Wednesday, October 19, 2005

My Little Crony—The Harriet Miers Saga

As if he learned nothing whatsoever from the 'Brownie' FEMA debacle—and let's face it, when has he ever demonstrated the ability to admit to, let alone learn from, his mistakes?—President Bush went on yet another cronyism bender and woke up in the morning with a blinding headache having nominated Harriet Miers—a personal friend and lawyer with no apparent qualifications for the job—to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. That's the top court in the land, if you didn't know (I wrote that in case Dubya happens by my little blog...).

Bush's political appointment philosophy—let's call it ineptotism—leaves no room for shame or second guessing. Used to ruling by fiat, Bush seemed a bit taken aback when back-stabbing traitors members of his own party raised a few innocent questions, such as, "Who the hell is Harriet Miers?" and "Are you crazy or what?"

His response was, get this, "Trust me." That's what he actually said. That didn't quite wash with some observers. Doug Bandow's column at townhall.com, part disappointed and part incredulous, is representative of the Miers-wary right. As Bandow dryly points out, "it is cause for concern when a putative Supreme Court justice reportedly has described the president whose conduct she would judge as the most 'brilliant' man she has ever met." Is there some medicine she keeps forgetting to take?

Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star Tribune had my favorite response to Bush's latest blunder:


In addition to the richly undeserved 'trust' that Bush requested, we were asked to take comfort in the fact that Miers is a born-again Christian with a rock-solid faith in God (and a disturbingly strong faith in the president, to boot). Her nomination was even pre-approved by James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Now, how on earth could it be appropriate to have a religious test to determine if someone is fit to interpret the secular constitution of a secular republic? It couldn't be, unless of course, the whole 'secular' part doesn't mean diddly to the guy in charge.

One of the biggest issues with Harriet is that nobody seems to be able to pin her down politically. She's a Republican ex-Democrat who may or may not favor gay rights; she's a born-again Christian who goes to Episcopal services—this nomination is turning out to be hard work for anyone who likes their world separated into tidy little ideological boxes (that's all of Washington and all of the media, by the way).

Then yesterday more clues emerged which caused some people to jump for joy and most everybody else to look around in confusion. On a questionnaire she filled out during her 1989 run for the Dallas City Council, Miers stated that she "backed a constitutional amendment to ban [abortion] in most cases and promised to appear at 'pro-life rallies and special events.' Asked in a Texans United for Life questionnaire whether she would support legislation restricting abortions if the Supreme Court allowed it, Miers indicated she would."

Even more shocking, however, are these comments that were scrawled on a Hallmark Expressions card in 1997: "Dear Governor GWB, You are the best governor ever—deserving of great respect!" That just sends a shiver down the spine.
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