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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cheney Admires Harriet? Not So Much.

According to John Fund of the Wall Street Journal (whom I always read with an accompanying large sea salt grinder), Dick Cheney and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales attempted a last-ditch effort to stop the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

The effort, according to Fund, was rebuffed because Laura Bush is apparently more powerful than any of us ever knew. (Last month's theme of blame the wife appears to be alive and well.)

The description of Miers' number two (Kelly) and his clearly inadequate vetting process would be laughable, if it weren't for that pesky lifetime appointment to the nation's highest court hanging in the balance.

The op-ed also indicates that Republican staffers both in the White House and on the Hill are depressed about the nomination and that key issues that should have been addressed in a thorough vetting process were circumvented in favor of friendship. (Essentially saying that it was a cronyism appointment without ever having to actually say the word.) Apparently, the new WH strategy of the Texas Lottery Commission scandal over which Miers presided will be now cast as a pesky matter of personnel issues. Somehow, I'm thinking that may not be good enough for Arlen Specter, but I guess we'll see.

Fund places the blame mainly on the shoulders of Andy Card, the Preznit's chief of staff. (For a rolicking read on Andy Card's intellectual prowess, try Billmon from earlier this week.) The article does a good job of detailing the inherent conflicts of interest involved in vetting your own boss (oh, like you couldn't see that from a mile away?!?), and of the blindness of the WH to "sowing its own minefield."

Remember when Howard Fineman reported that White House staff feud on Hardball the other night? Looks like the pushback game is up and running on Card.

Sweet! Pass me some popcorn.

(Apologies to Warner Bros. and Foghorn Leghorn.)