I know I've already railed against the president I've voted for twice over this Supreme Court nominee. But I need to vent again. I just can't get over how foolish this is.
We judge how foolish an act is by the importance of the circumstances. If I unexpectedly burp during a meal, it's foolish...but of no long-lasting consequence. This nominee business is at the other end of the spectrum. It will have enormous impact for decades to come. Harriet Miers is 60ish. We can assume that she has at least 20 years, if confirmed, of incredible influence on this country's law.
Miers stands to slip into the seat that Sandra Day O'Connor has been warming. And O'Connor was repeatedly the swing vote in critical cases. And Miers has no paper trail. It staggers the mind that Bush has treated such a blockbuster situation with so little thought.
Throughout the past 6 years, I have dismissed most of the criticism of Bush's intellect that has become so familiar. Yes, he obliterates the King's English upon occasion. Yes, he doesn't come across as a guy who reads books before pillowing his head at night. But I assumed that because he went to Yale and because he was dead-on in many of his conservative beliefs he must have more cerebrum activity than he lets on.
But to treat this appointment so cavalierly is to akin to lighting up a smoke at the gas station. You may get away with it or you may change the look of the neighborhood forever.
George Will made a good point in his recent column. He said that if 100 legal scholars were to each list 100 of the most qualified jurists for this Supreme Court vacancy, you would end up with 10,000 folks not named Harriet Miers.
Bush also said that he had not discussed abortion with Ms. Miers. Huh? If he's lying, that says something about his veracity. If he's telling the truth, it means he's so out of touch with his conservative base that he would ignore the most controversial social issue of the day.
This whole thing smacks of poor judgment and poor advice. As I said two days ago, the only hope for the true Republican conservative is that Bush has blindly tossed a dart in the general direction of the target and managed to hit a bulls-eye.