The Increasing Volume

Yesterday, Peggy Noonan called Bush’s decision to nominate Harriet Miers a ‘Misstep’.

“The Miers pick was another administration misstep. The president misread the field, the players, their mood and attitude. He called the play, they looked up from the huddle and balked. And debated. And dissed. Momentum was lost. The quarterback looked foolish.”

And today we have Charles Krauthammer simply stating ‘Withdraw This Nominee’.

“To nominate someone whose adult life reveals no record of even participation in debates about constitutional interpretation is an insult to the institution and to that vision of the institution.”

“By choosing a nominee suggested by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and well known only to himself, the president has ducked a fight on the most important domestic question dividing liberals from conservatives: the principles by which one should read and interpret the Constitution. For a presidency marked by a courageous willingness to think and do big things, this nomination is a sorry retreat into smallness.”

Meanwhile, the president is sure Miers will be confirmed.

President Bush predicted Friday that Harriet Miers will be confirmed to the Supreme Court despite grumbling from conservatives that has led a few to call for the president to withdraw her nomination.

Asked he if would rule out ever seeing Miers’ name withdrawn, Bush did not answer directly — substituting instead words of confidence about her confirmation process. “She is going to be on the bench,” he said. “She’ll be confirmed.”

“I’m confident she’s going to be a Supreme Court judge who will not legislate from the bench and will strictly interpret the Constitution,” the president said after a meeting in the Oval Office with the prime minister of Hungary. “When she’s on the bench, people will see a fantastic woman who is honest, open, humble, and capable of being a great Supreme Court judge.”

News cycles are traditionally slow on weekends, and without a major news story to fill the void over the next couple of days, there will be plenty of opportunity for cable news networks and Sunday talk shows to continue the drumbeat of discontent.

What will Monday bring?

I don’t think we’ll see a withdrawal of this nomination by Bush. He’s already drawn the line and the political risk of doing a 180 right now is just too high. Miers may decide to withdraw on her own if she believes she’s doing irreparable harm to the president. But if she doesn’t hit the eject button herself, Karl Rove could solve the problem by privately ‘encouraging’ a majority of senators to vote the nomination down, thereby effectively saving face for the president. I’m not advocating that option, but as we all know, there are many paths to compromise in the 11th hour.


  1. Mixed Metaphors

    The usually amazing Peggy Noonan biffed it in her latest essay. I’m not talking about the message, I’m talking about…

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