Some of my friends tell me that I’ve given Harry Reid too much credit.
The fact is, he deserves the credit regardless of whether it was his intent to be so successful. We want him to have played this grandmaster game so badly, because we haven’t had an elected Democrat since Clinton that could do this well. But even if he wasn’t seeing 8 moves ahead, he still deserves credit for the results.
After John Roberts was confirmed, Bush needed another nominee, this time to repalce Sandra Day O’Connor. The betting websites, the douchebag DC inside buzz, and the blogs all began speculating that it would be Alberto Gonzales, or Judith Clement–some conservative heavy.
But you see, the parties had been fighting tooth and nail about judges all year. Engaging in un-Democratlike brinksmanship, Reid dared the Republicans to use the “nuclear option” to get some hack judges on the bench. The ploy worked, the Republicans agreed to an agreement, and the minority Democrats were able to block about half of the nominees.
Flash forward to the second nomination. Roberts went through smoothly, and mostly to praise. In fact, the Bush administration suffered more criticism for not disclosing Roberts’s files than Roberts did. With his approval ratings in the dumps, Bush needed to get his pick through, somehow–and smoothly.
So what did Reid do? He told the President that he “liked” Miers, and would consider her fight-avoiding. He knew that Bush was likely to act on this choice, because Bush loves his cronies. For all Reid knew, Miers was the heart of conservative thought, but he knew that she was unqualified, and that he could make the battle about her qualifications and not abortion.
And now, instead of reading shrill screeds on the issue from Paul Krugman, you can read them on National Review and the WSJ’s Opinion Journal. The Right is pissed. They have waited 50 years for their judges, and they voted for this jackass to get them, and now he sold them out.