Monday, October 03, 2005

Bits and Pieces of Miers


That's the resounding echo of millions of people responding to the President's second Supreme Court nominee. Here's some of the best bits so far:

Gean Healy reports David Frum quoting Miers:
[Miers] once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met.
As Healy and his commenters say, that's scary on the face of it. I don't mean that Bush is dumb -- I've said he isn't before and I stick by it -- but this is a woman with a long career in law, business and government, and the only thing Bush has going for him is that he keeps hiring her. Naturally, that makes anyone look smarter.... but it's kinda personal.

Avedon Carol casts some doubt on Bush's strength of character, though:
It should have been obvious he would pick Miers. When he was looking for a running-mate, Dick Cheney was the guy who helped him pick the VP. When he was looking for this nominee, his little helper was Harriet Miers.
The administration's inbred character just invites satire sometimes, and then goes beyond it. Avedon points to this roundup of the hard-core liberal political bloggers' reactions, most of which are more tactical (and wishful) than helpful, but interesting, nonetheless.

Eric Muller's first reaction was the same as mine: "The President's personal lawyer. Crony, crony, crony. Did I mention "crony?"" His second reaction builds on the first:
With near-record low approval ratings and the FEMA/Katrina disaster just behind him, the President sure picked a strange moment to say to the entire nation, left, right, and center: "Just trust me on this one."
There's a little more meat in his third reaction but it's the kind of "tea leaf reading" we're all going to be suffering through for the next two months.

What do I really think? Well, the odds that Bush doesn't know what she thinks about everything he cares about are nil to none; whether or not abortion is on his list (hah!), his litmus tests have been fulfilled. Mostly they involve, as they did with John Roberts, an extremely deferential attitude towards the executive branch, when held by the right sort of people. If a "Pentagon Papers" or Nixon Tapes case came to the bench with these people on it, Executive Privilege would probably still be mostly intact.

Make no mistake, there will be indictments of members of this administration. Yes, some of them (lots of them!) will be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. No, Roberts and Miers are not going to recuse themselves. And what, pray tell, are we going to do if Miers, who's been at the heart of this administration long enough to be really dangerous, gets subpoenaed.... have we ever put a sitting Justice on the witness stand? Or under indictment? Bush wants his people in place; it's a defensive strategy, which is why it makes no immediate political sense.

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