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Monday, October 03, 2005

2008: Harriet Miers, Republican Presidential Hopefulls, and Right-Wing Blogs

Posted by Bob Brigham

During the John Roberts nomination process, a great deal of newspaper ink was devoted to which 2008 Democratic hopefuls would vote to confirm. This time, the story won't be about Senators Hillary Clinton, Evan Bayh, Joe Lieberman, or Russ Feingold. The nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court means the question will be whether Senators Bill Frist, Trent Lott, George Allen, John McCain, Sam Brownback, or Chuck Hagel will seize the opportunity to distance themselves from an unpopular President while capturing turf with a conservative base that has reacted unfavorably to George Bush's pick.

In terms of field position, last week the Democrats were playing Red Zone defense and now the line of scrimmage is deep with GOP territory.

Of further interest, is what role will the blogs play in this process? As was noted earlier, the Republican base is disgusted and Republican opinion-makers can hardly stomach the idea of Harriet Miers sitting on the Supreme Court.

Reaction from Republican Blogs

Very consistent and "disappointed":

John Hawkins of RightWingNews goes further than me and calls Miers a "disaster"
Michelle Malkin is "utterly underwhelmed"
Powerline is also disappointed.
Confirm Them is underwhelmed.
John Podhoretz calls it dumb.
Mike Krepasky at Red State rightly says the President has some explaining to do.
Polipundit isn't exactly thrilled but is willing to give her a chance.
Andrew Sullivan is going the "Crony" route. But can we say he's wrong?
Mark Levin says that the President "flinched"
Betsy Newmark has a hard time putting an adjective on just how disappointed she is and says the President bowed to pressure.
Gerry Daly is in the "Anger" stage (#2 of the 5 stages)
Captain Ed is "mystified", and not in a good way.

Much more here. The Republican blogs will probably at least have veto power of the 2008 Republican Presidential Nominee and they seem pretty pissed off. Will Sen. John McCain cement his maverick status while covering his flank and vote "ney"? The analysis seems to suggest that this is opportunity could catapult a presidential bid for a candidate who cares more about conservative ideas than loyalty to President Bush.

Reaction from Democratic Blogs

Daily Kos (Kos):

More immediately, this is the sort of pick that can have real-world repercussions in 2006, with a demoralized Republican Right refusing to do the heavy lifting needed to stem big losses. That Bush went this route rather than throwing his base the red meat they craved is nothing less than a sign of weakness. For whatever reason, Rove and Co. decided they weren't in position to wage a filibuster fight with Democrats on a Supreme Court justice and instead sold out their base.

We'll have several months to pick through Miers' record, as well as highlight her role in any number of Bush scandals (like Georgia10 notes).

But my early sense is that this is already a victory -- both politically and judicially -- for Democrats. In fact, it should be great fund watching conservatives go after Bush. He may actually break that 39-40 floor in the polls, given he's just pissed off the very people who have propped up his failed presideny.

Update: Yup, Democrats are fully aboard. Reid's statement on the flip. Cue in more anguished wails from our esteemed colleagues on the other side of the aisle.


Wingnuttia is rather angry at the choice. I don't think this is because they're really concerned that she's not conservative enough for their tastes, although that's part of it. They're angry because this was supposed to be their nomination. This is was their moment. They didn't just want a stealth victory, they wanted parades and fireworks. They wanted Bush to find the wingnuttiest wingnut on the planet, fully clothed and accessorized in all the latest wingnut fashions, not just to give them their desired Court rulings, but also to publicly validate their influence and power. They didn't just want substantive results, what they wanted even more were symbolic ones. They wanted Bush to extend a giant middle finger to everyone to the left of John Ashcroft. They wanted to watch Democrats howl and scream and then ultimately lose a nasty confirmation battle. They wanted this to be their "WE RUN THE COUNTRY AND THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT" moment.

Whatever kind of judge she would be, she doesn't provide them with that.

More Blogosphere Reactions

Via Atrios, we learn there is even a new satirical blog on the subject: http://harrietmiers.blogspot.com/

The fracture is funny, from the Harriet Miers blog (sexism in the -- gasp -- GOP?):

I just sent this email to info@redstate.org (and yes, spammers are going to find that email address...)

You never pulled any crap like this with John Roberts. This is because I'm a woman, isn't it? You're afraid of what I'll do.

Seriously, your "sources" are getting sick of your attacking me for no reason other than I support the President. I'm not the only person here who reads your stupid blog, do you know what I'm saying?


And the same goes for Matt, and Bill, and Rush. I can't believe you turn your back on the President the moment he supports a WOMAN. Your going to regret this.

Okay, now I'm not going to talk about that anymore.

UPDATE: And "Big Mike" (HAH!), screw you, seriously.

This is funny.

Posted at 03:40 PM in 2008 President - Republicans | Technorati

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