My old question was would Harriet Miers make it to a congressional hearing, much less be approved.
This question has been answered. Ms. Miers has withdrawn her nomination using the protection executive confidence argument suggested by Charles Krauthammer last week:
My new question? What impact her withdrawal has on the Virginia Gubernatorial election! You see, if history repeats itself President Bush has given Tim Kaine a new issue to use against Jerry Kilgore, and we may see the law of unintended consequences come into play in Virginia.
Beyond questions of national mood, the last time a national issue really impacted a Virginia state election was in 1989 when the potential for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade helped Doug Wilder (D) beat Marshall Coleman (R).
That year the Supreme Court addressed a case that could lead to the overruling of Roe and the matter of abortion rights returned to the states and into the hands-ultimately-of their governors. Pro Choice voters turned out in force for Wilder, and may have provided the margin of victory for him in a much closer than expected election.
Ms. Miers was something of an unknown on the matter of abortion rights, with recent information putting her on both sides during her professional career. Her withdrawal in the face of conservative opposition will increase the chance of the selection of a markedly and avowedly conservative jurist. The prospect of such an appointment and the likelihood that said appointee will be an opponent of the Roe decision will allow Kaine to raise the possibility of Roe being overturned and the decision for abortion rights being thrust into the hands of state governors.
Kaine has already begun beating the Abortion drum as he tries to get traction in the closing days of the campaign, as seen by his speech in Arlington on 10.26.05:
Withdrawing the Miers nomination almost two weeks prior to the election may give Kaine enough time to turn the matter of abortion rights into a campaign issue with legs.
And if it does, then the effects of the law of unintended consequences will dominate the closing days of this election.
UPDATE: Seems my posting above read the mind of the folks at the DailyKos, who are fired up on exactly the grounds laid out above:
I don’t read minds, but even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then!