Dotty Lynch is the Senior Political Editor for CBS News. E-mail your questions and comments to Political Points
This week Harriet Miers has been called tough as nails and a steel magnolia. She may need that heavy metal to get through the hazing she is receiving from burned conservatives and confused liberals. The White House has decided that although Ed Gillespie and Fred Thompson worked fine to shepherd John Roberts, the heavy artillery is needed for this nomination. So, once again they have recruited the late Lee Atwater, who is still working off those bad boy deeds just outside the Pearly Gates. Political Points has received his memo to Miers:
To: Harriet Miers
Cc: Karl, Ken, Ed, Fred
From: Lee Atwater
Re: Getting It On
Congrats Harriet. You're having a wild week and by Thanksgiving (well maybe by Christmas) all this nonsense will be behind you. Remember what Clarence Thomas went through? All that Coke can stuff and X-rated rental movies? And now look at him. Nobody even knows he's there.
But between then and now there are a few things you and the boys need to do: 1. Co-opt the eggheads. (By the way, how did we get so many on our side?) Kristol, Will and Frum are all out of joint about you because you haven't written enough. These guys think that writing is better than clearing the brush on the ranch with W. Fine. They are all writers so why aren't they on the Supreme Court? Just give them a bunch of stuff to read. Your Dallas Bar Association writings. Long, boring books that influenced you. Overwhelm them with paper. Eggheads like paper. 2. Get the sisters on board. Phyllis Schlafly is referring to you as a "female Souter, a childless blank slate." And Maureen Dowd is calling you Harry. What's the deal here? Nice touch trotting out the boyfriend, but you need to lay a guilt trip on the women of the Senate, especially the ones without kids. They know the code. Line them up now. 3. Go to a mainline church next Sunday. The born-again stuff is working well to calm down our side, but it makes the liberal establishment nuts. The whole point was to confuse folks but now you are looking like Jim Dobson's pawn. Get a little distance from him. And are you sure that minister at Valley View is in line? You and Nathan Hecht are two wild and crazy schismatics, huh? The press is crawling around Dallas right now; better make a donation to the old church fast. 4. Definitely do some serious Harvard and Yale bashing. It worked for Junior. Don't worry about matching smooth John Roberts. Our folks love it when SMU beats those Ivies. Marvin Olasky is shaking that tree right now. Keep it going. 5. About that Gay and Lesbian questionnaire. You dodged a bullet there on the sodomy question, but (and this is not just you) I've been yelling for years for candidates to avoid those interest group questionnaires like the plague. They do no good and those groups store them in boxes in their basement in perpetuity. You said you didn't want them to endorse you in Dallas but now they say they are thinking about supporting you now. That's the last thing we need. I think we can fix it but do me one favor and make those things unconstitutional. . 6. Get prepared for another go-around on your stint at the Texas Lottery Commission. Somebody is going to reopen that can of worms. And what worms they are: Littwin, Ben Barnes, the National Guard. Well, that will be fun. But you and Junior survived that in '04, so how bad can it be? 7. Forget the bloggers. These guys (and most of them are guys) just want to hear themselves blog. Once the libs decide you are the enemy, you will have Red State, National Review Online and Southern Appeal eating out of your hands. Harry Reid confused them, but he confused Democrats even more. And remind them at least you are not Al Gonzales and there are few more chances for their heroes Luttig, McConnell and Alito. 8. Change the topic to the issue of turning over your papers. It's like the "debate about debates." It bores the public and takes the focus off the substance.
I'll be around for the next few months so give a shout. I'll be in Texas anyhow helping bail out the Hammer, so I'm good for piecework as needed.