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« Peak Oil, Energy Conservation and Other Nonsense | Main | Stranger Danger »

October 12, 2005

Comments

DW

Hmmm. Maybe not a “dummy”, but what of describing him as having “short horizons”? I wonder if he just got tired of all the people lobbying him for this or that person and just decided to go with somebody he knew and liked—go small and get it over with. The Court isn’t close to the White House so it is a different case than sticking another crony somewhere high in the Executive Branch.

Jim

"The Court isn’t close to the White House so it is a different case than sticking another crony somewhere high in the Executive Branch."

No sh*t; it's a major strategic play for power for his whole talbangelical movement. This is not a something where you can just get tired of the search process and grab any old name out your butt. This is only half a step short of Caligula's horse. Oops, somebody got there first.

DW

How does this help his "movement" if his base is so put off by the choice? Are they only pretending to be upset? Or is Bush just not really into their cause like everybody thought?

I don't see anything grand or bold in the move.

Andrew

I think there is a case to be made that there is method to the madness, namely that Bush is trying to expand the power of the executive (ie himself) at the expense of Congress and the courts. It's not some sneaky maneuver to get someone he "really" wants - he really does want to put his crony on the bench, not just because she flattered his ego but because she's the one he can trust the most to vote his way every time. A few upcoming cases have to do with the "war on terror," torture, detention without charge, etc. Bush could see these as the ones he most wants to go "his way." It would fit the larger pattern of the Bush administration looking to short-term political gain in all cases rather than long-term effects (would Miers vote for executive power if a Democrat were president?). [On the other hand, it might contradict Rove's "enduring Republican majority" goal; but maybe they figured the ERM™ was strong enough to withstand an unpopular nominee.]

Andrew

One more thought: One of the most salient mediocrities about Harriet Miers is that she apparently cannot write clearly or incisively and has no clearly developed judicial philosophy - and is therefore unlikely to have any lasting impact (ie through her written opinions) on the Supreme Court or American constitutional law other than her vote during her tenure. But this could be exactly what Bush wants: she'll vote his way on executive power and the war on terror, but will have no problem voting against a Democratic president, since she won't have high principle at stake; nor would she be able to write a clear and persuasive opinion about why we should the executive whatever it wants. That is, short term gain plus indifference to (or active contempt for) the long term.

Jim

"How does this help his "movement" if his base is so put off by the choice? Are they only pretending to be upset?"

Well, what exactly is his base? It is not the old line conservatives like George Will, who are indeed put off by this choice. His evangelical base is leery because they don't think she is socially conservative enough. One group questions her on the basis of some debate forum she set up at SMU that hosted Gloria Steinem and Ann Richards. That is about the extent of the objections coming form Bush's real base.

Kenji

I'm sure Miers will be better than Burger, and that's good enough for me! Also, if the Supreme Court becomes an institution filled with mediocre minds, it simply will lose its influence, because the people will not take its opinions with respect. That's exactly the way, democratic institutions should work.

Jim

"Also, if the Supreme Court becomes an institution filled with mediocre minds, it simply will lose its influence, because the people will not take its opinions with respect. "

That has actually been noted as a possible intentional outcome of this nomination - an attempt to weaken the Court to preclude any more "legislating from the bench."

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