We haven’t done a whole lot of coverage of the Harriet Miers nomination for Supreme Court justice, mostly because she seems like such a long-shot, but some recent news has made us wonder just what the Bush administration was smoking when they nominated her.
Half of Senate Republicans are shying away from this blatant display of cronyism (defined here by heading the candidate committee and then getting selected herself), as reported in a poll by the conservative Washington Times newspaper:
What’s troubling for President Bush, however, is that 27 Republican senators — almost half of his party’s members in the chamber — have publicly expressed specific doubts about Miss Miers or said they must withhold any support whatsoever for her nomination until after the hearings.
Things are so bad, it appears the Bush administration has blundered their way into selecting a losing nominee with a majority of the conservative crowd. Glenn Reynolds weighed in with this poignant remark:
More and more, I have to wonder what the White House was thinking with this. First of all, when you’re already under fire for cronyism, and you nominate someone who’s, well, a crony, you ought to be locked-and-loaded in terms of response. They weren’t.
Second of all, they seem to have managed to convince a lot of people on the social right that she’s too liberal, while people on the libertarian-right worry that she’s too much a fan of government power. Third, their response to critics and complaints has been slow and weak.
Our international associate over at Finland for Thought thinks that perhaps Miers is an anti-nominee, and that this is a Machiavellian plan where she was never intended to win and will only soften the blow for a later, more qualified candidate:
Stop taking Bush’s latest supreme court nominee, Harriet Miers, so seriously. Bush knows she won’t get the seat, the Republicans know she won’t get the seat, and even she knows she won’t get the seat. She’s just a decoy.
[…] The plan is the toss a few decoys like this into the mix. The Republicans will make the Democrats look like a gang of partisan assholes. Then after a few decoys, Bush will throw in his real contender who will take the seat.
Whatever the deal is, all bets are off on Miers, even if she were the perfect libertarian wet-dream nominee (she’s not), the administration has completely FUBARed this beyond hope at this point.
Update: Speaking of cronyism, don’t miss CronyJobs.com, whose slogan reads: “The hottest government careers — for entitled plutocrats like you!” Good satire of the whole Bush administration cronyism scandal.