “denied a floor vote.”

    Christopher Cross (ee574f)

  66. Bush and Miers manage to compound the damage

    Pessimistic Patterico announced the Miers withdrawal without mentioning that he was wrong, wrong, wrong when he thought this couldn’t happen.

    Doc Rampage (59ce3a)

  67. There is a real crisis in the Bush administration as a result of this. Its called the Croney Crisis. Bush is running our of cronies to nominate. Time for another war!!!!+

    Charlie (8ea405)

  68. Black Jack I am reading your which you attack the GOP… Damn!! I guess you dont love this county and are seeking to give aid and comfort to the enemy! I mean loyalty to the party and to our glorious leader G Jesus Bush is the same as loyalty to ones country, is it not??

    Charlie (8ea405)

  69. Hey Angry Clam glad you finally see the light!!

    Charlie (8ea405)

  70. You are spouting precisely the same line as the Dems’ for the nominees they defeated by not letting them get out of committee to get a floor vote.

    What are you talking about? All I said is she would have received an up or down vote. You haven’t put forward any information to the contrary. Who prevented her from getting out of committee? SHE WITHDREW BEFORE ANY VOTE. The Dems haven’t blocked anyone from getting out of committee anyway. They got out of committee and were FILLIBUSTERED.

    Those same nominees then give up and withdrew.

    The nominee, only one actually, gave up and withdrew because he was being fillibustered. All the nominees got out of committee. You’ve to to pay attention!

    Gerald A (bdfba2)

  71. I am glad to see my fellow Conservatives finally seeing the light regarding what has to be the biggest fradulent administration in history. Now that you have had a glimmer of truth hit you in the eyes regarding Miers you will hopefully begin to see the lies, deception and distortion, fearmongering and fascist tactics used by this administration in its campaign in Iraq and its attempts to instill hate and fear in us to fight against each other. These evil fascists want to tear down the house so they can rule over the ruins!! Do you see it now??

    Charlie (8ea405)

  72. Regardless of how we got here, we’re here.

    And Bush is still faced with the same choice that would face any president who didn’t think he could beat the fb: Squish or Stealth?

    Stealth is out, now.

    If you want a known conservative, your job going fw is to demonstrate to Bush that you are willing to do whatever it takes to help break the fb, and that it will be enough.

    And you only have a few days to let him know, at most. Fail to do that, and say hello to Justice Squish.

    ras (f9de13)

  73. Jim, tradition isn’t just repeating past mistakes; it’s also remembering what works and keeping it. Read Federalist #76 to get Hamilton’s view on how the advice/consent of the Senate was expected to work. Following Hamilton’s guidance, as has been traditional, has helped keep our judiciary independent. Appointment of WH counsel to the Court is as close as any president in memory has come to a direct attack on that independence. The fact that Miers has been W’s lawyer for so long just makes the problem more apparent.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  74. Definitely agree w/ your choices here. Luttig or McConnell, both world-class. Also Owen, Jones, Brown.

    Two people who’d better NOT be nominated: Alberto Gonzales, Maureen Mahoney. Both in favor of racial preferences and quotas (Mahoney was integral to the Grutter case as some other posters have written), both at best questionable on abortion (leaning pro-abortion if anything), both w/ an at-best weak strict constructionist judicial philosophy and a clear prospect of drifting into judicial activism. If either Gonzales or Mahoney is nominated, the Bush Administration will collapse.

    Fortunately, that’s an easy mistake to avoid. With an all-star list like Luttig, Owen, JRB, McConnell, and Jones, what’s not to like?

    Firebreather (4fd023)

  75. Ras, I don’t think that’s gonna be a problem, at least not if it’s McConnell or Luttig. Both can repeat Roberts performance, if not turn in a better showing. Either would likely expose NARAL’s puppets as such, also — Kennedy-Feinstein-Biden et al. will look even more stupid than they did in the Roberts hearings, and it’s a sure bet that none of them can effectively respond to the reasoned take-down of the emanating penumbra nonsense that McConnell or Luttig could deliver. Most of the Senate Dems know it. We’ll get 22 no votes, plus maybe a few more (who probably would have been yes votes if not for the Miers diversion), but either of those two, and probably any one of a few others as well, would be confirmed by a comfortable margin, after the usual suspects throw the expected rhetorical firebombs.

    TNugent (6128b4)

  76. I consider the protestations that the CCC’ers or blogswarm did not prevent her from getting a vote to be simple sophistry.

    Remember those poor victims of 9-11 who jumped out of the towers? So might the terrorists claim they had not killed those ones. After all, they chose to jump.

    The towers were burning out from under them. You had threatened Bush with the flames of the revolt of his base because in YOUR opinion, Miers was not good enough. You trust him with the nuke football, but not to know the quality of his long time legal counsel.

    The Dems kept folk like Estrada from getting a vote by their methods, because they knew he (and the others) would get 51 votes. Miers would almost certainly gotten all or nearly all of the 45 Dem votes, and several Reps as well, maybe even most of them.

    The Dems have kept a LOT of nominees from getting out of committees to the Senate floor – the posters who assert otherwise have not been watching all the committees, perhaps only the top judiciary one. Senate confirmation is required for many other slots in government. Among other things, they threatened filibuster, the CCC’ers threatened Bush with the loss of his base.

    Both you and the Dems got your way.

    It’s a solid victory for you. Now y’all have something in common with … Ted Kennedy (among others):

    jim (85f6ab)

  77. The conservatives have just defeated their own nominee and tomorrow – we’ll be learning about White House indictments! Yes! It is a good day indeed for Democrats!

    Tillman (1cf529)

  78. Oh Jim you make a good point. This is a faith based administration. We are not supposed to look at the facts or think for ourselves..just have faith in Bush.. and he will guide us just like he did in Iraq and like he is now fighting against oil company price gouging…Nice smeak with your association with Ted Kennedy. Could you not have worked in something about McCain and the liberal press and the UN and Satan worshipers as well?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  79. Jim, you are confused. You failed to understand the nature of the objection that conservatives made to the filibuster. The point was that elected Democrat official were abusing their offices in two ways: first, they were abusing a Senate rule to prevent the orderly, majority operation of the Senate as envisioned in the Constitution. Second, they were doing this in order to support their policy of stacking the Supreme Court with political ideologues who could be expected to abuse their own positions.

    The Republicans who criticized Miers didn’t do either of those things. First, we don’t hold elective offices so we don’t have positions to abuse. Second, we weren’t attempting to stack the court with political ideologues. Quite the opposite, we want to eliminate the political ideologues.

    If you don’t understand the important differences, first between abusing an office vs. expressing an opinion, and second between wanting to politicize a court vs. wanting to de-politicize it, then you need to find a less intellectually strenuous forum to argue in.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  80. Texas sized rope-a-dope kudos to our president. If there weren’t enough conservatives or right leaning independents to put up a fight before this side show, there are now. Chances are we’ll see the most conservative candidate for SCOTUS sweep in with little or no push-back from the liberals in the Senate. On the order of the anti-Bader-Ginsberg (AKA- VADER-Ginsgerg). This should be fun. BTW, the CIA leak case is going to blow up in the liberal’s face. That changing wind is a fart in the breeze, and its coming from the collective arse of conservative movement. Get ready for a collective meltdown of the democratic party in eearly 2007.

    Rich (f9561b)

  81. Jim,

    Why do you insist on missing the most obvious point regarding the “denied the candidate a vote” argument (or, more properly, logical lacunae)? There is simply NO analogy between Senators, who have a Constutitional right/duty to “advise and consent,” and UNELECTED conservative commentators/political supporters, who have NO duty to do anything but speak their minds. NONE. We, who opposed Miers, simply forced the administration to admit their mistake, and withdraw a poor nominee. The Senate Democrats, by the obstructive use of the filibuster (and even more sneaky, getting appointments bottled up in committee on procedural grounds) are avoiding/shirking their Constitutional duty. There is NO congruence.

    And to Tillman, if you can’t tell the difference between W and his administration, and conservatives, you are indeed politically color-blind. W is a conservative like Lieberman is a liberal.

    Flagwaver (e5f08d)

  82. The Dems have kept a LOT of nominees from getting out of committees to the Senate floor

    Not in this Congress. The only way they have obstructed is via the filibuster. Face it, you’re wrong, Jim. Voicing an opinion, whether it supports or is in opposition, is not the same as voting in the Senate. To equate the two is intellectually dishonest.

    rls (0516f0)

  83. In the end, it doesn’t matter whether the conservative opposition is different from the Democratic filibusters: it will be perceived as such by those who see it as such, and seen as different by those who do not, and neither side is likely to change the other’s minds.

    And now we have the possibility of the nomination of which so many conservatives have dreamed: a steadfast conservative like Michael Luttig or Janice Rogers Brown, one who will almost certainly draw a filibuster, and then we will see if the President and the conservative bloggers can really count on our GOP senators from Ohio and Maine and Rhode Island and Arizona to provide the votes necessary to employ the nuclear option.

    If President Bush nominates someone who will draw the immediate praise of the Angry Clam, will we get that nominee confirmed without a filibuster, or are we staking all on a single roll of the dice?

    I really hope that the Disgrunled Mollusk and our esteemed host were right in wanting a battle royale on this issue. If they were right, we will have another great, conservative jurist on the Supreme Court; if they were wrong, we’ll have no one who would not be perfectly acceptable to Patrick Leahy and Ted Kennedy.

    Dana R. Pico (8d0335)

  84. Another day in the neighborhood

    Today’s dose of NIF – News, Interesting & Funny … It’s Stop the ACLU Thursday (and did you hear about the Blogger + HaloScan inline trackbacks?)

    NIF (59ce3a)

  85. Harriet Miers Withdraws Nomination

    What America could have had was a judge of enormous legal ability and ferocious integrity, and in the bargain a gracious Christian woman only more qualified for her new role because she would never have sought it for herself.

    All Things Beautiful (af7df9)

  86. To rls –

    I suggest you look at the history of some of the Senate committees. I just chose one, more or less at random, EPW. During just the last two or three years, Dems prevented several retired USN admirals from getting to the floor of the Senate for a vote they would have easily won to be Commissioners of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Grossenbacher and Konetzni. Both had been nominated to the NRC and languished in committee. Both ended up withdrawing their names once it became clear they would not get out of committee. Bush ended up filling the two slots with staffers of Senators, one a Rep and the other the staffer of Reid himself.

    From the second:

    “WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 (AP) – President Bush appointed two new members to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday, including the science adviser to the Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid, a Nevadan who is a leading opponent of a proposed nuclear waste repository in his state.

    Mr. Lyons was named to the commission after Vice Adm. Albert Konetzni, retired, withdrew his name from consideration. Mr. Bush nominated Admiral Konetzni to the commission last year, but Mr. Reid blocked that nomination, and scores of others by Mr. Bush, until he received assurance that Mr. Jaczko would be nominated.”

    As for seeking a less intellectually strenuous forum, as Doc Rampage suggested, let me point out that this is the same forum where folk discussed recess appointments to SCOTUS w/o correction.

    The Dems prevented Bush nominees from getting a Senate floor vote they wouold have won and they were forced to withdraw. The CCC’ers prevented Miers from getting a floor vote she would have won. Different tactics, same strategy. To argue otherwise is sophistry, the same as used by the Dems.

    jim (720574)

  87. Rich, you may be right about one thing – maybe dim bulb will nominate a rabid right judge for the SCOTUS. Even Kevin Drum seems to be worried about it:

    On the indictments though – either Libby or Rove one are going down (maybe both or more). So hold on – the wild elephant ride has just begun.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  88. Supreme Court: Miers Withdraws

    Harriet Miers gives up and (almost every) Conservative breathes a sigh of relief. Now we’ll see if Bush understands how dangerous is to go against his own electoral base. In RealClearPolitics’ short-list, Camillo chooses Michael McConnell. We don’t …

    The Right Nation (59ce3a)

  89. Miers Withdraws — Did we win or lose?

    … It’s tempting at this point to stand out by the road shouting “We won!” but did we win, or did we just not lose as badly as we could have? In my mind, nobody “won.” George Bush created a lose/lose situation when he nominated Miers to begin wit…

    Small Town Veteran (af7df9)

  90. Patterico…Tilman. BlackJack.and others. This Meirs thing may open some eyes… although sadly some will never see….

    True conservatives are naturally reluctant to see their hopes dashed but massive deficits, endless wars for false reasons, rampant cronyism, voter fraud and a deliberate campaign of misinformation and hate are not “conservative values” no matter how many times Bush, Hannity, Coultier, Frist, Delay Limbaugh and millions of others bow their heads in prayer say it is. In any decent society this crew would have been run out of town!

    Maybe this incident will open eyes to the Bush crime family’s well worn tactics of deliberately whipping people up into a hateful frenzy over some fake “values” issue combined with a healthy dose of hate for the opposition which enables these thieves to get away with what can only be described as the robbery of America.

    They have used hate and lies and division against anyone that dares get in the way of any part of their nasty agenda and that now includes you. They didnt even hesitate to destroy a real program to find WMDs by outing a secret agent just because the womans husband dared criticize them. Did you think they would not do the same to you?

    Now honest Conservatives with integrity have got a taste of the real Bush gang because they dared question his choice for the Supreme Court. In Bush world you are not supposed to think or dissent just bow your head and do as you are told as your pockets are picked and your kids shipped off to fight and die for this administrations arrogance and ignorance.
    Maybe we can get back to a time where we had disagreements but worked together to solve our problems because we have plenty of them! But that is not going to happen until this crew is seen for what they are. Liars, thieves, manipulators, fascists, religious fanatics and political opportunists the likes of which we have never before seen. Others may have done similar things but there has been nothing on this scale for sheer arrogance and brazenness. Do you get it now?

    Charlie (8ea405)

  91. Miers withdraws

    We’ve not posted here on this topic though I’ve left comments in various spots on the blogosphere. I think that Michelle Malkin has the best early post on the topic. Patterico has the correct attitude as well. Likewise at Red State. No… (62d259)

  92. She’s gone. Don’t kick her in the @$$ on the way out.

    She has served GWB well, is doing public service instead of making millions in the private sector, and doesn’t deserve a beating. She was gracious in stepping down, and is probably having the worst day of her life.

    Times Hater (a2c300)

  93. I hope you’ve been monitoring your blood pressure over the last few weeks, Patterico. I was getting concerned!

    steve M (f48197)

  94. Have you folks ever heard of They now own the Democratic Party and love petitions and ad campaigns. Even against their own. Or the Gang of 14? They formed up and own the Senate. Nice denial by the ones that say she was not denied her day in court. I have been this angry with the MSM, but never with my own party. So call me a sore loser but also notice the company you keep.

    owl (b01a0a)

  95. i’m extremely disappointed that miers was not granted due process. she was a competent conservative and the lady deserved better. the smearing of miers was uncalled for. kudos to graham, hatch, cornyn, and hutchison for not wuzzing out. i’m sure bush will nominate another competent conservative (like he’s not for pete’s sake), this time let’s have an up or down vote. this blackmail by the extreme far right was not very attractive. it actually reminded me of barking moonbat lefties.

    M (8e5ba5)

  96. Who do you think you are kidding when you say “Despite never having come down as pro- or anti-Miers myself…”??

    I’m not “kidding” anyone. Given the insanely shrill tone of almost you’ve posted on the Miers nomination, I’m not the least bit surprised by your “everyone who isn’t for us is against it” attitude. Rather than taking my word for it, I’d encourage readers to peruse your entries on Calblog – all of them, not just a couple of hand-picked entries – and post a comment or two other there to let you know what they think. Oh wait, I almost forgot – they can’t!

    Meanwhile, while one of the more rabid Miers opponents mistakes me for a Miers supporter simply because I won’t toe his line, another Miers opponent takes it upon himself to list me as a fellow traveler. I guess everybody sees what they want to see.

    By the way, Frum is a HERO!

    To those who were entertained by the huge Miers debacle, perhaps so. To those of us who would haev preferred to have been spared it by seeing the Miers nomination stopped before it started, Frum is a chump, or worse. [The only bigger anti-hero than Frum is the chump who wrote Patterico’s “hash-cash” program, which ate the previous draft of this comment.]

    Xrlq (ffb240)

  97. To Owl, M, and other “true believers,”

    My membership in the Republican Party does not require me to give up my intellect, my judgment or my prinicples – and if it does, the Republican Party can kiss my ass. Bush put up a CLEARLY, manifestly unsuitable and unqualified nominee for a position that will, arguably, have more impact on me, my children and my life (and certainly more ongong impact) than will he . . . and I’m supposed to STFU and “trust him”????

    Ahem . . . put it where the sun don’t shine. Bush OWES me, for tolerating his socialist/big government tendencies (No Child Left Behind, Prescription Drugs, steel tarriffs), his blatant pandering to special interests in regard to vital issues of national security (the Border, anyone??), and his failure/refusal to veto out-of-control spending. A conservative? Not on your life. And his nominee was a joke. You are free to disagree, but don’t you DARE tell me if have to accept crap like this and keep my mouth shut, or be “drummed out of the Corps.” If that’s what it takes to be a member in good standing of the Republican Party, the Libertarians are looking much better.

    Flagwaver (e5f08d)

  98. Hey Flagwaver. and XRLX .good for you!! You have principles that go beyond the “cult of Bush”. Bush and crew are fascists plain and simple..

    Charlie (8ea405)

  99. Miers’ withdrawal from nomination is probably for the best

    Harriet Miers, who was a candidate for chief justice in the Supreme Court, has withdrawn from the nomination following severe criticism by the conservative movement.

    Tel-Chai Nation (c1c53f)

  100. Flagwaver…”Bush OWES me”….nice.

    owl (9b6ce4)

  101. She’s a miserable suckup and a wordy meandering equivocating writer and I don’t mind if she has a bad day. She needs a lot more of them, to learn to stop being such a weasel and to grow some guts.

    TCO (5e2e67)

  102. Holy Chimps! Miers was not a happy camper after the nomination according to the New Yorker:


    October 27, 2005
    Hi! Just a quick note to say that you looked heavyish last time I saw you, which, come to think of it, was this morning, in the Oval Office, when you accepted my withdrawal (which you had secretly demanded) and ruined my life and dreams and spirit. I hope we can stay friends. And, again, I am sorry for vomiting on your desk. Best to your wife (Laurel??).

    Harriet Miers, NOT a Supreme Court nominee

    Tillman (1cf529)

  103. p.s. I should have mentioned that the New Yorker piece above is just humor. 😉

    Tillman (1cf529)

  104. […] Others (some happy, some sad) (updated with more reax): The American Princess – So You Wanted Someone Worse The Anchoress – Harriet, Bring the Cannoli! Ankle Biting Pundits – Miers Withdraws!!!! Ann Althouse – Miers Withdraws” Bench Memos – many posts Big Lizards – Miers Withdraws from Supreme Court Consideration Blogs for Bush – Miers Withdraws Captain’s Quarters – The Krauthammer Option Wins Out Confirm Them – The Miers Withdrawal Danny Carlton alias Jack Lewis – Miers withdraws (finally) Gateway Pundit – Miers Withdraws Nomination GOP Bloggers – Miers Requests Withdrawal of Nomination LaShawn Barber – Blog Swarm Strikes Again: Harriet Miers Withdraws Nomination Mark In Mexico – Harriet Miers withdraws Michelle Malkin – Harriet Miers Withdraws: Relief Opinipundit – Meirs Withdraws!! Patterico – Breaking News: Miers Withdraws PoliPundit – several posts Powerline – Miers Withdraws Red State – several posts Right Wing News – Happy Harriet Miers Withdraws Day, Everyone Roger Simon says: Miers out! Is anyone surprised? Stop the ACLU – Miers Withdraws Wide Awake Cafe – Miers Withdrew Her Nomination Wizbang – Miers Withdraws SCOTUS Nomination […]

    » Harriet Miers Withdraws » Musing Minds » Blog Archive » Proud Members of the Pajamahadeen (654537)

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