2005 October 14 Friday
Harriet Miers Nomination In Trouble

Bush plays religion card and it backfires.

Every White House effort to cool conservative opposition to Miers seems to backfire, including Bush's explanation of why the White House is stressing Miers' evangelical Christianity.

"People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers," Bush said Wednesday. "They want to know Harriet Miers' background ... And part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion."

On Thursday, Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, called the administration's efforts to woo religious conservatives by stressing Miers' religion "out of bounds."

"We are the last people on Earth to object to the news that she is a committed Christian," Perkins said in a statement. "By the same token, this fact is not grounds for certifying her to us or to the public. ... Inferences drawn from an individual's religious affiliation have no place in decisions to nominate or confirm a judicial appointee."

Jan LaRue, chief counsel of the conservative Concerned Women for America, issued an extensive position statement Monday, saying, "We find it patronizing and hypocritical to focus on her faith in order to gain support for Miss Miers."

Even Christians know that being a Christian does not automatically make one qualified to serve on the US Supreme Court. Bush is condescending to these people and they've noticed it.

While George is condescending on religion his wife is busy condescending with false charges of sexism.

Laura Bush said yesterday that some critics of Harriet Miers may be motivated by sexism, echoing an allegation that earlier infuriated conservative activists opposed to the Supreme Court nominee.

On NBC's "Today" show, Laura Bush joined President Bush in defending Miers as the "most qualified" person her husband could have appointed to the Supreme Court. She also said it's "possible" that questions about Miers's intellectual qualifications are sexist in nature, a charge other defenders of Miers have made publicly and in private conservations with conservatives opposed to the nomination.

Steve Sailer points out that if we wanted politically correct condescension from a First Lady the nation would have chosen John Kerry.

Do conservatives really need to be abused by the unelected First Lady for the high crime of diversity insensitivity toward First Family cronies? We could have had Teresa Heinz Kerry do that for us, couldn't we?

Howard Kurtz points out Miers was chosen in part because she is a woman and the Bushies are promoting a double standard.

Translation: I can consider gender factors in making my choice, but anyone who raises questions about whether this non-judge is qualified to sit on the nation's highest bench is doing so because she's a woman.

Does that smack of a double standard? Would conservative pundits really be praising a man with the same lack of judicial experience or intellectual writing?

In fact, I would argue that resorting to the old you're-attacking-her-because-she's-a-woman argument is itself a bit sexist, because you're asking potential critics to hold Miers to a different standard because she is a woman. (And don't believe politicians don't think about this. Some Republicans were salivating at the prospect that the Democrats might have to oppose Janice Rogers Brown, a black woman, and tick off two constituencies.)

Is Harriet Miers just a Bush suck-up crony? You decide:

The Bush-Miers letters were among more than 2000 pages of documents released this week by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. In a 1997 Hallmark greeting card (adorned with a photo of a dog), Miers sent along belated birthday wishes and noted that "You are the best governor ever--deserving of great respect!" In another note (penned on an American Greetings card), Miers wrote that she hoped Bush's daughters realized that their parents were "cool." A 1995 Miers note thanked Bush for a visit, adding that an airplane ride with the governor was "Cool!" Sadly, the document dump did not include Miers's e-mail or IM messages, which are surely filled with loads of sappy emoticons.

Bush's power is declining in part because of the accumulation of his mistakes and in part because he can't run for reelection again.

Also see my previous post "Alexander Hamilton On Harriet Miers Appointment".

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 October 14 09:16 AM  Politics American Constitution


Comments
Pico said at October 14, 2005 10:36 AM:

Bush chose Harriet Miers to reward his corporate backers. The shameless use of religion to rally evangelicals reveals a cynical contempt for evangelicals.

Hugh Angell said at October 14, 2005 6:17 PM:

I'm a practical sort of guy. Don't know Harriet Miers but I remember Judge Souter... and
Kennedy and Stevens etc. The GOP has had its chances but, far too often, sent "Casey" to
the plate. Don't want to buy a pig in the poke but I am a lot more suspicious of a "John
Roberts' than I am of Harriet Miers. Maybe I'm wrong here but, as William Buckley famously
said: better to be governed by the first two thousand names in the Boston Telephone Book
than the faculty of Havard".

When I was growing up President Nixon nominated a guy, belive is name was G. Harold
Carswell, for the Supreme Court. The media of the day went had a hissy fit calling him
a mediocre or some such. Vice President Spiro Agnew went to his defense making the odd,
but perfectly reasonable assertion that 'mediocre people' deserved representation on the
Supreme Court too. You know, he was right. I'd rather trust a common as dirt person
interpreting the Constitution than some pointy headed intellectual with a Ph.D from Yale!

The Constitution is pretty plain spoken. Congress shall not. The right of the people,
Powers not expressly granted are reserved to. Shoot, even a country hick can read that
'interpret it'. You don't need a course in Constitutional Law from Larrys Tribe or Sabato
to get a handle on what Mssrs Jefferson et al wrote. Prohibitions on 'cruel and unusual
punishment' didn't mean you couldn't hang the SOB who liked to rape and murder young
girls. It meant you couldn't burn them at the stake not that they couldn't be put to
death. This was the 18th century for crying out loud. People back then didn't, and wouldn't
put up with O.J. Simpson or the "Night Stalker". They were reasonable men.

I'm not saying I like the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court but I have yet
to hear a valid reason why she should not be allowed to sit on that bench.

FriendltFire said at October 15, 2005 6:03 PM:

but I have yet to hear a valid reason why she should not be allowed to sit on that bench.

Havent we learnt from W Bush's appointment of Brown to the head of FEMA ?
Oh well you can take your chances. Supreme court has the ability to shape the future of the United states with rulings on Church and state, torture, States rights, gay marriage, terrorism laws, Stem cell research, Election law

I hope she is utlimately someone who is "down to earth" but giving Bush record and the people who surround him. I wouldnt bet on it.


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