President Bush could announce his next Supreme Court nominee at any time, as he demonstrated by naming Miers on Roberts’ first day on the job. But let’s assume he waits a few days to make it seem he was stunned that Miers would withdraw. How will Democrats fill the time?
A three-part post-Miers-pre-replacement strategy is already taking shape. Until the next nominee is chosen, Democrats will:
Goad the President relentlessly about how the right has beaten him up — and hope he’ll get mad enough to nominate a Gonzalez;
Characterize even workaday conservatives as exotically bizarre far-right extremist nuts; and,
Begin the rehabilitation of Harriet Miers, marshalling all evidence that she was a moderate choice in the mold of an O’Connor.
We already have evidence of #1 and #2, above. With the ink yet to dry on Miers’ withdrawal letter, Ralph Neas of People For the American Way (PFAW) issued marching orders to liberals, giving Pelosi and company words to parrot:
“It’s an astonishing spectacle. The unelected power-brokers of the far right have forced the withdrawal of President Bush’s own Supreme Court nominee, before a confirmation hearing has even been held. President Bush’s complete capitulation to the far-right interest groups is astounding. The ultra-right wing dominance of Republican Party politics is complete, and they have dealt a terrible blow to an already weakened President and his administration,” said Neas. “Right-wingers are openly saying they elected Bush to put a battle-ready ultraconservative on the court to replace the moderate Sandra Day O’Connor, and they’re demanding a new choice – bipartisanship, moderation and mainstream Americans be damned.”
The left’s cynical rehabilitation of Miers should start taking shape next – maybe in a day or two.