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October 26, 2005
Lindsay Graham And Mike DeWine, Super Geniuses

Senators Lindsay Graham and Mike DeWine should learn from the well-worn proverb that instructs one to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool rather than open it and remove all doubt. Yesterday, in defending Harriet Miers from the growing opposition against her confirmation within the GOP, both claimed that the grass-roots effort to publicize their disapproval would only have the opposite effect on Republican Senators -- because apparently voters have now become a "special interest":

Senator Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, said that if Ms. Miers withdrew now she would only hurt Republican senators who are uneasy about her nomination. It would suggest that special interest groups control the nomination process, he said. Mr. Graham said the nominee can't withdraw for this reason alone and that the hearings will go forward as planned.

"If she withdraws, that means that we, the party and the president, have given in to special interest politics who want to shake up the process," Mr. Graham said in an interview. "So I am dead set against her withdrawing, especially now. I don't want special interest groups on the right or the left to hijack the nomination process." ...

"Enough is enough," Mr. DeWine said. "If I pick up one more paper and read about one more group that I've never heard of saying they're for Miers or against Miers -- it just doesn't matter at this point."

Manuel Miranda, who has helped organize much of the opposition to Miss Miers, said this battle will not be forgotten by the Republican base.

"Mike DeWine is going to lose in Ohio, and he should be more aware of grass-roots sentiment," Mr. Miranda said. "Mike DeWine doesn't have a great deal of conservative support in Ohio and ham-fisted remarks aren't going to help with that."

Since when did voters get defined as a "special interest"? This isn't the NRA generating the ads, or the National Education Association, or PFAW or the ACLU. The groups funding and running these efforts, whatever one thinks of them, consist of ad-hoc coalitions formed specifically in response to the nomination of Harriet Miers. It is feedback from the electorate -- which suddenly signals its representatives to do the opposite?

The message becomes doubly irritating coming from these two wind-twisters. Had it not been for DeWine, Graham, and the other five Republicans in the Gang of 14 this spring, we wouldn't have Harriet Miers nominated to the court in the first place. Their political cowardice in refusing to stand up to Democrats running amok with the filibuster created the environment where the White House must have felt that only stealth candidates had a chance to win confirmation. Having them turn around and scold Republicans for exercising their right to free speech by criticizing the candidate their surrender created not only represents a continuation of that surrender but a further revelation of their disregard for the people who elected them to their current positions.

In response to this provocative slam from the pair, several other GOP Senators made it clear that listening to voters makes a little more sense to them. George Allen took the lead, countering the waffling duo and scolding them that they discounted public sentiment at their own risk:

"There are people who care a great deal about this particular vacancy on the Supreme Court and they're expressing their views," Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican, said very carefully. "You listen to all people who have a point of view."

DeWine, for his part, continued with his cluelessness:

Mr. DeWine said Republican senators facing challengers in the 2006 election -- such as himself -- need not worry that their positions on the nomination will be held against them.

"This is not a factor," he said yesterday. "People are not having a big discussion back in Ohio. It's not a huge issue."

Really? Hey, Ohio. Love to hear from you on this one. Maybe Mike DeWine would, too.

Meanwhile, on other Miers-related fronts:

* Hugh Hewitt continues his sincere but increasingly desperate efforts to convince people to support Miers. I found his defense about the affirmative action issue particularly unconvincing, as did Roger Clegg, who supported his opposition to Miers particularly well in the interview. And Dale Franks at QandO answers Hugh's questions with ease.

* George Bush achieved the almost-impossible in nominating Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court -- he made Barbara Boxer look like a genius:

It may come as a surprise to many of her constituents, but for seven years California Sen. Barbara Boxer has been moonlighting from what she calls her "day job" as an elected official from the state that boasts the free world's fifth or sixth largest economy to write a novel. "A Time to Run" is a for-whom-the-bell-tolls story of a liberal blue-state senator who braves the political mud wrestling in Washington for the sake of her ideals. It is, of course, co-written, with San Francisco author Mary-Rose Hayes.

In Boxer's fictional world, a liberal California senator with views very much like hers goes to bat to defeat the Supreme Court nomination of a woman whose most conspicuous qualification for the job seems to be her conservative credentials a plot twist Boxer said she added a year and a half ago.

But don't miss the review of the rest of the plot written by Boxer. The Supreme Court issue apparently took all of Boxer's literary genius, because the rest of it sounds like nothing more than self-congratulatory hokum. One might be reminded of the literary efforts of Saddam Hussein, who also routinely cast himself as the hero of his fictional tales.

* The AP gets back to Republican-bashing business on Miers by once again running stories on where the parents of Supreme Court nominees decided to buy houses. Here's the lead:

Harriet Miers spent her teens in an all-white high school far removed from the racial and social upheaval of the early 1960s, consumed instead with academics, tennis and even a stint as the school newspaper's assistant sports editor.

Hmmm ... I wonder at what Matt Slagle might be hinting here?

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 26, 2005 5:32 AM

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» "Your lack of faith is disturbing..." from CrosSwords
Senators Lindsay Graham, Mike DeWine and Trent Lott have spoken as Imperial Senators. My lack of faith is disturbing. They don't want to hear from people like me, a special interest group. (Ok, many people think I have multiple personalities, and ot... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2005 7:08 AM

» Who's YOUR idea of a from blastfurnacecanada
Who's YOUR idea of a special interest group? [Read More]

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» Who's YOUR idea of a from blastfurnacecanada
Who's YOUR idea of a special interest group? [Read More]

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» Hail Harriet? from Hard Starboard
Anyway, that seems like an apt description of this latest kooky White House idea to salvage the capsizing Miers Supreme Court nomination: The Bush Administration, concerned that vocal critics are wounding Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers while ... [Read More]

Tracked on October 26, 2005 4:36 PM

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