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October 10, 2005



Crony is a bit strong for someone who has served as the President's lawyer and White House Counsel. It would be inaccurate to call Miers a personal friend, college buddy, or even a professional colleague.

A lawyer client relationship is typically much more arms length than a "crony" relationship.

Sophisticated clients, though, are in a unique position to form accurate opinions as to the judgment, wisdom and character of their lawyers. Often these opinions are more accurate than pundits' prognostications about future opinions of sitting judges based on their writings.

Hei Lun Chan

So she and the president were close enough for him to form a unique opinion of her but far enough that he won't let their personal relationship get in the way? Uh huh.


I bet $5 on the "I forgot to make my housekeeper's Social Security payments." withdrawal.


Illegal nanny?

Illegal gardener?

Illegal President?

Scratch that last one.


The Heretik

Where there is a will there is a way, and what will will find here is that where there is no will there also will be a way, a way to get Miers nomination out of here.


Hmm, are you suggesting that Miers better make up a will? I mean, I'm opposed too, but can we settle for an illegal nanny?

The Heretik

Too many wills in that last comment by me. Tom, I do think an illegal nanny or some "personal reason" will come up for this nomination to be withdrawn. The personal reason, however, will have more to do with Bush's credibility than with Miers. I am still baffled how this nomination came this far given the firestorm blowing across the landscape now. How could that have not been anticipated? If it wasn't anticipated, does it mean Bush just doesn't care? If Bush doesn't care, what does that say?

Rick Ballard


If you wanted to point up the lack of party discipline that the Seven Dwarves exemplify, could you do it in a manner better than this? "Dopey" McCain rolled over and pronounced himself "satisfied" with Miers within a day of the announcement. Now, Dopey usually sets himself up as a 'maverick' in order to suck up with the press. Why the dutiful loyalist act on this one?

As this rolls forward, and the true base remains faithful despite the very, very, very important prognostications of the pundits, I'm betting that Dopey, his sidekick Dopier Graham and Dopiest DeWine will come to consider this a learning experience. Bill Kristol happens to be Dopey's biggest fan among pundits - do you think he might have noticed the approaching train? Why is he taking a stand so distant from his favorite weathervane?

Bob O'Brien

Tempest in a teapot.

President Bush will never withdraw this nomination. That's why though he may be wrong, being President means never having to admit to it. Anyone who wants to bet against me on this? Didn't think so.

And does anyone think that Ms. Miers has any skeletons in her closet a la Bernie Kerik after having been thisclose to the President for the past five years?

Nope. Nothing like a withdrawal will happen.

In fact, some are saying (as Rick mentioned above) that much of the voting base (not the pundit base, or the blogosphere) has no negative opinion of Miers. So they're 100% behind the President.

So President Bush will take the beltway pundits and the blogcommandos to the woodshed after his nominee is accepted by the Judiciary committee and easily confirmed by the full senate (perhaps by an even wider margin than Chief Justice Roberts.)

And we'll turn our attention to areas where we can still have an influence, in these last three years of an increasingly lame-duck administration.


I agree with Bob till his last paragraph. This President is going to oversee the spending of over 200 billion dollars. He gets to decide what's pork and what's not. No lame duck here.


I knew a man, he danced with his wife, in Dallas.

Jon H

"That's why though he may be wrong, being President means never having to admit to it. "

Hell, Bush is rarely allowed to hear anything that suggests his actions exhibit anything short of godlike perfection.

Attila (Pillage Idiot)

Lanny Davis was White House Counsel, too.

But that's not the point. Being White House Counsel is a plus, and she's not actually a crony, just has the appearance of crony-ness.

Whoever said Bush won't withdraw her is absolutely right. She'll have to do the deed herself. But it will have to get very ugly first, and I don't look forward to that.

This is just one of those situations in which Bush (whom I still like) has no one but himself to blame.

Patrick R. Sullivan

'I don't want a merely a reliable vote - I want a solid conservative judge who can articulate the issues and do us proud.'

Unfortunately, there aren't 60 votes in the Senate for such a nominee. There probably aren't 50 for the nuclear option either.

So, we're in game theory mode. What would Schelling-Aumann Do?

Rick Ballard


It is not that the President is above criticism, it is that if one adds Specter and Voinovich to the Seven Dwarves - McCain, Graham, DeWine, Warner, Chafee, Collins and Snowe one arrives at the conclusion that, unless spine transplants can be accomplished, a Luttig or McConnell will not make it to the court. There are at least these nine who have a weathervane for a compass and believe that their own interests are far more important than party discipline.

The Dems accomplished many things, some of them might even have been correct, if not good, because of party discipline and/or large majorities. The Reps accomplish somewhat less because the necessary discipline has proven impossible to impose within the Senate. The House is a different matter, which is why DeLay's removal is so important to the Dems that they will employ a man of such a low character as Earle to achieve through legal artifice that which they are incapable of achieving through the democratic process.

Why should the base of the party be angered with a President who has done more to advance party interest than any man since Lincoln? He has no control over the spineless simpletons who happen to hold Senate seats but not convictions.


A lamebrained Bush proposal? One so stark in its stupidity that surely saner minds will prevail?

Welcome to my world.

Say hello to Justice Meiers.


Mr. O'Brien asks: "Anyone who wants to bet against me on this?"

As Mr. Maguire has pointed out, there are many people at Tradesports who will happily bet against you (though at present they will ask for a bit over 2-1 odds).

In fact, as of this writing the TradeSports market looks arbitrageable, with a 70-79 market in "gets over 60 votes" but a 69-70 market in "confirmation".


Good point about pork.


The best substantive argument against Miers - at least against her nomination if not against her confirmation - is that as the critical swing vote on many controversial issues, her opinions will undergo heightened if not strict scrutiny, to use constitutional terms.

It's not enough to be a dependable vote; she's got to be a dependable _voice_ that is able to articulate why and where the liberals have taken judicial review off course. And explain it both to the general public and also to that legal clerisy that seems to ever grow more powerful and influential each day.

That's asking a lot; probably asking more than what we on the right ask from Scalia. But that's what will be demanded from her if her decisions indeed will be as critical as we suspect.

There's little to indicate that she can fulfill these requirements. There's little to indicate that she is even aware of what will be demanded.

Maybe we're all wrong (we?).

Interesting note: After Fortas resigned, Nixon replaced him with Harry Blackmum. Author, of course, of the Roe decision (although reportedly Blackmum's ruling didn't turn out the way he intended it).



1. As Miers is single, childless and reportedly works something like 18-hour days, she will indeed have to come up with something more creative than a nanny or "I want to spend time with my family."

2. GOP base voters who aren't paying close attention aren't unhappy with the pick, it is true. But can we guarantee that this will remain true when the hearings start? And will the activists who volunteer for campaigns be fired up in 2006? Why on earth would they?


How many of the activists are one-issue activists?

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