« The Next Harrumph (Harriet Miers edition) | Main | About the Papers Libby Withheld from the SSCI, Part One »

October 27, 2005

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b97969e200d834930cc769e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference SCOTUS: Which base needs bottle-feeding?:

Comments

Good point on the different "bases." But you also raise the issue that my cynical interepretation of the right wing has made me wonder about; do they really want someone who would overturn Roe v Wade? Roe v Wade gets overturned, and what happens to much of the right's money and rasion d'etre? Sure, the Randall Terry-type true believer really does want it overturned. But probably not the right wing types like Robertson and Falwell.

But the next step is very perilous for the Republicans. Assuming Bush has to appoint someone who's most likely a squish on abortion, who gets blamed for "the evangelicals' best chance" (Miers) getting rejected? David Vitter? Sam Brownback? Arlen Specter? It's going to be hard to make it Reid. So how do they do it without damaging Republicans?

Hmmm. Robertson and Falwell are primarily political operators, tho' they operate under evangelical cover. Dobson a true believer.

Was Miers a hit with any of the evangelical base? Or was it a hold-your-nose-and-circle-the-wagons piece of politcal calculus?

The anti-abortion wing split on Miers, so there's a crack in that quadrant of the base ... but the calculators tended to stick, while the true believers defected faster.

Do you look for superglue to shore up that corner? Or do you look for shims to keep the whole table from wobbling?

I still figure he'll look for a conservative ideologue (dunno what flavor), someone who would plausibly overturn Roe v Wade, and someone who's a reliable loyalist in the event of constitutional crisis.

And if he finds one, confirmation will be difficult. He may end up with Sen. Jeff Sessions, who checks most of the right boxes and is a fearless advocate for anything backward.

As we know perfectly well, there are flaming ultras on the pre-Miers list of possible Next Nominees who would satisfy the concerns of Chuckie Krauthammer, George Will, Bill Kristol and Pat Robertson. Probably be OK with Laura, too.

Then the question for us rank-and-file leftists out here in the boondocks is whether it's in our interest that Dubya pick the least offensive ultra or the flamingest ultra on that list. In the first case, Next Nominee probably gets confirmed 60-40 or so. In the latter case, we see if the Democrats can mount an unshakable filibuster.

Lacking full confidence about that filibuster, I'm torn between hoping the next choice is merely terrible or truly ghastly.

There is another constiuency that matters: the Senate. Just because Krauthammer and Kristol and Robertson and Dobson agree that someone passes the various litmus tests doesn't mean that the GOP Senators would want to have to vote on them. Remember, supposedly part of the reason it was Roberts was that some GOPers told the WH not to send up someone they would have to fight hard to confirm.

Ooops! The Very Retrograde Right Rev. James Dobson opts out -- retroactively.

From TPM: "Based on what we now know about Miss Miers, it appears that we would not have been able to support her candidacy. Thankfully, that difficult evaluation is no longer necessary."

We are amused.

MB -- I say bring on the worst and crush it ... but I wish this round had taken a little longer to play out.

That Senate constituency, DHinMI, leans us toward what MimiKatz explored in the previous thread, the idea that a fellow Senator might sail through the confirmation process and yet provide all the rightwing factions with what they want in a Next Nominee.

But the conventional wisdom that Bush's advisors couldn't persuade him not to send Harriet Miers up to the Hill in the first place gives me no confidence that they will be able to advise him to take the easy road this time around. On the other hand, was Miers even really his stubborn choice, as we've been led to believe, or did his advisors purposefully choose her for what they hoped would be a curveball effect? It's not obvious that they had objections to Miers. Maybe they unaccountably thought she might have clear sailing.

Ever since a couple of days after I had my meltdown about Reid's initial praise of Miers, it's been my firm opinion that she would withdraw. I won what you elsewhere labeled a cheap wager in that regard today.

Though I won that bet, like RonK, I find it kind of disappointing that Miers won't get grilled by the Judiciary Committee, although I think even the most partisan among us would have soon wanted to turn away in sympathetic embarrassment for her.

Note the nominating process gang awry:
1. They didn't produce a nominee on schedule.
2. They didn't produce a viable nominee.
3. They annouced her in the middle of Roberts ceremonial installation at SCOTUS.

Something was akready broke loose and clanging around under the hood before the WH juggernaunt broke down on this deserted country road.

I don't imagine Bush will appoint the next nominee until about one week after Fitzgerald hands down indictments. Bush will hope to let Fitz have his media week and then change the subject with an ultra nutjob nomination. This will instantly result in both the Right and the Left dropping indictment talk and concentrating on the big face off.

In fact, I'll bet dollars to donuts that one of the reasons Bush chose to withdraw Miers now instead of sticking with her a little longer is precisely to have another bone to throw the media off the Plame scandal.

I agree with the Senator nominee (or Danforth, which I actually find rather interesting). There's no other way you can put together a winning constituency.

But the problem is there's a leadership void in the Senate. If you nominated someone now, just as everyone is fighting over power in the wake of Fristie's dying career, can you count on collegiality to get someone like Sessions through? I mean, the hard right GOP Senators have pretty much spat at collegiality this Congress. Will someone like Sessions be able to get it back??

And Ron's point is important. Bush STILL will be looking for someone who will take care of US v Rove in the courts. I guess Sessions would do that. I know Cornyn would do that (although DH's point about there being 50 states, and not just TX, is pretty important).

Can you see them trying for Liddy Dole? Female, obedient, lousy at recruiting for Senate candidates, and dumb as a post. Just like Miers, only a Senator. (God, let's hope they don't consider KayBee).

I agree with the Senator nominee (or Danforth, which I actually find rather interesting). There's no other way you can put together a winning constituency.

But the problem is there's a leadership void in the Senate. If you nominated someone now, just as everyone is fighting over power in the wake of Fristie's dying career, can you count on collegiality to get someone like Sessions through? I mean, the hard right GOP Senators have pretty much spat at collegiality this Congress. Will someone like Sessions be able to get it back??

And Ron's point is important. Bush STILL will be looking for someone who will take care of US v Rove in the courts. I guess Sessions would do that. I know Cornyn would do that (although Dana's point about there being 50 states, and not just TX, is pretty important).

Can you see them trying for Liddy Dole? Female, obedient, lousy at recruiting for Senate candidates, and dumb as a post. Just like Miers, only a Senator. (God, let's hope they don't consider KayBee).

Yes, there's some triumphant counterspin regarding the Dobson pullout, but I notice that he only got around to it once it was a freebie.

Had she hung on, I'd have given at least even odds that Dobson, et al. would have "looked into her heart" and seen that she'd been "born again" since 1993. Several times, if necessary.

Just a little more comic relief on the Miers withdrawl:


"It really shows the maturity of the party," said Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), another potential presidential candidate. "This is not a one-person party."

Also note: the hasty jettisoning of Miers by Dobson is a must, if the fundies are to get back onto the list of those aggrieved and in need of appeasement.

We'll see if the White House buys it.

emptywheel -- I thought about Dole, but she's near 70.

NRO is pushing Maureen Mahoney.

The Brownback quote is brilliant.

Two weeks or so ago on Diane Rehm, Tony Blankley claimed there was no real opposition to Miers. Diane said, well, there's Brownback. Blankley danced around for a while, intimating that Brownback hadn't publicly opposed her. And then (presumably realizing how lame that lie was) he said something to the effect of, "well, there are senators and then there are senators in the important crowd." Basically said it didn't matter than Brownback opposed, because he wasn't in the Kool Klub.

Brownback has to feel pretty vindicated about now, even if his wasn't the opposition that did Miers in.

What? Who? Mahoney? She's so September. The new hot property is Diane Sykes of the 7th Circuit. Get with it!

I'm glad DH thinks it can't be another Texan and so that lets out Cornyn, because otherwise I think he might he a plausible candidate (not to me, of course). Sessions? Gaggh. Danforth is more intriguing, although it raises memories of Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 US 52 (1976) from when he was AG in Missouri. The case struck down spousal and parental consent requirements and a prohibition on the commonest kind of abortion at the time. Plus, he's old.

The notion of the varying constituencies is a good one. But I still think the constituency that matters most is business. Transfering wealth is the only thing the Bush Administration seems to be really good at, the only thing they execute efficiently. There is a reason for that.

The constituency that matters next most is the Senate, and after that, he does have to appease the academic/federalist society/conservative bench faction enough that they don't treat the selection as another joke. They are more important than the religious right at this point, because he can't afford another failed nominee. But the religious right would seem to me to be the most expendable group, ironically.

What he needs is a Lewis Powell (who, by the way, joined the majority in Planned Parenthood v. Danforth in invalidating the statute on the spousal consent issue, but would have upheld parental notification and the ban on saline amniocentesis. I have no idea whether one is lurking about, but think it more likely he will go with a major political figure (Senator or possibly former Gov) or a conservative but not wildly so appellate judge.

By the way, women didn't exactly flock to Miers either, so unless Laura insists, women may get a pass this time too.

I think Bush does something unexpected -- he goes with a really qualified guy, who is "conservative," but not a fundie wingnut, and who'll sail through, uncontroversially, with 80+ votes. He gets kudos for picking a hyper-competent judge, and gets someone who won't overturn Roe, but who will continue to dismantle the New Deal regulatory structure. A justice for his real base.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Justice Frank Easterbrook. You heard it hear first.

As for women, it's clear the bench for acceptable women candidates is thin. One of the people the WH allowed the press to think they were considering was Patricia Boyle, a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, and a stunningly mediocre one at that. As state Supreme Court Justices go she's probably not an embarassment, but she's a doctrinaire Federalist Society type, and a member of what some legal types have called one of the worst supreme courts in the country. If Boyle made the list, it's not a particularly impressive list of ideologically acceptable women candidates.

Oh, regarding Danforth: ain't gonna happen.

Senator John Danforth is a Religious Bigot
October 27, 2005 03:11 PM EST

I am not a fundamentalist or evangelical Christian and I am not "born again" but I have a great deal of respect for those who are. These are people with values and principles which have helped make America great and who have provided a moral compass for America during the darkest times. Whether the topic is abortion, homosexuality, law and order, the military or the flag, Christian conservatives have taken a stand and tell it straight.

On Wednesday a former Republican Senator, Father John Danforth, a Priest of the Episcopal Church, has once again come out to decry the influence of Christian conservatives within the Republican Party. Oddly, in his new attack which he launched at the Clinton Library, he once again succeeded in outing one man of faith who is intolerant of other faiths and who is rigidly closed minded, in fact, he sees that man each time he looks in the mirror.

To Father Danforth I would say this, I understand that you don't believe Christian conservatives should live their faith beyond the confines of the church, but I am glad you represent a minority opinion. I have heard what you have to say, now explain it to God.


Then there's this:

Across the state, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth told a gathering of the St. Louis Press Club that stem-cell research was consistent with his beliefs as an abortion opponent.

Danforth, a moderate Republican and an ordained Episcopal minister, said the research holds the potential to cure a wide range of human illnesses.

Noting that his brother, Don, died from Lou Gehrig’s disease, Danforth said cloned cells should not be equated with a fully developed human being.

“If a house was on fire, and in one room was a 3-year-old baby and in the other a petri dish with a bunch of cells with no chance of being implanted in the womb, and you could save one or the other, which would you save?” he said.


And just yesterday, there was this:

Danforth Criticizes Christian Sway in GOP


Thursday October 27, 2005 5:31 AM

By DANIEL CONNOLLY

Associated Press Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Former Sen. John Danforth said Wednesday that the political influence of evangelical Christians is hurting the Republican Party and dividing the country.

Danforth, a Missouri Republican and an Episcopal priest, commented after meeting with students at the Bill Clinton School of Public Service, a graduate branch of the University of Arkansas on the grounds of the Clinton presidential library.

``I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right,'' he said in an interview. ``I don't think that this is a permanent condition, but I think this has happened, and that it's divisive for the country.''

He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run.

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracy Schmitt declined to comment on Danforth's remarks.

Danforth, who recently served as ambassador to the United Nations, made similar criticism of the party in an opinion article published by the New York Times in June. In that article, he called for religious moderates to take part in public life.


Like I said, ain't gonna happen, unless Bush completely gives in.

Nominee:

Patrick Fitzgerald

No Danforth, eh? How about Ashcroft?

I think some folks at the WH may be a little pissed at him over that Fitzgerald thingee I think I read something about.

I pick Fitz, too. Emmett Fitzhume.

Easterbrook would make a good choice. For Bush, I mean. He's part of a stable of conservative but solid judges who have been stalled in place by the insane game that SCOTUS nominations have become. Like Posner and Kozinski.

Hell, at this point, I expect Bush to come out swaying drunk, claw at a microphone and bellow, "I'm pickin' Shaq!"

I think he should pick "The RZA, The GZA, U-GOD, Inspecta Deck, Ghostface Killa........THE WU-TANG CLAAAAAN!"

Ornstein thinks it's going to be Greta VanSusteren.

That's exactly why it SHOULD be Danforth if he wants an anti-abortion person.

If Bush is smart, he will pick one of the smart economic conservatives because it will please the federalists and the business community, and not embarass the Senate. That takes care of all three of the most important constituencies. On the other hand, that argument assumes facts not in evidence.

Bush seems to have an inordinate need to feel "comfortable" with nominees for positions that are in other parts of town and will outlast him. Bizarre.

Frum I think it was on Hardball was saying he ought to appoint someone who had the intellectual heft of a Breyer or Ginsburg, otherwise it was an embarassment. He even said go with the equivalent of a Breyer--brillant but not extreme. There are such people. But at a time when he may be losing Rove and, for all practical purposes, Cheney, who will be preoccupied with his own and his Chief of Staff's problems, can Bush do what is smart? Can he even understand what that is?

Emmet Fitzhume would be instantly unmasked by investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher, who is whom I thought you meant at first.

Pat Robertson was for Miers.

Jerry Falwell was for Miers.

And as we all know, James Dobson was for Miers.

No, no, no. They weren't "for" Miers. They were just passively not opposing her. In Wingnuttia, that's a death sentence.

These people speak in code. The wingnuts would have known if their fundie leaders were actually "for" Miers.

They weren't. Here's an example. Read closely:

Dobson Admits Doubt -- Focus Founder Questioning Early Endorsement of Miers

You've got to think in wingnuttian if you're going to understand what happens in their world.

Sun Tzu: "Know thy enemy and know thyself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know thyself but not thy enemy, find level of loss and victory. Know thy enemy but not thyself, wallow in defeat everytime."

The comments to this entry are closed.

Where We Met

Blog powered by Typepad