You're Out, Harriet

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THE PLANK JANUARY 5, 2007

You're Out, Harriet

Anyway, to get back to politics, yesterday Harriet Miers submitted her resignation as White House counsel. The official line is that the president was reluctant to let her go and that she left, as Tony Snow put it, because: "She's been here for six years. It's hard duty."

That's probably true. But I was just talking with a legal expert for a story who mentioned, offhand, another theory: Now that Democrats are in charge of Congress and plan to start firing up investigations, the Bush administration badly needs a counsel with whom it can go to battle--someone who thrives on confrontation, who can invoke executive privilege at every turn and denounce even the most routine request for documents as "excessive partisanship." Harriet Miers, apparently, wasn't the right person for that job. Not nasty enough. It's like the scene from The Godfather:

Tom Hagen: Michael, why am I out?

Michael: You're not a wartime consigliere, Tom. Things may get rough with the move we're trying.

Indeed.

--Bradford Plumer

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