Monday, October 03, 2005

Harriet Miers

Miers is a White House counsel whom Bush has nominated for the Supreme Court to take the place that Sandra O'Connor had. The wingnuts are not pleased, the Hispanics are not pleased and the pro-choice groups are not really pleased, either. So who is pleased? It's hard to say, because Miers' opinions are so far fairly unknown. Time is needed to dig up stuff on her.

But she is clearly not what the wingnuts wanted: a raving extreme radical cleric type. And she is a woman when there were perfectly qualified men available with the right stern values and true testicles. Or so David Frum says in his angry blog post:

The Senate would have confirmed Luttig, Alito, or McConnell. It certainly would have confirmed a Senator Mitch McConnell or a Senator Jon Kyl, had the president felt even a little nervous about the ultimate vote.

There was no reason for him to choose anyone but one of these outstanding conservatives. As for the diversity argument, it just seems incredible to imagine that anybody would have criticized this president of all people for his lack of devotion to that doctrine. He has appointed minorities and women to the highest offices in the land, relied on women as his closest advisers, and staffed his administration through and through with Americans of every race, sex, faith, and national origin. He had nothing to apologize for on that score. So the question must be asked, as Admiral Rickover once demanded of Jimmy Carter: Why not the best?

I worked with Harriet Miers. She's a lovely person: intelligent, honest, capable, loyal, discreet, dedicated ... I could pile on the praise all morning. But there is no reason at all to believe either that she is a legal conservative or--and more importantly--that she has the spine and steel necessary to resist the pressures that constantly bend the American legal system toward the left. This is a chance that may never occur again: a decisive vacancy on the court, a conservative president, a 55-seat Republican majority, a large bench of brilliant and superbly credentialed conservative jurists ... and what has been done with the opportunity?

If Frum is unhappy with this choice should I be happy? It is not that simple. Nothing ever is. So far all we know about Miers is that she adores Bush. And this whole thing just reminds me that we are far away from the time when a woman candidate is just going to be judged as a candidate.