This is not a good week for the White House.
As Chris Matthews eloquently said last night on Hardball, there is a war been waged in Washington sparked by a controversial Supreme Court nominee and a the CIA leak investigation, and there is also a war being waged abroad in Iraq. Neither one is going well for the President today.
Many of the same conservatives who vowed to spend millions of dollars to ensure that John Roberts be confirmed Chief Justice have now pledged large sums of money to block Harriet Miers. She is, in the words of Judge Robert Bork, "a disaster on every level" for many right wing Republicans. Not only are they unsure of her voting record on issues like abortion and civil rights--as she has no voting record--but many are questioning her qualifications on much more fundamental levels. For example, David Brooks has made a point of mocking her writing and intelligence.
Still, some stalwarts are holding out for reasons that have less to do with Miers and more to do with the integrity of the party as a whole. I think that Hugh Hewitt sums it up well on his blog, by saying that allowing the GOP to splinter over this nomination only weakens the executive office, making Bush appear vulnerable. In the long run, having the Miers nomination fail will only strengthen the Democrats and give some real ammunition for 2006, and 2008.
And we are all waiting on pins and needles for a final word from Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Bush advisor Karl Rove and Cheney aide Scooter Libby have apparently been notified that they are in "legal jeopardy."
The question is--will an indictment come, and if so, what will be the charges. I think we have a good indication that perjury is on the list, as this has now become the talking point for the right. Just this weekend Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson appeared on "Meet the Press" declaring that if all Fitzpatrick comes back with is a perjury charge, then this is all nonsense, a political witch-hunt.
Suddenly perjury is just political hay. My, how times have changed. After all, Bill Clinton didn't get impeached for having oral sex--he was impeached for lying. That's perjury, Kay. Remember?
On the Show: We'll hash out all these issues with two of my favorite guests--Jonathan Alter and John Fund. They are both terrific. And a look at how some conservatives known as the "realists" are now thinking this administration has gotten off course. We will be joined by former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.