I was asked earlier today to do an interview about the Harriet Miers prospects for CNN with Bill Schneider on the satellite from Washington. I told him frankly that I have no doubt that she is a wonderful woman, a good Christian and exemplary White House general counselbut.
The but is amply illustrated by todays New York Times column in which David Brooks reproduces her writing. The only thing we have to go on are the essays she wrote as president of the Texas Bar to her members. Believe me, they are vapid in the extreme and devoid of any reasoning power. They show a very diligent woman who would be painfully out of her depth on the Court. Read the book Scalia Dissents and notice the exquisitely graceful way Scalia parses this thoughts on Constitutional law. Listen to Breyer make a case (not a very good one but eloquent nevertheless) for scholars to probe international law and then contrast it with Scalias rejoinder. These are two men whose intellects burnish the Court. One cannot possibly believe that Harriet Miers can keep up with them. The idea that she wouldnt have to keep up, that she can be used only for one vote, is not practical. Someone bereft of philosophical underpinning would be, after Bush leaves Washington, a nifty vote for anyone with intellectual firepower.
The weakness of this nominee can be seen by the way in which her advocates argue in her behalf. The President said she is a good woman who worked selflessly in behalf of Meals on Wheels. The Attorney General said she is a good friend of his. Sen. Lindsay Graham said bluntly that conservatives should shut up. Fred Barnes, who ordinarily is very reasonable, takes up the argument that she will be a good vote. If that is the best that can be said for her, it is insufficient.
I told CNN that it is my belief more grassroots conservatives believe the nomination should be pulled than notand this is significant in that she has not yet testified. Its my hope that a good number of conservative Senators will join the liberals to oppose her and that once this happens the White House nose-counters will advise that her name be pulled. At least I hope thats the case.