Texas may have been “blessed” with a Governor George W. Bush, but this country will never, we learned this morning, be blessed with a Justice Harriet Miers. Let’s turn to the blogosphere for some reaction shots.
The “reax” are smugly knowing (or knowingly smug) on AndrewSullivan.com. “Score one for [David] Frum!” writes Sullivan, noting that “in the end, the Bush team decided to deploy what seems to me a transparently phony argument that executive privilege over confidential papers forced them to withdraw Miers,” an argument he suggests “was scripted in advance in Charles Krauthammer’s latest column. Either he’s brilliant and clairvoyant — and he is, of course — or he was nudged to air the strategy in advance. Or both.”
More knowing smugness from The Huffington Post’s Marty Kaplan, who echoes Sullivan’s “phony argument” argument. “Even the media seem to have caught on. Documents? Shmocuments. All across the channels, the idea that [Miers] withdrawal is a consequence of an intransigent Senate’s insistence on breaching executive privilege is being roundly poo-poohed as a ‘red herring,’ ‘smokescreen,’ ‘cover story.’” Kaplan “can’t wait to see if the networks have the same cojones to demystify White House spin come Fitzmas morning.”
Michelle Malkin is relieved (it’s a “sad, pensive, what-a-waste relief. Not happy-joy-joy relief”) but ready to move on: “Exit strategy hinged on refusal to release privileged White House documents. Whatever. We know the real reasons. Now, onto a candidate that conservatives can be proud of, okay?”
There is a haughty and holier-than-thou air about Hugh Hewitt’s post marking Miers’ withdrawl. “Ms. Miers has been unfairly treated by many who have for years urged fair treatment of judicial nominees. She deserves great thanks for her significant service to the country. She and the president deserved much better from his allies.”
Also thanking Miers on her way out the door is The Corner’s Jonah Goldberg. “I do think we should all thank Harriet Miers for her service and keep in mind that it’s not her fault she was in this untenable situation. I have every confidence she’s a decent lady and a very competent lawyer. Congratulations to her for doing the right thing for her president and the country.” Goldberg deems the development “brilliantly Rovian!” speculating that “indictments will erase the Miers withdrawal kerfuffle. Then new SCOTUS nominee will rally base and change the debate once indictments are out (assuming it’s only Libby, I can’t imagine that even the appointment of Ann Coulter could crowd out the sound of champagne corks in Democratic land and the MSM if Rove were indicted).”
There is more media bashing, another Ann Coulter reference (and, of course, a dash of lefty indignation) to be had at Eschaton, with Atrios griping that “Ann Coulter is on CNN gloating, which says everything about the high standards of the nation’s most respected cable channel, but what was Coulter’s stated objection to Miers? That she opposed Griswold. Ann Coulter and the rest of the right wing crazies oppose the right of married couples to have access to contraception. That’s the America they want, and they want a judge who will give it to them.”
And who might be the judge who could “give it to them?” Polipundit suggests Fourth Circuit Judge Karen Williams, who he calls “the perfect Scalia-Thomas Clone.”
Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.
Correction: The above has been changed to correct the name of Judge Karen Williams.