What if the scenario is supposed to play out this way:
Bush appoints obviously unqualified personal retainer for the high court;
She's a woman: Bush gets points for this with some people;
She's not a right-wing ideologue: Bush gets points with certain people for this;
However, the right-wing is up in arms with vociferous objections: they want a true believer to reshape the court;
The mainstream media latches onto the problems with the nominee (unqualified) and political problems with the nomination (not supported by powerful forces, i.e. the right-wing punditocracy);
The media starts talking about Harold Carswell, the Nixon S.C. nominee who was a mediocre choice at best (leading one Senator to say about him "Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they?"). Carswell's nomination was ultimately defeated;
To avoid the "Carswell dilemma," Bush withdraws Miers from consideration (or perhaps Miers, ever loyal to the most brilliant man she ever met, removes herself "in the best interests of the President and the country");
Bush them nominates a stealth candidate, someone with judicial experience and a paper trail that conservatives can appreciate, but which is subject to possible innocent interpretation (on the model of Roberts);
Happy to have gotten somebody with more potential right-wing bona fides, the right supports this nomination, even though they're not overwhelmed with joy;
The Democrats object, but their objections can't find any purchase because the media, having blown its wad pontificating about Miers, can't bring itself to take arms against the new nominee (especially since those same powerful forces that dissed Miers are now supporting the new guy -- and it will most probably be a guy, perhaps even a minority -- more points for Bush);
The new nominee is confirmed;
Bush and Rove have pulled off a perfect head fake.
So far, things are proceeding pretty much as I (and others) had speculated they might. The questions we've got before us now are:
What will Bush do now -- will he follow the scenario above?; and
Was this a deliberate "head fake"?
It seems pretty clear that Bush will follow my speculative scenario fairly closely -- it's pretty much what everyone is thinking will be the case. I suppose the only question there is whether the new nominee will be a slam-dunk radical conservative, exactly the red meat the right's been hankering for, or whether Bush will go with his inclination to appoint someone close to him who's somewhat more moderate, but still less of a cipher than Miers.
If Bush had any common sense, he'd have learned his lesson from the Miers debacle and would go with someone the fundies and righties will drool over -- but common sense is never one of the stronger inclinations of this president or his administration, so you can't count on it. Absent other circumstances, it's just as likely that he'd do his stiff-necked thing again and appoint Alberto Gonzales or someone like that -- but with his administration under duress due to the Fitzgerald investigation, he might just realize that the last thing he needs is more fracturing within his base, and give them what they want.
So -- was the Miers nomination a deliberate head fake, an elaborate ploy by Bush and Rove to outfox the opposition and put through a stealth far-right justice?
I reserve the right to adjust my opinion as things develop further, but at this point I don't think so -- it seems to me from this vantage point (the outskirts of Lower Blogovia) that things just happen to have happened in a way that follows the head fake scenario.
Bush's reaction to the criticism of Miers seemed too real, and his response (i.e. stiffen the neck, then hunker down to stay the course, then frantically look for an exit) too much in character for it to have been faked. Years of observing Bush on TV with the sound off have convinced me that this man is not a particularly good actor, that he wears his true feelings right out on his face and in his posture for everyone to see -- if they'd ignore what he's saying with his mouth to see what he's saying with his body.
So, my provisional thought is this wasn't a complex bank shot by Bush and Rove. Other possibilities:
Miers was completely Bush's idea -- Rove being distracted by other matters -- which is why the choice seemed so badly tone deaf to the current political realities; and
(brace for this one) Rove manipulated Bush into nominating Miers, knowing what the reaction form the right would be, and how Bush would respond to it.
That last adds yet another bounce to the bank shot, and probably puts it out of the running as anything remotely real, but it's sure interesting as speculation.
However we ended up here, I suspect that Democrats may soon look back with great fondness on those halcyon days when the GOP coalition appeared to be self-destructing over Miers, and they could sit back and snack on popcorn and watch it develop. With Miers, so obviously underqualified to be on the high court, they had the option of abstaining from the vote, but that privilege won't be available to them with whomever is next -- and the right isn't going to help them out.
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.