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October 28, 2005


it's an absolute that absolutes are only really absolute when they absolutely benefit your side of the argument.

So who exactly is it in the GOP that still believes the President has the right to have his choice, his chosen nominee, receive an up or down vote?

Me. They can still have an up or down vote if they want to; not sure that it would accomplish anything, but, you know, demand it if ritual's your thing. While you're at it, demand that contestants withdrawn from Olympic gymnastic events still be judged on their performance.

Oh, and keep an eye on those Eastern Block judges.

I don't see much if any inconsistency on the "up or down vote" thing itself -- asking the president to withdraw the pick is different from a minority of senators filibustering her in the expectation the majority would confirm if allowed to.

ISTM that the real issue re hypocrisy regards the appropriate amount of deference to be shown to the Prez's pick -- some of those who were saying "he's the president, he should get who he wants" changed their tune.

So, what do people here think of Alito?

those who were saying "he's the president, he should get who he wants"

I've never thought that, kenB. I have thought he gets his pick, being the president, but that it's best to make a good pick. The choice may not be one that'd pass committee, but it should be a choice that members of your own party regard as stupid. If Miers had been well-regarded as a thinker and NOT had a law background, I'd have been much more kindly disposed toward the choice.

Really, this was baffling. The last choice got as close to wide acclaim as I think it's possible to get; this was the other end of the spectrum.

Max S. observes rightly:

* No more "up or down vote" claptrap from the wingnuts. They advocated her pre-emptive withdrawal, so there is no onus against a committee preventing any appointment from coming to the Senate floor, and no gabble about any nominee having a right to a floor vote;

* No more denunciations of questioning nominees on the thoughts that would drive future decisions. The wingnuts favored proctological levels of probing for Miers;

* No more denunciations of so-called liberal litmus tests, since the Bush loyalists were clearly testifying, admittedly to dubious effect, as to Miers' true colors;

* No more attacks on considerations of diversity in appointments, since Miers was clearly a diversity pick, and touted as such by the Bushists.

I've always thought of the dems as born corrupt and the repubs as serial hypocrites about it.

I see a big difference between creating an environment where a nominee feels she has no choice but to withdraw her name and keeping a nomination bottled up in committee.

to me, the first is fair game and the second is an abuse of process.

so i think that Edward_ is overreaching a smidge.

I see a big difference between creating an environment where a nominee feels she has no choice but to withdraw her name

If only that's what happened. Via Sully:

Yesterday morning, President Bush met with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, and others at the White House, where they discussed the problems facing the nomination. There were staff conversations between the majority leader's office and the White House throughout the day. There was a meeting in Dick Cheney's office in the afternoon, with the vice president and nomination strategists taking part, in which the fading support for the nomination was discussed. And then in the early evening, Frist had a phone conversation with White House Chief of Staff Andy Card in which Frist gave what's being called a frank assessment of the nomination's prospects. Not long afterward, a final decision was made, and Miers called the president at 8:30 p.m. to say she would withdraw, and the formal announcement was set for this morning.
My italics. Who made the decision? Cheney? Bush? Doesn't this strongly imply that the president or vice-president decided to pull the plug on Miers and then had Miers "decide on her own" to withdraw?

that sounds like a "flip flop", to me. first Bush was for Miers, then he was against her. very un-steady.

On this, at least, cleek and I agree. This was...um...a complete CF.

Slart, rest assured I wasn't referring to you or anyone else here. And anyway, I'd have more respect for someone who made that switch than for the Hugh Hewitt types who stuck with the president in the face of all the facts.

BTW I just saw this quote on Hotline from a White House aide that brought a smile to my face:

Some GOPers wondered why Bush never anticipated that naming its counsel would require the WH to draw a red line on internal documents. A White House aide: "I don't think anyone anticipated the increased pressure on the need for documents based on her lack of record on constitutional issues."

Can't decide if this was a sly reference or just a coincidental echo of past statements about unanticipatedness.

kenB, I didn't think that you were referring to me personally, just that you've perhaps oversimplified. As in: yes, the President may nominate as he pleases, but that doesn't mean we have to sit on our hands when he makes choices that are...damnit, the engineer in me keeps coming up with "suboptimal".

May I be the first - at least on this thread - to put Patrick Fitzgerald's name in nomination?

PF as SCOTUS nom? Why not? This whole thing could hardly get any more surreal anyway.

"the President may nominate as he pleases"

And the Senate may confirm or not, as it pleases. Justices are not cabinet members, and no deference at all need be given. Filling the judiciary is a responsibility shared by the President and the Senate, and neither the "advise" nor the "consent" in "advise & consent" are matters of trivial courtesy, or emergency powers to be used only in extraordinary circumstances. The Senate's responsibilities, and frankly perogatives ("advise"), in judicial appointments are as ordinary and assumed as those in passing legislation or ratifying treaties.

kenB: So who exactly is it in the GOP that still believes...

Slarti: Me.

ObPedant: Correct me if I'm wrong but you're now an independent, right?

I guess the filibuster the Republicans employed to block Miers slipped right past me. Both you and Hewitt are grasping, Edward.

Correct me if I'm wrong but you're now an independent, right?

Yeah. The old reflexes still kick in from time to time, though.

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