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October 11, 2005
The Dishonorable Stamp Of Approval

I have insisted that the Democrats will not allow the Harriet Miers nomination to go down to defeat, inasmuch as the alternatives look too politically unpalatable. The Gang of 14, those "moderate" Senators who hijacked the confirmation process last spring, have made that outcome more likely than ever by issuing an endorsement of Miers, the Hill reports in today's edition:

The Gang of 14s centrist Democratic and Republican senators met and gave preliminary approval yesterday to Harriet Miers as President Bushs nominee to replace Justice Sandra Day OConnor on the Supreme Court.

Emerging from a meeting at the offices of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said, This nomination didnt set off any alarm bells with any of us.

The significance of this provisional endorsement, though presented in a low-key fashion, could be huge, for it means that unless damning evidence emerges during the Judiciary Committees as-yet unscheduled confirmation hearings the nominee is unlikely to be filibustered, and a party-line vote would mean confirmation. A party-line vote is far from assured because conservatives have not welcomed the nomination.

In essence, this endorsement means much more. The endorsement primarily reflects an inability to filibuster Miers, but the timing shows something completely different. Why would the Gang of Idiots go out on a limb to endorse Miers at this stage, with all of the attendant controversy among Bush's base? It would make much more sense for them to withhold any judgment, pro or con, until after the hearings. They run the risk of endorsing a candidate who could conceivably melt down during the confirmation process.

This endorsement sends a signal that they find Miers not just acceptable, but as good as they can expect. The Republicans of the Gang want to simmer down the opposition building within their own party and assure the President that Miers will get confirmed no matter what. Their Democratic counterparts want to support Harry Reid's initial suggestion to nominate Miers and to send a signal to their caucus that opposition to Miers will only help the conservatives.

As I have warned, Miers will get confirmed unless she stumbles so badly during her hearings that the Senate has no choice but to reject Miers or for the Administration to withdraw her name. Apart from the unlikelihood of such a collapse, the confirmation has clearly become an almost certainty, and the Democrats will guarantee it to avoid Brown, Luttig, and McConnell. Conservatives should satisfy themselves with their loudly expressed disapproval and recognize that this choice has an equal chance of working to our benefit as it does of working against it.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 11, 2005 12:19 PM

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» Miers Controversy Continues from ProLifeBlogs
Their reasons vary, but nearly half of Senate Republicans say they remain unconvinced that Harriet Miers is worthy of being confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Times. However, Miers' nomination is unlikely ... [Read More]

Tracked on October 11, 2005 1:20 PM

» The Miers Controversy from Hyscience
Their reasons vary, but nearly half of Senate Republicans say they remain unconvinced that Harriet Miers is worthy of being confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a survey conducted by The Washington Times.... [Read More]

Tracked on October 11, 2005 1:44 PM



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