Miers’ Regret

The Grey Lady gives us this discussion of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, a case where soon-to-be-Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. dissented in part in a case challenging various Pennsylvania state laws designed to reduce access to abortion.
The part at issue, which reads like an audition to be this President’s nominee at this time, would require married women to notify their husbands to obtain an abortion… not encourage it, or suggest it… but require it, even in the case of abusive or criminally abusive husbands. A 6-3 Supreme Court held the other way in a decision by Chief Justice Rehnquist, meaning… Sam Alito is to the right of Bill Rehnquist.
None of this should be surprising. Harriet Miers was a blank slate, but we had little reason to believe she was anything other than a moderate Republican. Yes, she was likely to be a monarchist– giving the President a blank check on executive power. OTOH, on social issues, it was unclear she was going to have a need to go out of her way to lead us forward… into the 19th century and beyond… No, I didn’t think much of her, myself, but then… who cares what I think?
Democrats just wasted a triple play so that assholes– and I mean ASSHOLES– like my state’s senior senator (yes, Chuck Schumer, I mean you) can have their press conferences about how THEY are “protecting women’s right to chose”. So, because Harry Reid had no abillity to impose discipline, or show any leadership at all, the right wing was allowed to eat Harriet Miers alive.
The triple play: (1) criticize the right wing for poisoning the process— spouting the inflammatory rhetoric without even the opportunity for hearings, and especially tying religious extremists to the Miers’ opposition; (2) criticize the President for rampant cronyism… mostly pointing to Mike Brown and officials other than Miers, though the message would be clear, and most importantly, (3) lining up 40, 41, 42, hell, maybe all 45 Democrats committed to support Miers, and pick off liberal and moderate Republicans, and then publicly say “hey wingnuts– trash her all you want– we have the votes for confirmation”.
The “careful” approach– watching the extreme right wing eat a moderate Republican– has led us right to Sam Alito. What do I think of our American opposition party? I think it would be an excellent idea.