I’ve said it before, and I’ll hopefully say it again: I love Harry Reid. He knew to immediately praise Harriet Miers as a good choice, and now comes back with “The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination.” And that’s the right way to do it. To emphasize what a bunch of fruitcakes the far right is; so extremist that they’d even oppose a Bush nominee! That someone handpicked by Bush would not pass their ideological test is just more evidence of how ideologically extreme they are, and how out of touch they are with America.
But could Reid have pulled that off, had he initially denounced Miers? Nope. He’d look like a fool if he had denounced Miers, but then tried to blame this on the rightwing fruitcakes. It’s a tad deceptive, but that’s just how the game is played. Maybe he really did like Miers, but in either case, it was for the best that he didn’t oppose her nomination. And now he’s in a much better position to oppose Bush’s next nominee, if he wants to.
Sure, Miers was incompetent. And sure, she would have sided with the Bushies too much. But at the end of the day, we couldn’t have derailed this nominee, and so it was best to not give the Repubs a liberal strawman to attack. Had we violently opposed her, it could only have served to rally the conservatives behind her. And she would have been confirmed, and we’d look like the ideological extremists. That’s how the Repubs have been doing it for years, and it’s about time that the Dems were able to break the mold. I don’t know how well this fools America, but the media was certainly scammed by it every time.
And now, Bush is forced to pick an ultra-con as the replacement nominee; but which type? As Josh Marshall points out, there are lots of victorious ultra-conservatives on this one, and none of them have the same ideal judge in mind. And so Bush has to decide which base to please. Or if he goes with his typical instincts, he’ll just plow right ahead and pick another Miers, and wouldn’t that be fun. And if he does go ultra-con, he’ll offend much of America. And the more he tries to please his base, the more he’ll be offending America. So it’s just a lose-lose for Bush, all the way around.
Especially as their worst-case scenario is that they get an ultra-con who tips the balance of the court, and they settle all the social issues which deliver so many Republican votes. By installing ultra-conservatives in the judiciary, Repubs are putting themselves right out of business. That’s the last thing the Bushies want. As it’s been for years and years, the Republican leadership is comprised of greedy conservatives who only use social issues to fool the rube soc-cons. And now Bush is stuck in a position of having to give them something real.
Overall, Harry Reid played it right again, and I’m pleased as punch to see him in charge. I wasn’t happy that Tom Daschle got beat last year, but it really was for the best. He was typical of the clueless Dem leadership which only knew how to look like a victim. I’m sure he was an alright guy, and I don’t know much about his Senate skills; but he wasn’t a fighter, and so he was the wrong guy for these times. The Repubs are playing a game, but they’re playing for keeps; and we needed a leader who understood that. Harry Reid seems to be getting it all right, so I’ll just say it again: I love Harry Reid.