Well. So, the president nominated his friend Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Rather than try to come up with something witty on my own, I’m going to link to a couple of worthwhile articles on the subject. The first is not a very good article. I wouldn’t even bother reading it if I were you. But it has a truly wonderful picture right there at the top. I’d post this picture directly on the blog but I don’t want to scare the children with this picture of Skeletor with a bouffant. More after the Jump.
Here is a much better in-depth article about Ms. Miers (technically, she could still be called Miss Miers) and the various hurdles she has to jump. Mr. Cohen here does a good job of painting a rather bleak picture of the road ahead for our darling Harriet. This reflects the notion I’ve seen repeated several times around the web today that Miers’ nomination is doomed, that she may even withdraw her name at some point (this last seems purely hopeful), and that the nomination is intended solely to pave the way for Bush to nominate Al Gonzales later this year. An interesting idea, but troubling; what is it about Ms. Miers that will cause her nomination to go south? Cronyism? Isn’t AGAG something of a crony of the president’s? Hmm.
Finally, here’s a column by Michelle Malkin about the reaction around the blogosphere today (you can rest assured this post will not make it onto Ms. Malkin’s radar). This is perhaps the most interesting of all, because it shows how early the negative coverage got started, and how much of said coverage is coming from the right. Of course those agencies devoted to pimping Bush nominees for any court are going to support Ms. Miers. But it seems like the rank and file are in a funk and riled (I’ve been waiting for months to use that).
One of the bloggers that Ms. Malkin links to talks about how people on both sides of the political spectrum "overwhelmingly seem to agree that Harriet Miers was an underwhelming selection." This seems unfair. Surely there is at least someone out there in the world who is merely whelmed (that may not be a real word, but it should be), and not actually underwhelmed. I wouldn’t say I’m overwhelmed by Ms. Miers, except in the sense that I am overwhelmingly opposed to her use of eye makeup (she’s been spending too much time with Krazy Kat Harris). I’m sure that she won’t make it through the Senate hearings without a competent makeup artist and hair stylist. Well, I would be sure of that, except that said competent stylist clearly was not roused out of bed for this morning’s announcement, and one would expect that with a person so obscure as Ms. Miers, a good first impression would have been warranted. But this White House apparently doesn’t swing that way.
My first impression, upon hearing of Ms. Miers' nomination this morning on NPR, was, what gall. Twice now Bush has set a friend to the weighty task of finding the best person in the country for a particular role, and the friend has looked no further than his or her own mirror. That Bush sees no problem with this is troubling. Troubling, too, is the fact that, all political considerations aside, there are dozens, probably hundreds, possible thousands, of people in this country better qualified by dint of experience and temperament to the job that Ms. Miers successfully found herself for. This is truly disappointing.
I've never been a defender of this president and there is no chance that I'll start now. But with his selection of Mr. Roberts (a selection Ms. Miers is said to have had a hand in), Bush showed that at times he can put politics and partisanship aside, damn the tides of diversity and tokenism, and simply find the best person for a position. Few people can call Roberts unqualified; none can do so seriously. Roberts was not a Bush friend, and though he is clearly ambitious that is no sin. Roberts' colleagues to a man agreed that he is a brilliant thinker and well-suited to his new position on the Court. Roberts may (or may not) prove more conservative than me, but that is of little consequence when one considers that Bush selected him purely on the basis of his great qualification for the job. I gave Bush much credit for this. What is most disappointing to me, then, is that the nomination of Ms. Miers clearly shows that Bush's striving to find a competent, rather than loyal, appointee was a one-shot deal. He clearly didn't try to find another Roberts. He didn't even try to find someone who could be passed off as another Roberts. And I have no choice but to conclude that we merely got lucky with Roberts, and that competence and qualification are of as little importance to Mr. Bush now as they were when he saddled the taxpayers with a glorified horse-trader as their FEMA director.
But this is merely another in a long string of disappointments from Mr. Bush. And when one looks past the rather disturbing message sent by Ms. Miers' nomination, there are some good things to be found. For example, there is almost no chance whatsoever that there will be cause for a great filibuster showdown in the Senate and a change of the Senate's rules. For that we can be deeply thankful.
The exciting thing about this nomination is that it could go in any of a dozen different directions. With Harry Reid tacitly offering her support immediately after the announcement (and he did so brilliantly, remarking when told of her previous donations to Al Gore that, though he hadn't known of them before, the fact made him feel that much better about Ms. Miers; you could hear the skin crawling on the right), anything could happen. Ms. Miers may not be a shoo-in for the job. She may get filibustered—maybe even by a combined group of both Demos and GOPers. Or, she could sail through the hearings and be confirmed 97-3 (the three being Schumer, Kennedy, and Byrd). None of these are outside the realm of possibility. Regardless of how this nomination turns out, the president has given journalists a big early Christmas present: excitement, slander, strange coalitions, vitriolic conservatives, confused liberals, and the possibility of complete implosion! Just in time for the holidays, and all wrapped up in a big box of too much Dallas hairspray and smeared eyeliner. Hooray for Christmas!