Oct 27, 2005

So long, Harriet

So Harriet Miers, Supreme Court nominee and George W. Bush superfan #1, withdrew her nomination this morning. She says:
As I stated in my acceptance remarks in the Oval Office, the strength and independence of our three branches of government are critical to the continued success of this great Nation. Repeatedly in the course of the process of confirmation for nominees for other positions, I have steadfastly maintained that the independence of the Executive Branch be preserved and its confidential documents and information not be released to further a confirmation process. I feel compelled to adhere to this position, especially related to my own nomination. Protection of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch and continued pursuit of my confirmation are in tension. I have decided that seeking my confirmation should yield.
In a statement today, Dubya says:
I understand and share her concern, however, about the current state of the Supreme Court confirmation process. 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. Harriet Miers’ decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the Constitutional separation of powers ­ and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her.

Oh please. It's the Dubya spin machine at work again. From Salon's Tim Grieve:

With the Valerie Plame scandal threatening to hurt Bush further with the middle of the country, the White House needed to move quickly to keep its base on board. Charles Krauthammer laid out a plan for an exit strategy last week, and the White House has followed it to a "T": Manufacture a dispute over White House documents, declare an impasse and let the honorable Harriet Miers spare the nation an irreconcilable dispute between the legislative and executive branches by graciously withdrawing her nomination. When the president was asked Monday about a report that the White House was considering a contingency plan for Miers' withdrawal, Bush blurted out instead that he would never turn over documents from the White House "about the decision-making process, what her recommendations were." It wasn't an answer to the question Bush had been asked, and yet it was: The trumped-up, or at least not yet fully realized, document dispute was, in fact, the "contingency plan."

I agree with Tom. This isn't about documents. This isn't about Harriet being a noble American rising above the ugliness of partisan politics. It's about Dubya again showing his ineptitude as a leader, succumbing again to Neocon pressure. It wasn't the left that forced her out. It was the conservative right, who has Dubya by the balls, that did it. He's turned the GOP into the mouth of the neoconservative movement, an inextricable association that will continue to harm this country. Unless the left really gets its act together and gets this bunch of inept leaders out of office.


Generik said...

I won't miss Harriet in the slightest -- and I think you and Tim Grieve have it absolutely right, the Bush cabal is following Krauthammer's plan to the letter -- but I do worry about who will be appointed in her place. You know Bush will try to find the most rabid right-winger available, if only to shut up the braying Republican pundits and supporters who had called for Harriet's head (for allegedly "not being conservative enough") when she was first announced.

Chuck Dupree (Belisarius) said...

Okay, my theory is that now's the best time to have Shrub make an appointment. This, of course, is assuming that there'll be somebody left un-indicted in the administration to make that high-level appointment…

But really, his poll numbers, his popularity in the Senate after the quagMiers, the Republican fear of losing the House, the indictments in Texas and Ohio, stock problems in Tennessee, gas prices, the 78% of the population that believes Bush administration officials did something unethical as re: Plamegate, the love from the African-American community… This is the best we can hope for, a completely weakened and desperate President, a lá Nixon.

I have to admit, in the Nixonian times I figured on an attempt to declare martial law, and was looking for local Weather Underground groups. These days, I realize the military is neither stupid enough nor sufficiently anti-American to fall for such a blatantly unConstitutional scheme. Realistically, the military, and god help us the CIA, was not the problem in Iraq. It was the wackos at the top. Powell wasn't for torture, Cheney was.

Torture's too good for him.

Meanwhile, they need another SCOTUS appointee.