Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thud: Executive privilege has now become the greatest excuse known to man. Clinton used it during the Lewinsky scandal. Now Bush is using it as a mulligan.

Of course, everybody knows that Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination for the Supreme Court because she was in over her head. The bipartisan consensus was that she was not qualified, and the scant amount of information available about her record made her nomination a scary prospect. Still, the White House maintains that she withdrew to protect lawyer-client confidentiality.

I hate to see all this happen. I'm sure Miers is an intelligent woman and a good lawyer. The fact that she was pushed into the deep end and unprepared to fight the ensuing piranha attacks is the president's fault. Bush made a bad choice. His credibility is hurt, and he has also mired the reputation of a good friend by putting her in that situation.

The Senate has come out looking strong, especially the Republicans for refusing to be a rubber stamp for the president. This, I'm afraid, may lead to a new nominee who is overtly conservative. That's what the base wants, and Bush doesn't have much political capital left to do otherwise.

I'm just curious who will be willing to be Bush's second choice. Hopefully the lure of becoming a justice on the top court in the land will overshadow the fact that the next nominee is filling in for Harriet Miers. And then, we'll still have a tough confirmation battle to fight.


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