My Last Miers Post (I Think)
I wasn’t planning to do any other posts on the Harriet Miers nomination because — and I admit it — I have beaten this dead horse so hard that there’s nothing left but a pulpy, red, spot on the ground mixed with a few cracked horse teeth.
But, I did want to take a moment to counter some of the gloom and doomers out there who are claiming that the sky is falling because Harriet Miers went down to defeat. The truth of the matter is that the Miers nomination going down in flames was good for the President, the Party, and conservatism in general.
As far as the President goes, not only did he just put an end to a nasty revolt among his own troops, he has a great opportunity to unite the entire base behind him with his new selection. If he wants to be a “uniter, not a divider,” there are probably 15 nominees Bush can select that will be wildly popular with the base. Then, after Bush makes a great call on the next nominee, many of the people who have been ripping him up one side and down the other (yours truly included,) will be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. The thinking will go:
“Sure maybe Miers was a mistake, but maybe Bush was just too loyal to his own people. It’s hard to fault him for that, especially since he recognized that he made a mistake and selected a great nominee the second time around. Boy, aren’t we lucky to have George W. Bush as our President?”
The pro-Miers people? Well, first of all, there weren’t very many people who were “Pro-Miers”. In actuality, Miers had no fans before she was nominated and very few who liked her afterwards.
Most of the pundits and bloggers who defended her, did so not because they thought she was a wonderful nominee, but because they supported the President, thought it would bad for the Party if she was defeated, thought she at least deserved hearings, believed Bush would never withdraw her so why bother fighting, etc, etc, etc.
Well, guess what?
When George Bush selects a new nominee, almost all of the “Pro-Miers” folks will get behind that nominee for the same reasons they supported Miers. If you’re going to tell me that after we have a Karen Williams, Michael Luttig, or Priscilla Owen on the Supreme Court, the conservatives who were backing Harriet Miers are going to honestly wish that she’d made it through instead of the next nominee that Bush selects, well, I just don’t believe that.
Also, it’s worth considering that this whole fight has been a wake-up call for the Republicans in Washington who’ve been taking conservatives for granted. The thinking up on the Hill prior to the Miers nomination seemed to be “Don’t worry about the conservatives. Where else are they going to go?” I suspect the new thinking will be more along the lines of: “We better worry about the conservatives because who knows what they’re going to do if we keep disappointing them?”
That’s not to say that this fight will bring all the Republicans in Congress around to our point of view, but it will nudge them in the right direction on spending, illegal immigration, and many other issues that conservatives care about.
Plus, there’s another added benefit to all of this.
Think about what will happen if Stevens or Ginsberg retire before Bush gets out of office. Because of this brawl, we’re going to be almost guaranteed to get an originalist replacement. On the other hand, if Miers had made it through, Bush may have gone with Gonzales or some other nominee suggested by Harry Reid. Now, that’s not going to happen.
Last but not least, there is a glorious moment that all conservatives should be waiting for: When Bush’s next originalist nominee, the replacement for “swing vote Sandra,” is actually confirmed. You know why that is going to be such a great day? Because that will be when it finally dawns on the Democrats that they’ve been completely and utterly hosed. Little miss flipping coin, Sandra Day O’Connor, will be gone and in her place will be a rock solid originalist who’ll be up there for decades. It’ll be enough to bring a smile to a conservative face and a tear to a Democratic eye…
*** Update #1 ***: Redstate is saying that their sources are telling them that the next nominee has already been chosen:
“Multiple sources are telling RedState that Samuel A. Alito, Jr. of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals will be named by the President at the next associate justice of the United States Supreme Court as early as Monday.
“The situation is still in flux,” says one source, “but not very much.” Says another, “The White House Counsel’s Office is not doing too good at keeping this a secret.”
Now, take that with a grain of salt. Sometimes RedState’s sources are spot-on and sometimes they’re just spotty. But, if Samuel “Scalito” Alito is actually the nominee, the “snoopy dance” icon is coming out again on Monday. It couldn’t get much better than Alito…