The approach to Miers' nomination should not be solely focused on her ultimate confirmation. Rather, Democrats should appreciate this event for what it truly is--political gold.
The Controversy Over Bush's National Guard Service
Miers was paid by the Bush campaign in 2000 to spearhead the investigation into Bush's military record. For $19,000, she scoured public records and strategized on what impression those records left about Bush's military service, or lack thereof. It is important to note that this is still a live controversy. Despite assertions by the White House that they released "all documents" pertaining to his service, documents remained "missing" for years, only to be spontaneously "found" as the Presidential campaign heated up..
Given that Miers was paid by Bush to research his record, and given that she probably knows his record better than anyone except Bush himself, did she work on this case, in which a federal judge demanded release of ALL of Bush's records?
What role did she play with respect to these documents? Exactly what did she 'investigate' for $19,000 and what did she find? Was what she found consistent with the public record, and public statements about Bush's military record?
The Plame Controversy
Miers is White House Counsel. She has been intricately involved in the White House response to the CIA leak. (Yahoo photo link). She was Deputy Chief of Staff over the summer, and unquestionably has played some role in the White House response to the leak. Look at that picture, folks. Given that 4 out of the 5 people in that picture have been involved in the leak probe, I think Miers would be a gold mine of info.
Of course,that information is likely privileged. However, stressing her involvment in the White House response gives the Democrats another opportunity to thrust the CIA leak into the spotlight again. Critically, the confirmation hearings (which will be carried live) can be like a virtual press conference for the Democrats to denounce the obstructionist tactics employed by the White House in response to the leak.
The (Il)Legality of the "War On Terror" and Its Implementation
Miers has played a pivotal role in advising the President on the legality of a wide range of issues, including the WOT.
Working with her staff of 13 lawyers, and in cooperation with the Justice Department, Miers' office provides guidance on issues from the legal parameters for the war on terrorism to presidential speeches. Journal -Gazette, 6/14/05
Democrats should use this public confirmation process to highlight the Administration's position on torture, on preemptive war in the face of a non-threat, and other administration debacles. Miers has no record on the issues, especially not the scope of the President's war powers. A thorough examination into this should prove enlightening.
Embracing The Forum
Miers' confirmation will be public, and televised. It provides Democrats with a rare opportunity to break through the 'liberal media' and speak directly to the American people who will be watching the hearings at home.
Miers is a Bush confidant. She will refuse to answer. She will stonewall. She'll spin.
But the Democrats have a golden opportunity here to bring some of the biggest scandals of this administration back into the public consciousness. A question about Bush being AWOL, or about US approval of torture, or about the CIA leak need not be answered for it be effective.
These hearings are not about only Miers. These hearings rovide an invaluable forum for Democrats to communicate directly with the American people, to use one of Bush's own players against him. It is a strategy Bush will not expect. If coordinated correctly, it can deal this administration a devastating blow.
Update [2005-10-3 13:7:33 by georgia10]:: I realize the title (Miers Confirmation Will Be Pure Gold) was slightly misleading. It's not Miers' confirmation that gives Democrats a great opportunity, but her confirmation hearing. I've updated to title to dispell any confusion.
As to the question of whether or not Democrats should confirm her....there's about a dozen different diaries discussing that aspect. Regardless of the ultimate vote, it is in the process leading up to vote that I think we have the upper hand.