Many major news outlets are billing the Miers withdrawal as a stunning defeat for Bush, a major miscalculation contributing to his recent reeling. But Insider Mike has suggested that the Miers withdrawal was a brilliantly played distraction from the indictment story. But was the withdrawal the ploy or was the nomination itself the ploy? Was Harriet an albino alligator, pushed into the middle of the muck, unable to camouflage and protect herself, sacrificed for the benefit of the rest of the republican reptiles? Was all her floundering just a red herring? Does she in fact wear purple horseshoes and prance in fields of green clovers? About this there can be no doubt: the suffering of the Bush administration is magically delicious.
I certainly wouldn’t put anything past the Bush Cabal. I think once it became clear that she probably wouldn’t be confirmed, they (and she) decided on the withdrawal and then using the timing to their advantage was an obvious move. Fortunately, I don’t think it worked since the possible indictment of Rove and/or Scooter Boy is a bigger story – 24 hours after the Miers withdrawal, Paddy Fitz is trumping her on NYTimes.com, Boston.com, CNN, reuters, and even the Fair and Balanced boyz at FoxNews. Also I think back to back front page examples of Bush’s horrendous judgement of character will only hasten the onset of his lame duck status.
But as far as Supreme Court strategy goes, I don’t know what to think about whether Miers was an albino alligator from the beginning. Possible scheme: She gets attacked by the right for weeks. She withdraws. Bush nominates a hard core conservative to appease his base. Dems and possibly a couple moderates filibuster and block. Bush nominates another conservative, Dems don’t have the positioning to pull another filibuster, with the right threatening Nuclear Option, the Gang of 14 capitulating, and the nation sick to death of Supreme Court nominations. Said conservative gets in and swings the court to the right. It’s not a very complicated strategy if that’s what they’re doing. And Miers apparently reveres Bush so she would have been willing to take the fall. Ultimately, I don’t think it matters because Bush has a long list of qualified conservative candidates and the Dems can’t block them all. But the good news is that the longer this is drawn out, the longer O’Connor stays on the bench. This means that she may still cast critical votes on many cases on the docket, including a privatization of wetlands case, an assisted suicide, and an abortion case.