Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush nominates Miers

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Is it really possible that we will have a Supreme Court that will be less and not more Conservative as a consequence of Bush's nominations? It's early days, and there's much that we do not know about White House Counsel Harriet Miers. But we do know this already:

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In the aftermath of Nov 04, I don't think anybody could have expected two such moderate and, at least prosaically, non-ideological nominations to the Supreme Court. John Roberts, in spite of his past political affiliations, explicitly demonstrated a willingness to be objective and open minded as a fundamental personal philosophy. Harriet Miers, it seems, has first hand experience confronting discrimination, and her political contributions to Al Gore and Lloyd Bentsen show that she retains the capacity to truly appreciate arguments from both sides of the political spectrum.

These choices, at least on the surface, are completely inconsistent with Bush's governing philosophy... which has been to aggressively pursue a Conservative agenda, no matter the cost, completely abdicating the politics of consensus. Perhaps this nomination is symptomatic of a White House that is seeking to reclaim the political center in the wake of dire recent events. So far it has been Liberal pundits expressing almost unconditional support for Miers, while Conservatives like Bill Krystol and Fred Barnes have been left to vent, disappointed. I wonder if this was the desired intention. I wonder also if Bush has independently asserted himself in opposition to his political staff in making this nomination.

The truth is that Harriet Miers appears to be a perfectly suitable replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor. It's just highly ironic that after five years of dogmatic partisanship, the Bush Administration has sacrificed its opportunity to permanently alter the Judicial landscape for decades. Astonishingly, while many Democrats will be crossing their fingers, hoping for a relatively expedient confirmation process, Conservatives might, by contrast, be strategizing to derail her nomination. Who would have thought? It seems that Harriet Miers has taken everybody, on both sides of political spectrum, by complete surprise.

(UPDATE) 10/04/05:
It keeps getting better and better. Miers supported civil rights for Gays and Lesbians in 1989, + Aids education programs for the city of Dallas. That's pretty impressive even for a Conservative Democrat back then. Even if she completely disavows these views, they contribute to the burgeoning civil war amongst Conservatives.

RNC Chairman: "Miers was a Democrat throughout the 1980's..."
Bill Krystol: "I'm Disappointed, Depressed and Demoralized"
David Frum: "Miers nomination... is an unforced error"
MSNBC Profile: A Pitbull in Size 6 Shoes
Hat Tip: Wonkette

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