October 21, 2005
Dear Harriet ...
Posted by Gordon Smith

It's time to withdraw.

The Supreme Court gig must have sounded great when President Bush first floated the idea, but the last three weeks can't have been much fun. You probably have been waiting for public opinion to turn a corner, but it's only getting worse.

If you doubt that your nomination is in serious trouble, I am told that George Will's forthcoming column in the Washington Post will disabuse you of your doubts. Remember that he wrote the column that first gave momentum to your opponents.

Then, I assume you will be submitting a revised version of the Senate questionnaire, the first edition of which received such a hearty welcome earlier this week. And just as we are done digesting that, the confirmation hearings will begin.

The Senate is on high alert now, despite your sponsor's strong-arm tactics. You may be able to avoid those private meetings with Senators that seem to be going so poorly, but you will not be able to avoid the confirmation hearings. Thousands of bloggers will be hanging on every word of those hearings. Your worst nightmare: Ann Althouse has Tivo!

Like I said, it's only getting worse.

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Comments (5)

1. Posted by Christine on October 21, 2005 @ 8:58 | Permalink

I have to believe that in the past two weeks, she has at least once asked the coolest governor ever whether she could withdraw. My guess is that he strong-armed her not to withdraw because it would reflect poorly on him. I suspect he assures her every day that he will get her through the confirmation process. So, I would include in your letter to Harriet the suggestion that her patron may not have her best interests at heart.

2. Posted by Joe Miller on October 21, 2005 @ 9:32 | Permalink

I'm glad I have a one-day start on drawing up the vetting list for The Next Nominee.
As an Oregonian, it also occurs to me that the likelihood is growing that the Supreme Court, including Justice O'Connor, will affirm the Ninth Circuit's decision rejecting the Attorney General's effort to undermine our state physician-assisted suicide law. The longer Justice O'Connor stays on the Court, the more likely it is that she will be there for her vote when they issue their decision. Her dissent in last Term's Gonzales v. Raich case, in which she argued for limited congressional power in the Controlled Substances Act context, suggests to me she will vote with Oregon if she is still there to do so.

3. Posted by Dave! on October 21, 2005 @ 12:10 | Permalink

I suspect Christine is right... The administration is loathe to admit mistakes, and I doubt the loyal G-Dub, coolest govn'a da hizzouse would turn-coat on his nominee. Maybe she'll become exasperated soon? For the sake of all, I do hope one way or another she withdraws before the hearings start and the full committee lays in on television.

4. Posted by ddj on October 21, 2005 @ 12:22 | Permalink

The President's found exactly what he wasn't looking for - a fight. And it's going to be a fight over a sub-standard nominee. If there's going to be an all-out war, why not fight over Luttig, McConnell, or Brown? I think a better "stealth" pick would have been Diane Sykes. Granted, she does have a fair amount of published (and marital) history, but she's not the lightning rod that Brown would have been. Plus, she'd be easier on the eyes than the rest of the court. (Oops, can I say that? It's a qualification, isn't it? No less so than Miers' ham-handed writings.)

5. Posted by Shag from Brookline on October 21, 2005 @ 15:22 | Permalink

Bush may be looking for a fight to distract from the Plame matter, especially to get more support from Republican Senators who recognize that he is slipping. The fight would also be a diversion from Iraq. By the way, I was shocked by Frontline's torture program rerun today in the Boston area. I can't understand why Rumsfeld is still around. George W may indeed be looking for a fight to keep our eyes off the major problems the nation is facing.

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