Given that White House Press Reptile Scott McClellan will dismiss almost any question as a "hypothetical," this story has to be giving him some grief:
The White House has begun making contingency plans for the withdrawal of Harriet Miers as President Bush's choice to fill a seat on the Supreme Court, conservative sources said yesterday.
"White House senior staff are starting to ask outside people, saying, 'We're not discussing pulling out her nomination, but if we were to, do you have any advice as to how we should do it?' " a conservative Republican with ties to the White House told The Washington Times.
And what is a hypothetical but the consideration of a contingency plan if things don't go according to schedule? So how can the White House respond to this?
If they admit to beginning the search for a replacement, they have as much as admitted that, yes, they do engage in hypothetical thinking.
If they don't admit it, well, the history of this administration is pretty much one of never thinking about what might happen down the road, isn't it?
"Mr. President, what if the Iraqis don't welcome the American troops as liberators and heroes?
"Can't happen, no sir. Not even going to consider the possibility. Heh heh heh."
And we've already seen the kind of shit you can get into with that kind of thinking.
HYPOTHETICALLY SPEAKING: If the Miers nomination is withdrawn, how will it be spun? Will it be presented as Miers voluntarily stepping aside? How will she explain it, after having been so staunchly defended by the White House?
Will it be presented as the White House itself withdrawing the nomination? Given that Commander Chimpy described Miers as the absolutely best-qualified person he could find, how the heck will that be defended?
No matter what happens, if Miers' nomination goes down, someone's gonna have some serious 'splainin' to do.