Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bush and Miers manage to compound the damage

OK, just a quick note this morning before I get to work:

From Digger's Realm, Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name as a nominee to the Supreme Court. On the one hand, I was glad to see this because although I never took a firm position against her, I was extremely worried about what she would do on the Supreme Court. On the other hand, the way they did it will come back to haunt Republicans.

Both Miers and Bush blamed the withdrawal on the fact that Senators had asked for privileged Whitehouse documents. This gives the Democrats an ace for any nominee who has ever worked in the Whitehouse. All they have to do is demand privileged documents. When Bush refuses to provide the documents, the Democrats can say, "Well you either have to provide them or withdraw the nomination. That's what you said when Miers was nominated." How is Bush going to answer that?

Even worse, the Sentate Republicans who asked for these documents have given Democrats cover for when they do that. Up until last week, the Democrat habit of demanding privileged documents and then getting all huffy when they weren't provided was a weak strategy because it was so obviously out of line. Republican could always explain why the request was out of line. Now that Republicans have done the same thing, what defense do they have left?

I understand that Bush had to find a face-saving way to drop Miers, but couldn't he have found something less devastating to future Supreme Court nominations? Don't those people in the Whitehouse ever think?

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

More seriously, Patterico has done a terrific job of covering this controversy and opposing the nomination.

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