WAPO: "MURDER BOARDS APTLY NAMED"
Peter Baker and Amy Goldstein, writing in the Washington Post (registration required), more than suggest that, had Hugh Hewitt and his compatriots prevailed in their argument (not unreasonable) that Harriett Miers go through the nomination process and an up or down vote in the Senate , Ms. Miers and the president may have been humiliated.
For Harriet Miers, the "murder boards" were aptly named. Day after day in a room in the White House complex, colleagues from the Bush administration grilled her on constitutional law, her legal background and her past speeches in practice sessions meant to mimic Senate hearings.
Her uncertain, underwhelming responses left her confirmation managers so disturbed they decided not to open up the sessions to the friendly outside lawyers they usually invite to participate in prepping key nominees.
It was clear that Miers was going to need to "hit a grand slam homer" before the Senate Judiciary Committee to win confirmation to the Supreme Court, as one adviser to the White House put it. "Her performance at the murder boards meant that people weren't confident she'd get the grand slam."
That is precisely why I wrote this back on October 23rd:
For the good of his two-term presidency and the restoration of a voter base the Republicans sorely need in the upcoming 2006 elections, Miers nomination should be withdrawn. I'd much rather we Republicans overcome the hurdle of liberal, non-thinking, obstructionist Democrats, who rejected the likes of John Roberts (while publicly singing his praises) simply to keep their Soros-fed campaign coffers full, than engage in internecine warfare over a nominee who made no one's short list of esteemed judicial luminaries and who disappoints at every turn.
George W. Bush was anything but a strict constructionist in reading the mandate of the founders of his two-term feast. He turned activist in his selection, reading what he wanted to read, and thinking what he wanted to think. Why then would we have any assurance that Harriet Miers will become, in the final analysis, an originalist of the first order, rather than marching to the beat, Sandra Day O'Conner-style, of her own drum?