Where might it all end? Miers' liberal antagonists have yet to mount their attack. One sees her at her hearings, calmly, perhaps coolly, going through the first day of questions. Then comes the second day, and a couple of conservative senators, either guided by principle or by concern for their conservative base, fire off some acidic questions. She holds up valiantly, adumbrating a rock-ribbed conservative value system. Then comes the third day. Now the liberals thunder at her for her admissions to having a rock-ribbed values system. After that I shall avert my gaze. It will be very bloody.
Some conservative senators, most notably Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, insist they will stand by Miers, but if the liberal Democrats are as united over this nomination as they have been over less controversial nominations Miers' hopes are slim. As I wrote at the outset of this row three weeks ago, a precedent is being set for anarchy in the judicial nominating process. There is one plausible end game. But it will not end the prospect of still more anarchy ahead.
The president has said he will not hand over documents relating to Miers' work for him to the Senate Judiciary Committee. That, he says, violates his lawyer-client relationship. He has a point. Certain obdurate senators insist that they see these documents. They have no point. Far too many confidential White House documents are being made public already. The ability of White House aides to speak freely and provocatively to their bosses is being hindered. Yet this impasse over Miers' documents might create such a stubborn stalemate that another nominee will have to be found. That might end this row and free the conservative protesters to depart from their websites and proceed in a more conservative fashion. The thought of Linda Chavez strumming a guitar in public is ridiculous.