Thursday, October 13, 2005

Movement Conservatives are Joining the Stop Harriet Miers Effort

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 counsel—but.

The but is amply illustrated by today’s 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 Scalia’s 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 wouldn’t 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 not—and this is significant in that she has not yet testified. It’s 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 that’s the case.


  1. Would she make some of the blunders Scalia has with his fishing trips? Maybe that's where the real world practical experience comes into play. I'll stick with Bush's judgement on this nomination.

  2. I voted for Bush twice, and no regrets. However, I am realistic enough to say that I need a reason to support Miers - more than just "trust me".

  3. One only has to review what Bush I went through when he got suckered into nominating David Souter. Harriet Miers being touted as the best qualified and a trusted nominee (for social conservatives) is an insult. We have the long remaining life of Souter to remind us the perils of a stealth nominee and a "Trust Me" salesmanship.