So long, Harriet. We hate to see you go.
"The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination," Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid said today. It's disturbing that the grassroots conservative activists who blogged down her nomination have so much more sway over their party then progressive activists and bloggers. But the real disappointment I think is that the Democrats didn't exercise any power in this fight whatsoever. There was never a consensus political decision to keep the nomination alive or to bury it. Instead, the Dems stayed uncharacteristically silent for the 24 days between her nomination and her withdrawl.
Apparently, her death knell was the uncovering of a 1993 speech that might have finally given some Democracts reasons to support her. She appeared wary of government regulation of "the individual women's right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion," as she put it. The speech also expressed deep concern about racial and economic inequity and floated the idea of a state income tax in Texas to pay for public schools. (You can find a link to the speech, thanks to Slate, HERE).
Yes, she thought Bush was both "cool" and "brilliant." Yes, she loved corporations more than people (besides Bush and Nathan Hecht, of course). But she was fun to make fun of, and her views and her power to execute them weren't so scary that I couldn't laugh. Now some people are betting on Michael Luttig or a J. Harvie Wilkinson, both white men, both hard-line conservative judges. No fun at all.
I, for one, am sorry to see Harriet go.