The Spectacle Blog

The Documents Were the Thing

By on 10.27.05 | 9:25AM

Word was if Miers were to withdraw, the cover would be the Senate's desire for access to executive documents from her tenure at the White House. President Bush cites that dispute in announcing her withdrawal:

It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House -- disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel...

That barely passable as an explanation. That tug-o'-war hadn't come to a head yet. If it were, say, three weeks from now and the committee were holding up the nomination over the documents, then this explanation would have held water. Now, it's a thin cover.

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Welcome to Political Chernobyl

By on 10.27.05 | 9:23AM

Welcome to Political Chernobyl, comrades. We all here just glowing with good cheer. Well, all of us except those who are paying attention, such as Peggy Noonan. Her piece in today's WSJ (subscription required, I guess) strikes such a depressing note:

"It's beyond, "The president is overwhelmed." The presidency is overwhelmed. The whole government is. And people sense when an institution is overwhelmed. Citizens know. If we had a major terrorist event tomorrow half the country--more than half--would not trust the federal government to do what it has to do, would not trust it to tell the truth, would not trust it, period." Is it really that bad? Yes and no.

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One Withdrawal for Another

By on 10.27.05 | 9:16AM

I won't claim this as my original thought, but I just can't remember where I saw it first: Nominate Douglas Ginsburg.

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No Mo’ Miers

By on 10.27.05 | 9:13AM

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination, CNN reports. Stay tuned at AmSpec Blog for reactions throughout the day.

This should make Justice Scalia speech at the American Spectator Annual Dinner tonight all the more timely.

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Fat on the Mass. Hog

By on 10.27.05 | 8:40AM

These Massachusetts legislators on a opulent trip to Portugal and Spain during the legislative session get awfully defensive. The best line? Lida Harkins, the assistant majority leader, explained that she needed a vacation because votes all summer kept her from her Maine retreat.

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More Miers Opposition

By on 10.27.05 | 8:19AM

The anti-Miers crowd picked up a key member of the conservative movement yesterday, the Concerned Women for America. The Washington Times also reports that Leonard Leo is no longer lobbying for Miers and that internal GOP polling shows 70 percent support for her among self-identified conservative Republicans. In other words, the D.C. crowd's support is eroding while the base doesn't seem to mind her. How does that affect those who really matter, the senators? That's a tough call, but it seems that those who knock on doors and write the checks number far fewer than 70 percent support.

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Another Step from Conservative

By on 10.27.05 | 7:45AM

In all the uproar over the Bush administration's conservative credentials in recent months -- from Katrina to Harriet -- there was one bright spot. No longer.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the White House suspended the rules of the Davis-Bacon Act, which mandates that local union shops set the "prevailing wage" for federal construction projects. This inflates the price of federal projects by up to 30% and puts labor unions in control of the projects' price. And its history is shady at best. David Bernstein wrote in Human Events that the 1927 law was intended to bar those from federal projects whose labor was cheaper than union members' -- in other words, blacks and other minorities. Rep. Robert Bacon worried about the "outfit of negro laborers."

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Blandly Rabbit On

By on 10.27.05 | 2:41AM

Calling them a "shameless display" and "cake taker," Tina Brown becomes the lastest Clinton groupie and liberal admirer of Patrick Fitzgerald to blast Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for her comments on Meet the Press last Sunday. "Hutchison had the gall to blandly rabbit on about overzealous prosecutors and perjury just being an itsy-bitsy crime," Brown writes.

Of course, that's not what Hutchison said at all. Listen for yourself:

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Sinking to the Occasion

By on 10.27.05 | 1:37AM

George Neumayr begins his column today with this:

"I can't see this nomination going forward," says a Judiciary Committee staffer to TAS. "The hearings would be so ugly." What will sink Harriet Miers, he predicts, is the "evidence that she can't write and think."

As luck would have it, that last quality could end up having Joe Biden feeling a lot better about himself.

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