Erick over at Red State writes here what many of us had been hearing in the last few days but couldn't quite nail down the way he has.
What is now clear is that the White House badly bungled the selection process, and continues to do so. On morning surrogate calls for the past few days we've been hearing such excuses as "The White House Counsel's office has been understaffed and under pressure on a range of issues," or "Karl [Rove] is out of the loop and distracted."
When the New York Times is able to get some of the same Republican staffers in the Senate to say in its pages what they have been saying to people like us for weeks now, you know that things aren't going well.
How bad have things become? We're hearing that Senate Republicans are attempting to pull together a list of potential alternates for the White House to consider should Miers have the good graces to withdraw before the confirmation process formally begins. There are ongoing discussions between staff for Sens. Lindsey Graham, Trent Lott, and several conservatives on the Judiciary Committee. And such a suggestion may come early next week, when the Senate returns to full operations.
There is a sense of urgency all the way around here. That's because a number of important cases are expected to hit the Supreme Court in late November, around the time the White House was hoping to have its new justice seated.
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