Michael: Miers Still MattersOK. I get to say it. I told you so. So now prediction one of the unfolding Miers saga has come to pass: she didn't get out of committee.
Frankly, she never really got into committee. There is a reason for that. The GOP Right broke ranks with Bush on his outrageous "executive privilege" power grab. If Harriet had gone to committee, the Senate leadership would have backed a subpeona of Miers' White House work-product and caused a legal melt down in the DC circuit.
One of the reasons that Bush keeps tossing up nominees that have worked in the Executive branch is to have the opportunity to claim and reinforce his interpretation of "executive privilege" without serious push-back from Congress. That wasn't going to work with Miers, and the likely push-back on the issue of Bush's supercharged claims of "executive privilege" would have been seriously challenged by the only possible source of serious opposition on the issue: Congress. Key conservative Senators really wanted to have a look at Miers' paper trial and were not going to defer to the White House on the issue; that is the real reason Miers' nomination was withdrawn and the actual lever the Right used to get the White House to fold their hand.
I predicted that next Bush would choose an ultra-conservative with a proper Federalist Society and anti-woman pedigree who is hell-bent on striking down Roe. We'll see about that one soon. Given that O'Connor has agreed to stay on the court until a replacement is found, it may be awhile before a nominee is named. The White House doesn't want an announcement to come on top of the Fitzmas indictments' news cycle and going down in flames. They'll want to wait until Fitz moves. However, Fitz has gotten judicial permission to extend his investigation, so indictments might issue in a dribble rather than in one shot. The White House may have to wait a very long time indeed to get clear of the collateral damage of Plamegate.
Despite their planning, they might be forced to nominate while under assault from the press over Plamegate. I thought the Democrats would have to filibuster the White House's fire-eating conservative nominee, but I'm starting to suspect that the Right will simply lose this vote as moderate Republicans bolt from the President's cause, either in disgust over his involuntary appeasement of the Right, or as a tactic to distance themselves for 2006. The GOP will get their bullshit 'up or down' vote, and they will simply lose.
If all this comes to pass, I might have to start making more of these predictions. Perhaps I'm actually making these things happen instead of just predicting them? Just in case, I predict that next week Bush will have an aneurism that will leave him a babbling idiot - and no one will notice.