Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Judicial Obtusion

President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to SCOTUS, according to the media, "sows chaos on left and right". Tell me about it. Reading the blogs yesterday, it felt like everyone in the entire country was wandering around dazed in a small room bumping into one another in mass confusion.

Senator Harry Reid likes the nomination, which proves that he can actually say something nice about President Bush once in his career. MoveOn dot org opposes it, but they generally oppose anything that a Republican President does on principle.

A long-familiar name turns up in coverage of the Right's reaction to the nomination:

"The movement is not united on her nomination," said Paul M. Weyrich, chairman of the conservative Free Congress Foundation. "There are people with specific objections; there are other people that are very disappointed. ... I think it will sort itself out, but I think the hearings are critical."
When I see a name like Paul Weyrich, the first thing I think is, "Is he still around?" Or maybe I'm getting him mixed up with Paul Laxalt. Either way, most of these "foundation" guys are way off my radar. When a newspaper article wants immediate reaction to a breaking story like this, I expect them to go straight to someone like Captain Ed, on whose blog I first learned about the Miers move. Nowadays I spend so much online time reading blogs that they have become my main source of news. And that's a good thing; there is no such thing as unbiased reporting, so I prefer reading analysis of the news to the news itself.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President showed up on talk shows like Rush Limbaugh. I remember what it was like twelve years ago when Rush basically was the conservative media. He never had guests on the show, preferring to deal with callers, but when Vice-President Quayle or President Bush (41) showed up in the studio, he just couldn't turn them down. And you could tell that whenever they did appear on Rush's show, they were doing so out of desperation. So Cheney's talk show appearances seem to indicate that the Bush (43) administration is trying hard to get its message across.

That message, simply put, is that Harriet Miers is the most qualified available candidate for the high court seat being vacated by Sandra Day O'Connor. But is she? To most casual observers, she is a complete cipher. She has zero experience as a judge. She has worked closely with President Bush for many years, which opens the administration up to charges of cronyism. That may be true. The best thing about this nomination is the way that it confuses the heck out of the Left, which was undoubtedly preparing massive campaigns against the more experienced judges whose names have been mentioned as SCOTUS candidates in recent months.

On the left, groups such as the Alliance for Justice and People for the American Way did not immediately oppose Ms. Miers but did raise questions about her qualifications and urged senators to scrutinize whatever record of her views can be discovered.
Whatever her qualifications, Harriet Miers is the President's nominee, and she deserves a public hearing to determine her suitability for the position. It's best to strike now while the Left is still confused; get the approval process over with as quickly as possible. As Darth Sidious says, "Do what must be done. Do not hesitate; show no mercy."

On the other hand, if Miers turns out to be a stealth Democrat who was appointed to fill some kind of silly female quota seat on the court, then President Bush can consider his political capital to be completely spent. As Darth Sidious would say, "You will pay the price for your lack of vision."

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