The Dartmouth Observer
Saturday, October 29, 2005
UnMiered: Bush's Next Move
SCOTUSblog offers that Bush cannot nominate Gonzales to the court, but will want to taunt the group he perceives as having brought down his nominee.
As Miers' nomination got into deeper trouble, some observers who are close to the President had said that it would come close to wrecking this presidency if he were forced to back down on Miers. That perhaps was an exaggeration, but the President, already newly vulnerable because of the hurricane disasters, the Iraq war, and the criminal investigation focused on figures high in his government, is perceived to have less political authority than he had even at the beginning of this month. He may not be in the mood, or have the "political capital," to wage another costly battle over the Supreme Court seat.
The Miers nomination, though, did give political tacticians like Rove--who, I assure you, memorized every major conservative blogger and politician to speak out against Miers--clear signals about which Republicans aren't interested in being a part of a Bush-dominated Republican party. Expect censure soon.
My analysis: Bush likes surprises, but his willingness to gamble is tempered by the mess he finds himself in. I predict that we will get a nominee by November 2. I have four reasons for this. My two posts on why Bush selecting Miers: for her pro-business leanings and his tactical situation should look differently for the next candidate.
First, the White House needs to let the rumor mill test the temperature of the conservative waters. Conservative bloggers and the illegentsia will offer the names up that they believe Bush should nominated. I don't think Bush will feel as restricted to pick a minority, a woman, or a non-judge this time. Though if there are any former Solicitor Generals that would merit scrutiny, Bush might go down that route. Whatever Bush decides to do, Slate offers that there won't be any more code speak about Roe.
Second, the rumor mill allows Reid and the Gang of 14 to signal their limits of toleration. Bush really doesn't have the patience to deal with a filibuster.
Third, the Administration will have more information about Rove's final political state. If Rove can still play a role in the White House, he and Miers will then go through an extremely through process to pick an all-star candidate. The White House desperately needs another successful candidate like Roberts for Chief and Ben S. Bernanke for Federal Reserve Chairman. Voxbaby provides some details. Even the TNR had something nice to say about Bernanke.
Fourth, Bush can't look likes he's directly pandering the extremist section of his party. While he's quite willing to govern from the Right, he wishes to do so through his political muscle, not from a position of weakness.