Advising and Consenting Finally Explained to Court Nominee, Who Promptly Flees in Terror
All right, we have an explanation of Harriet M.'s pullout, straight from the nominee-no-longer's incorrigibly chipper mouth. Her withdrawal letter to President Bush does not close with the salutation "BFF"--itself a telling indication of how badly things have soured. The main rationale for her decision is that, well, Congress is mean:
As you know members of the Senate have indicated their intention to seek documents about my service in the White House in order to judge whether to support me. I have informed them repeatedly that, in lieu of such records, I would be expected to testify about my service in the White House to demonstrate my experience and judicial philosophy. While I believe my lengthy career provides sufficient evidence for the consideration of my nomination, I am convinced that the efforts to obtain Executive Branch information and materials will continue. . . Protection of the prerogatives of the Executive Branch and continued pursuit of my confirmation are in tension. I have decided that my confirmation should yield.
As near as we can follow this, er, reasoning, Ms. Miers appears concerned that, what, the White House, in one of its charateristically giddy compliances with public request for executive documents would deliver up something compromising? That repeated requests from the Senate would ratchet up this intolerable "tension" between Team Bush and the Hill? Question: If she's been advising the president on sensitive matters of policy and national interest as his White House counsel, how can it be fucking news to her that Congress and the White House don't always get along? And what was she expecting to happen in her confirmation hearings--that in addition to supplying crisp executive summaries of her job duties over the past five years, she'd rattle off birthday greetings to each of her Senate interlocutors?
But that's right: the separation of powers is covered in con law, not contracts. Silly us. It's probably a good thing she withdrew before someone explained to her that Jesus didn't actually write the Constitution. --HOLLY MARTINS