Thursday, October 27, 2005

Critics Have Wish Granted

They’ve got what they wanted.

Harriet Miers (search) withdrew her nomination to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice Thursday in the face of strong criticism from President Bush's most conservative supporters, who say she doesn't have the qualifications or experience necessary to serve on the nation's highest court.

With his credibility shot, the President has to focus on just getting just any Republican pick for SCOTUS approved before 2006 - after then there’s a good chance the Dems will make the choice.

His first problem is to identify a candidate who won't be mobbed, either by the conservatives who opposed Miers, or any other group attracted to the blood in the water. He’ll ask the Majority leaders of the House and Senate to agree a candidate who has the support of all Republicans in both houses.

He should ask them to run background check on their candidate to make sure they haven’t chosen another Kennedy or Souter (two SCOTUS judges with impeccably conservative credentials who went despotic when they had their jobs-for-life).


He’ll then ask Tom Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, to confirm with his Democratic opposite number that the Dems won’t filibuster the Republican choice. Since they’re bound to if he’s anywhere right of Ted Kennedy, the President will than have to ask John McCain, the leader of
the gang of 14, if the 7 Republicans in his group will support a Senate override of a filibuster of this candidate. If McCain won't give support, the president will have to lock McCain and the two majority leaders in a room and only let them out when they've agreed a compromise candidate.

This whole episode has eliminated the president’s credibility, and is bound to increase fears for the economy, Iraq etc. The markets agree – today the Euro is up 2 cents and Sterling is up 1 cent.

My guess is that this will play out to the advantage of John McCain and Hillary Clinton, and that they will be the candidates in 08.