I now have an opinion on what will happen with Harriet Miers: She will withdraw her nomination before the start of the Judiciary Committee hearings. This opinion is not based on the latest George Will column that explains why she cannot be defended, nor is it based on my discovery of the tacky Harriet Miers’s Blog. My opinion is based on overhearing private conversations (i.e., reading between the lines in press reports), getting a sense of her declining fortunes from Senators and staffers who have been inclined to support her, and my visit to the local watering hole last night.
Even overlooking the congenital anti-Bush bias in the MSM, press reports make clear that the more would-be-defenders of Miers get to know her (visits to their offices, reading responses to written questions, etc.), the less they like her. This is supported by private, off-the-record opinions I get a whiff of now and then indicating that almost everyone who has had dealings with her during the last few weeks has come to regret that she has been nominated. And, if she doesn’t withdraw, this negative opinion will come to a peak during the Judiciary Committee hearings, to everyone’s huge embarrassment. Since neither political interest nor honor will not allow this to happen, she will not make it to the scheduled hearings.
My second reason for thinking that she will withdraw is the sampling of the opinion of local citizens, culminating in last night’s visit to the tavern. I haven’t been to O’Brian’s since July (the department had dinner with James Muller; I had a steak and drank water, by the way) and last night had the opportunity to sample the opinion of a number of people who came by to say they were glad to see me alive and so on. These are good, conservative, Republican folks, always giving Bush the benefit of the doubt; trusting Bush. Not this time. They have become convinced that this nomination is a huge mistake and their thoughtful conversation convinced me that they are right: the best thing Bush can do is to ask her to withdraw because she has no support. I was a bit surprised how deliberate and thoughtful their logic was; neither bitter nor vengeful, just the common sense of the subject. One man, a Marine, said this was like a bad love affair: the more you got to know Miers, the less you liked her. Very clarifying, I thought. It’s over. Never mind the justice of the thing. It’s over. Now the only thing left is for either Bush or Meirs to find a graceful way out. Perhaps
this will help.