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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::

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    :: Thursday, October 06, 2005 ::
    In response to my post yesterday on how Bush's efforts to make Miers acceptable to the Right may end up making her unacceptable to the Left, and how it would have been more efficient to choose someone who was already unacceptable to the Left, "Publius" writes in to say:
    That's assuming that POTUS and co. anticipated this kind of a reaction; it seems pretty obvious that they did not, even apart from some commenters at ConfirmThem who claim to be in the know confirming that they were taken by surprise. I'm guessing they thought the reaction would be similar to the reaction to Roberts: discomfort among some and opposition by a very few like Ann Coulter but overall support.
    True, and it's mysterious. The nomination seems to reflect a profound misreading by POTUS of his own base, and he has not previously been prone to such misreadings.

    One explanation, which I hope isn't true, is that he's so sure both of himself and of his standing among conservatives that he really thinks "Trust me" is going to settle it. Another explanation, more reasonable, is that he's saying in effect: "Look, I'm the POTUS who gave you Pryor, Brown, and Owen, and who tried to give you Estrada and Boyle, and who got you Pickering for a year anyway, and who got in the Dems' face by renominating all the judges the Dems had filibustered. I've made deposits in the cred bank on the judge issue. Now I want to write a check."

    That's the best case I can see for "Chillin'".
    However, The Washington Post reports today:
    A day after Bush publicly beseeched skeptical supporters to trust his judgment on Miers, a succession of prominent conservative leaders told his representatives that they did not.
    Particularly interesting:
    "The message of the meetings was the president consulted with 80 United States senators but didn't consult with the people who elected him," said Manuel A. Miranda, a former nominations counsel for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), who attended both private meetings.
    -- which tends to stoke suspicions that confirmability, free of opposition -- opposition from Democrats, that is -- was the only criterion seriously applied after some minimal threshold of GOP inclination was cleared.

    "The best nominee I could find," the President keeps saying. If he would say, even in private and through spokesmen, something along the lines of "Look, guys, my political capital is in the tank, this is not the time to have the big fight, for the following reasons....," then fine, we could have that debate. (Sen. Thune would take the other side.) But to try to insist, in private meetings as well as before the mikes, that he "could find" no potential nominee who was both more objectively qualified and more reliably conservative than Harriet Miers? So Jones, Garza, Luttig, Brown, Batchelder, and Estrada were hiding in the credenza?

    EDITED TO ADD: Dobson is now hedging his previous support.

    :: David M. Wagner 10:21 AM [+] ::

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