Hugh Hewitt continues his admirable anti-anti-Miers campaign in the face of growing and more organized opposition to the President’s SCOTUS nominee.
We say admirable because while we have strong doubts about the nomination, Hewitt is filling the necessary balance to what amounts to an ideological tussle among like minded ideologues. We just happen to be approaching this specific area of debate from different angles.
His most recent defense presents an interesting point, that perhaps the negative whispering campaign about Miers’ performance in murder boards and private meetings is being fed in part by a White House and supporters trying to lower expectations to a point where the bar is barely above sea level.
There may be some truth there. For example, last night we received an anonymous tip that Sen. Tom Coburn had met with Ms. Miers yesterday, but had declined to take a photo with her. The intimation being that Coburn was giving her the big brush off. Nice tip. Thanks!
But in speaking with folks involved in the meeting, the lack of a photo release had little to nothing to do with politics or hidden messages, and there was no declination. There was also no word on how the meeting went, but given Dr. Coburn’s bedside manner, we’re sure he’ll let American know soon enough during the hearings. But this is just one example of where a little bit of nothingness could turn into something larger.
Finally, one point on Hewitt’s point about whispers coming out about the private meetings with Senators. These are private, and some of these Senators and their staff are trying to do what damage they can, or to get out in front of the story. But strategically, the Senators on the Judiciary Committee are helping the White House a bit in their preparations for the confirmation hearings.
Generally, these private meetings are nothing more than ceremonial. Sure, you have a stick in the mud like Schumer asking Roberts all kinds of questions, but generally, the chats are about the process, nonspecific judicial philosophy, etc. That almost all of the meetings have dealt with tougher private questioning is giving the White House a clear sense of where the hearings will be going, the kinds of questions each Senator will ask, and where Miers needs to focus her energies in getting up to speed. That may be one reason Miers is continuing the private meetings and keeping them just that: private.