A flaw in Democrats' Kagan pushback strategy?

Quotes from Republicans praising Harriet Miers are amusing, but do they raise comparisons Democrats don't want?

Published May 11, 2010 5:15PM (EDT)

U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan
U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan

My  post yesterday comparing Sen. John Cornyn's reaction to Harriet Miers (who had no judicial experience) with his reaction to Elena Kagan (who has no judicial experience) got a bit of buzz in Texas and nationally -- which would seem to discourage the GOP from dwelling too heavily on that aspect of the nomination over the next few weeks.

Even so, a Republican pointed out by e-mail Tuesday morning that it may not actually be in Democrats' interests to push back this way. Yes, the contrast is potentially embarrassing for the GOP lawmakers who fawned all over Miers. But it's hard to argue that reminding people of Miers is an unvarnished good thing for Kagan's chances. At this point in Beltway circles, the phrase "Harriet Miers" is more shorthand for "unqualified Supreme Court nominee" than it is a name.

In the end, though, it's unlikely that the same fate that befell Miers is awaiting Kagan. For more on why not, see this piece.

By Mike Madden

Mike Madden is Salon's Washington correspondent. A complete listing of his articles is here. Follow him on Twitter here.

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Elena Kagan John Cornyn R-texas Supreme Court