Friday, October 28, 2005

Miers nomination: Harriet's Legacy

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I originally posted this photoshop doodle of mine on Friday but took it down because I thought it was an excessively partisan way of expressing my point. Ruminating on it over the weekend, I still feel very strongly about what I was trying to say... This for me is the real legacy of the Harriet Miers debacle:

Bush said this when he announced her nomination:
"I believe that senators of both parties will find that Harriet Miers' talent, experience and judicial philosophy make her a superb choice to safeguard the constitutional liberties and equality of all Americans."

How can the very same people who so effectively campaigned against the Miers nomination now enthusiastically return to wholeheartedly supporting this President? How can you criticize Bush's judgment for concluding that Miers was the best qualified person to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the one hand, and then retain confidence in his judgment in every other aspect of his governance?

Can someone explain that to me, because I don't get it... Is it a good thing that he was forced into ceding to the superior judgment of Conservative columnists and his party base? Is it a good thing that if Bush gets it wrong they can just aggressively articulate the error of his ways and change the course of Administration policy?

If the President sincerely believed in Harriet Miers as a Supreme Court Justice then what does the decision to withdraw her nomination say about his confidence in his own reasoning? A great leader stands up to his base, takes the political hit, and pursues what he/she believes is right, because results, and not politics are what matter in the end... it's one of the reasons that I believe that Tony Blair is a great Prime Minister in the UK.

That's what should give everyone pause for thought, regardless of their political leanings... We have a President who hasn't used a single veto, while non defense discretionary spending has soared, and the national debt has risen to almost eight trillion dollars. We have a President who took no initiative to consider and plan for the broader consequences of regime change in Iraq... who allowed the Republican Guard to be disbanded, dramatic, unhelpful economic reforms to be implemented, and who, after three years has been unable to find alternative solutions and make changes to failing strategies. We have a President who has done nothing to address the changing world, our environment, and future energy needs... at least not with the requisite vigor, and foresight. We have a President who in the midst of a national crisis, Hurricane Katrina, did nothing to exercise leadership, binding the nation together in determination and grief... like Reagan would have... like Giuliani did in NY.

Many of those who criticized Miers said that it wasn't a question of ideology, it was a question of her credentials and qualifications. But, ironically, haven't most of these people turned a blind eye to the President's failings simply because his ideology is so in keeping with theirs?

Isn't that the real legacy of the failed Miers nomination... The poor judgment and inadequacies of this President... that jeapordize the US economy, its safety, its foreign policy, and the integrity of world affairs, only really matter to his supporters when he disagrees with them. And even then, such is the President's lack of belief in his own reasoning, those who pulled the strings to incentivize the Miers withdrawal are confident that if required they can easily assert their influence in the future...

Maybe Bush will prove me wrong and nominate Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court... the man that HE always wanted to... but, I seriously doubt it.

Buzz words for Democratic Congressman here, here, here.

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