How A Miers Withdrawal Scenario Might Go
On October the 14th, the White House announces that Harriet Miers has asked the President to withdraw her nomination. The Sunday Morning talk shows talk incessantly about how Bush’s crony pick was withdrawn, the split in the conservative movement, and how this is the worst thing that ever happened to Bush. What a triumph for the left…or is it?
On the following Monday, October the 24th, President Bush announces that he is nominating Edith Hollan Jones to the Supreme Court. The left wails & gnashes their teeth in anger. The same conservatives who bitterly attacked Bush over the Harriet Miers nomination, praise him to the skies for his selection. Right wingers who previously said that they wouldn’t donate money to the GOP in 2006, open up their checkbooks to donate money to conservative special interest groups that plan to run ads to defend the Jones nomination.
On November the 7th, Jones goes before the Senate. Every Republican plans to vote for her, but the Democrats aren’t happy. There is even some talk of a filibuster. But, after just seeing the terrible “wrath of conservatives scorned” over the Miers’ nomination, Republican members of the “Gang of 14” become terrified of the consequences of a vote against the nuclear option. John McCain understands that going the wrong way means his presidential campaign in 2008 is doomed. Mike DeWine knows he’ll lose his Senate seat if he votes with the Democrats. Lincoln Chaffee has a tough primary coming up and he knows going the wrong way means defeat. Lindsey Graham, who has already been stung by criticism over his role in the “Gang of 14” deal, doesn’t want a repeat performance.
Harry Reid then sees that there are 52 votes for the nuclear option and figures that he may not be able to stop Jones, but if the conservative base is less motivated in the future, he may still get a chance to block a nominee down the road. So, knowing that he can’t win, he decides to keep his powder dry in case there is another Supreme Court opening later in Bush’s term.
Then, on December the 2nd, Edith Hollan Jones comes up for a vote which she wins: 55 – 45. The public at large? They’ve heard the Democrats’ spiel about Republican extremists a thousand times before. They just don’t pay much attention to it. Besides, Edith Hollan Jones seemed so competent in the confirmation hearings.
The Democratic base? They’re demoralized and angry. They had the best nominee they were ever going to get with Miers and somehow it all slipped away from them.
The Republican base? They’re energized & ecstatic because they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. The Miers nomination? Well, since Bush proved himself by selecting Jones, it must have meant his intentions were good with Miers. Maybe she wasn’t a great candidate, but at least things did turn out OK in the end. Heck, OK is an understatement! We got Edith Hollan Jones on the Supreme Court thanks to Bush!