Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 11, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

OPPOSING MIERS....Mark Kleiman argues that it's a no-brainer for liberals to oppose the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court:

Miers has two characteristics lack of intellectual distinction and subservience to the interests of the Bush clan that are undesirable from both conservative and liberal perspectives....So in the non-zero-sum game of running the country, it seems to me that both Republicans and Democrats should oppose Miers....And in the zero-sum game of politics, defeating Miers would be a win for the Democats and a loss for the Republicans.

That sounds right, but it might it be a good idea for liberals to keep a low profile on Miers anyway. Robert Scheer explains:

Know them by their enemies. The more I read of the vituperative right-wing attacks on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, the more sympathetic I become. Anyone who has incurred the wrath of Trent Lott, Gary Bauer and George Will can't be all bad. If Robert Bork thinks she's a "disaster," maybe there is a positive side to this nominee that I have missed.

This dynamic works in the other direction too. If liberals start attacking Miers too aggressively, there's a good chance that conservatives will start to circle the wagons solely on the theory that if liberals hate her, she must not be so bad after all. So if we want to see her nomination defeated, the best strategy is probably to express our legitimate concerns about her lack of qualifications but to otherwise sit back and allow a genuine anti-Miers caucus to develop organically among conservatives. If and when a few Republican senators join this caucus, Democratic senators can join it too.

Timing is everything. Right now conservatives are busily eating their own young, and there's no good reason to give them an excuse to stop. Better to let them fight it out among themselves for the time being.

Kevin Drum 3:15 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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