Miers Updates

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

* The mainstream media has had the story line:  This Reuters article was originally titled "Bush Pick For High Court Outrages Conservatives".  It’s been watered down a little (conservatives are now just "wary").

* Powerline speculates a deal with Dems:

Check out the NARAL and PFAW web sites. Nothing but bland press releases adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

What did happen within 30 minutes of Bush’s announcement was a press release by Harry Reid that included the statement, "I like Harriet Miers." It’s hard to avoid the suspicion that Bush’s nomination of Miers reflects some kind of deal with the Senate Democrats. Such as, the Dems gave Bush a list of candidates they would deem "acceptable" (pending Judiciary Committee hearings, of course), and Bush chose the best candidate he could off that list.

Is that what happened? I don’t know, but the theory seems to fit the facts.

* ToothfairyPatt Morrison echoes my thoughts:


So that’s how it works in the Bush White House —

Harriet Miers is in charge of finding the very best person to fill Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the Supreme Court – and who does she find? Harriet Miers!

Dick Cheney is tasked with searching the length and breadth of America for the best person to be candidate Bush’s running mate – and lo and behold, who does he suss out like a prize truffle but … Dick Cheney?

Joe Allbaugh, Bush’s 2000 election national campaign director, goes hunting for someone to replace him as head of the downgraded FEMA – and who does he turn up but the next-best thing to himself, his old pal and sock-puppet clone Michael Brown? If it’s good enough for Allbaugh, it’s good enough for Bush, and ‘’Brownie’’ – surname ‘’Nosie’’ – is anointed.

In the closed system that is Planet Bush, someone is ‘’a good man’’ because the “good man’’ assures Bush that he is.

It’s a child’s circular logic, and it would be just as harmless if it were confined to the Tooth Fairy. Alas for the rest of us, Bush believes in the Truth Fairy. [And why shouldn’t he? He lost an election, and the Truth Fairy still left the White House under his pillow.]

The Bush administration decides what it wants to be true – and then cuts away everything that doesn’t fit, or that gets in the way of its conclusions.


Creationism is true because we want it to be, Social Security needs changing because it serves our interests to make people believe it does, and global warming isn’t real because we don’t like the people who say it is. Besides, how can there be global warming if we still have to wear sweaters sometimes? Huh? Answer me that, Mister Smarty-Pants Scientist! Because I’m the president,and you’re not, that’s why.

* More Mier’s fun:  her weblog

* What Kevin Drum says

My favorite Miers quote so far. This one is from an anonymous lawyer who is "a conservative Christian and worked with Harriet Miers in Texas":

Harriet worships the president and has called him the smartest man she’s known. She’s a pretty good lawyer….This president can be bamboozled by anyone he feels close to. If a person fawns on him enough, is loyal, works 25 hours a day and says you’re the smartest man I ever met, all of a sudden you’re right for the Supreme Court.

Sounds about right. Maybe we’re all just overanalyzing this thing….

*  At least we know where she stands on the Barney/horseshoe matter.  This is from her post at the Ask The White House website:

Alex, from Fargo, North Dakota writes: Could you explain how Barney plays horseshoes?

Harriet Miers: The President throws the horseshoes to Barney, and Barney runs after them. Metal horseshoes are too heavy for Barney to lift, so he doesn’t carry them around. Instead he moves them around with his nose. He has figured out pretty quickly how to get under the horseshoe enough to flip it over. As you know, the President loves horsing around with Barney.

*  Former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote something not flattering about Meirs, and then deleted it (Guess what?  You can’t backpedal on the Internet).

* Worth thinking about:

[H]ere’s what Democrats and liberals should do straightaway: Embrace her. Welcome her. And, most of all, applaud the president’s moderation and reasonableness.

If this sounds like heresy, consider the upside: It will drive the right-wing fringe and Christian conservatives crazy. They will be even more livid than they are already because, despite the blessing of two Court openings, they didn’t get the Luttig-Owens-Brown certifiable conservative who they believe their votes and political activities during the past decade earned them.


The midterms are still 13 months away, and much can change. But a key component of both of those mid-year catastrophes for the party in the White House was a dormant base.

Yeah, but then she’ll be on the court, right?

*  On the other hand, according to a law review article she wrote as a student in 1969, she seems to quote favorably for small bits of judicial activism (here’s the quote):

"[An earlier Texas court] reasoned that the common law should rule unless changed by the legislature and that the question of the ‘new tort’ was embedded in serious policy considerations which should be determined only by the legislature. However, courts have both changed common law where it became obsolete and have ruled in decisions involving vital policy questions with great success."

*  Jonah Goldberg, at The Corner:

The Miers pick comes along at precisely the wrong moment. Bush is saying "trust me" at exactly the time when conservatives want to be reassured they can trust him. The last thing he needs right now is to dip into his house credit one more time.

Bush has a history of running against the wind of his strongest critics, which is one of the things I love about the guy. For example, people said Bush was too unilateral and hostile to the international community, so he appointed John Bolton. But, either by accident or design, this time around he seems bent on countering a different kind of criticism. He’s been getting beaten — somewhat unfairly — for his alleged cronyism of late. This appointment seems like the Bolton approach; "Oh yeah, you think I’m into cronyism? Well here’s my former personal lawyer from Texas!"

But there’s a key difference. Hosility to the international community and "unilateralism" (code for protecting America’s interests first) are principles Bush wins respect by defending. Cronyism is not a principle, or at least one not easily defended.

*  Uh, oh.  Conservatives won’t like this.  Miers supports gay adoption and the formation of an International Criminal Court.