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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Don’t Know the Players Without a Program

As the Harriet Miers nomination slouches slowly towards the Senate, it’s hard to get a real handle on who, exactly, in the conservative constellation has bitten the bullet–or to put it another way, the hand that used to feed them–and come out against W.’s buddy.Ah, but now there’s a web page, WithdrawMiers.org, that is providing an updated list of organizations, individuals and newspapers which have called on Bush to withdraw the nomination. (It’s not exclusively a conservative list, and may become less so as Democrats begin to weigh in). All the big names you’d expect are on this list: Will, Buchanan, Krauthammer, Frum, Kristol, Schlafly, Bork and Noonan; along with publications like National Review and organizations like the American Conservative Union.Just as interestingly, the page lists those “deeply concerned” about Miers, i.e., leaning against, but not yet off the cliff. And there you find nine Republican U.S. Senators, plus Robert Novak, Paul Weyrich, Gary Bauer, the Family Research Council, Grover Norquists’s Americans for Tax Reform, and The Wall Street Journal.These lists show abundantly how much the fault lines on Miers cut across the Cultural Right. James Dobson’s supporting her, but the closely related Family Research Council and its famous former director Bauer are leaning against her. The National Right To Life Committee is on board for Harriet, but the Republican National Coalition for Life is urging her withdrawal. Cultural Right Warhorse Pat Robertson is thundering threats against Senator who dare obstruct her confirmation, but Cultural Right Warhorses Schlafly, Buchanan, and Weyrich appear to be feeding the revolt.Maybe somebody will do up one of those handy-dandy charts that list the major constellations of the conservative universe, and who’s bickering with whom in the same solar system. But until then, WithdrawMiers.org is the place to check for trends.

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