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Saturday, October 08, 2005

My own biases and sources of passion on the Miers nomination

A pundit whose name you'd recognize, in a private email exchange, wrote to me that he thinks I'm very much personally invested in the Miers nomination. The truth of this statement became clear to me simultaneously with my startled realization about 4:00 p.m. this afternoon that the Texas-OU game had ended before I'd remembered it was being played. (Final score: 'Horns 45, Sooners 12 — Hook 'Em!)

It would be fair to say that the nomination and the controversy around it have driven me to distraction, sleeplessness, mania. I am indeed personally invested in it, and I ought to explain why, because you may conclude that it affects my credibility one way or another, and it certainly affects my objectivity despite my best efforts.

Among the things Ms. Miers and I have in common is that we've defended public companies accused of making inadequate disclosures. I claim that as a mitigating factor to explain why this post will run so long. But I'm a wordy cuss anyway.

I am reasonably certain that I've never actually met Harriet Miers. It's not unlikely that we've been in the same room together at some bar function or other, but I don't think we've ever spoken in person or even by telephone. I was aware of both the Locke Purnell firm and another fine Dallas firm that merged into it, Rain Harrell, while I was in law school; I quite possibly interviewed with one or both of them, and I'd certainly become better acquinted with them both by reputation when I was a summer clerk at one of their Dallas competitors, Thompson & Knight, in 1979. I likewise had been familiar for at least that long with Houston-based Liddell Sapp, the firm that merged with Locke Purnell under Harriet Miers' guidance much more recently to create Locke Liddell & Sapp.

During the first dozen years of my career when I was myself a big-firm lawyer, all of these firms were simultaneously comrades at the bar and competitors. My firms competed for the same clients and new-hire law students; our firms often represented codefendants and/or adversaries in lawsuits scattered throughout the state. Based on the size of these firms, there's no way I or anyone could know everyone on all of these firms' rosters, nor even everyone in the same practice area. But we all had mutual friends and acquaintances; and we knew of each others' rainmakers and general capabilities and reputations. Indeed, I was struck as I was reading through the published decisions from Ms. Miers' cases that I wrote about at such length yesterday just how many of them I recognized, recalled, and had had at least some remote connection to myself. I've had cases with or against, and in some cases worked at the same firms with, her opposing counsel in many of those cases. One of my professors was her opponent in one of those cases, and I was long ago the beneficiary of help from one of her law school professors.

In one of those opinions, I came across the name of a former Wall Street deal lawyer of considerable national prominence who'd later become an executive for, and as a result also been a witness for, Ms. Miers' client in that case. He was also the deal lawyer with whom I'd shared a common client, the General Electric Pension Trust, in the large lender liability case something over ten years ago that I described in another post this week. GEPT had been obliged to seek new counsel in that case when a potential conflict arose between it and two other institutional investors that I was also representing, and this same Wall Street lawyer had helped GEPT select Ms. Miers' firm, Locke Purnell, to take over its representation. One of Ms. Miers' partners there, a superb lawyer named John McElhaney, took over day to day responsibility for defending GEPT in the case, and it was John who I'd briefed for two or three days to get him up to speed, and then worked with as continuing counsel for these codefendants thereafter. Seeing the New York lawyer's name again, though, specifically in connection with Ms. Miers' case triggered a vague recollection that her name may have been listed along with John's on their firm's pleadings for GEPT, and if — as I'm now speculating, albeit on a very vague memory — Ms. Miers was the rainmaker who'd brought in the representation, it would not be atypical for her to mostly hand it off to a trusted senior partner to work up, with the representation being made to the client that she'd continue monitoring it and become more directly involved when and if the case got close to trial. So we may possibly have both technically been among counsel of record in that case. (Although it's not one I've seen her take any personal credit for in any published materials; and if she was involved at all, it would be just another among countless big cases that left only obscure footprints because her client's part of it settled pretrial.)

However, I'm pretty sure I never worked directly with Harriet Miers on that or any other specific case. I respect Locke Liddell, but certainly owe it no allegiance, and have no pending cases in which it is also involved at the moment. Nevertheless: I've known of Harriet Miers for many years, dating back to before her State Bar of Texas presidency. We almost certainly have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of common acquaintances. At one time we traveled in the same legal circles (although that's been much less true in the last dozen years or so, during which I've either practiced on my own or with small firms). I believe that I'd be appreciative of her career even had we practiced across the country from each other, instead of just across Texas. My comments and opinions about what an experienced courtroom lawyer and the managing partner of a large, successful law firm would bring to the Court would be the same regardless. But if she'd been from, say, Chicago or Phoenix or Seattle, I wouldn't be in a position of having so much personal knowledge of her specific career circumstances, and of course I'd sill still lack personal experience directly with her.

In other words, the same things that have put me into a position to comment knowledgeably and, I hope, credibly about her career may also may affect my objectivity. But they certainly explain much of the offense I've taken at criticisms of her that I thought were based on objectively false factual assertions (e.g., no law review experience) and what I also perceive to be many more some instances of unjustifiable opinions ('third-rate lawyer," "undistinguished firm," no big cases, etc.). For example, when I first read the nonsense that one of Rich Lowry's sources had fed him and that he innocently had republished — which then zipped from NRO's The Corner around the blogosphere in the first hours of the nomination, creating for many a first impression that's become very difficult to dispel — my jaw just hit the floor, and I'm sure I turned red in the face.

My reaction thus is in some ways similar to that which I had when another Texas lawyer with whom I was modestly acquainted, John O'Neill, suddenly hit the national spotlight last year. "Hey, I know him! I've cross-examined that guy!" was my first reaction. And then: "Hey! That's not fair, what they're saying about him. That's neither factually true nor even a rationally justifiable opinion!" And that led to my dozens and dozens of passionate posts — hopefully also with as much even-handedness as I could muster, but also subject to possible bias — about the SwiftVets. These were both people I knew to be good Texas lawyers getting a bad rap on a national stage. And I simply couldn't not speak out.

Furthermore, I'm also a long-time, undisguised fan of George W. Bush — one who's felt anything from mild to severe annoyance with him from time to time over issues big, small, and in between, but one who also on the whole still proudly supports him. I think he's gotten more things right, and especially more big things mostly right, than he's gotten wrong. I'm happy to disclose all that, and it's as important to consider in assessing my possible biases as it would be to consider biases from other conservatives or moderates who've become critical of the President pretty much across the board

You'd be entitled to conclude from all this: "Well, Beldar's unhinged."

I'll try not to take offense if you reach and express that conclusion. I'll forgive and honor almost any opinion contrary to my own, so long as you've gotten your underlying objective facts right.

And I once again remind myself — and those of you, my readers, who call yourselves conservatives — that we are not enemies, but friends; we must not become enemies; and we ought not blow the better angels of our natures out of the sky with 12-gauge shotgun blasts of overheated, hysterical, and scar-producing rhetoric.

Posted by Beldar at 06:17 PM in Law (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to My own biases and sources of passion on the Miers nomination and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Remember Who Your Friends Are Its Good Advice for Both Sides from Patterico's Pontifications

Tracked on Oct 11, 2005 12:13:12 AM

» Thoughts on the Miers Nomination from RareKate Writes

Tracked on Oct 12, 2005 9:11:46 PM


(1) Ironman made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 6:35:48 PM | Permalink

If a former partner at Day, Berry & Howard or Robinson & Cole took the ripping Miers had, I'd like to think CT lawyers would come to her defense.

(2) wayne made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 6:43:39 PM | Permalink

I pray that your right, and I think the odds are definitely in your favor (say 80/20) but I still don't think GWB should have asked us to play Russian Roulette with this nomination. Compare Miers resume with Sandra Day O'Connor's and you would be convinced that O'Connor was a more reliable conservative. the Prez should not have betrayed his Thomas/Scalia promise to us -- Harriet is no Thomas or Scalia no matter how you dress it up. I'm sure she did very well in those areas you discuss, but you don't send a crackerjack podiatrist to do brain surgery.

(3) A.S. made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 7:17:18 PM | Permalink

I think we all understand your perspective, Beldar. I daresay that if a senior partner practicing transactional law at a large NYC firm had been appointed, I (as a partner doing transactional work at a large NYC firm) would be predisposed to defend that person and to use my familiarity with the nominee's practice to correct the inevitable errors that come up in the commentary.

However, in that case, I think I would still have the same questions about the nomination that I do about Miers: what separates her from the thousands of other senior partners at large law firms in the country? And, I'm sorry, but I just haven't seen anything to separate Miers from the rest of that group. (Perhaps you are arguing that ANY good lawyer is qualified to be on the Supreme Court? If so, I would disagree - the Supreme Court should be limited to the very best.)

I am very sympathetic to your defense - I would love to see, for example, a transaction lawyer appointed to the Supreme Court. I think they would bring a great perspective. But I wouldn't want any random senior partner doing transactional work at a large NYC firm. I would want the very best - someone like a Marty Lipton, for example. And I don't see Miers being that.

(4) Paul Deignan made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 7:27:51 PM | Permalink

I'd say that you testify to the fact that both you and Ms. Miers are decent people by putting the best case forward. You have satisfied the fundamental requirements of collegial decentcy more than well.

This is a very useful service especially to do it in a principled manner, i.e. to give good advice up to the point where the facts and principles are consistent. A good friend will always be the first to tell the other that something is either possible with encouragement or not and for what reason. In a way, most all of us try to be good friends. In the end, the true friends are the truthful and caring ones.

The saying goes that no one loves another more than he who gives his life for a friend. The interesting truths about that statement is that it is about sacrifice and friendship. Giving one's life for a stranger was not the quote. One must know who and why they would sacrifice themselves and in so doing they must reach an understanding on what is and is not true friendship. Friendship and sacrifice are inextricably linked.

I do not know Ms Miers personnally, so I cannot do much more than commnicate a simple truth that I know in her regard as a person with some respect and a generic friendship for her and others. I would hope that her better friends can do more for her to tell her the hard truths that by now are manifestly apparent and that she ought to hear.

As a friend to the president, she may need to sacrifice and as the president is a friend to those that voted for him, the same is expected. We wait and watch and learn what friendship really exists between us. We will only sacrifice so much for one whose idea of friendship is a one-way street to power at our expense. Because we value this ideal of friendship, we must ask that this overreach be righted.

Ms. Miers should withdraw her nomination.

(5) jb made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 7:29:40 PM | Permalink

Don'cha think that this is a situation in which the Senate hearings will actually be meaningful and important? Not just a chance to recite talking points or get some face time on the 6:00 news but actually having both lefties and righties asking questions because their votes will depend on how she answers them, and nobody in the room will know what her answer will be until she gives her answer (and you thought you were a wordy cuss!). Is this not a good thing?

I share your admiration and respect for President Bush, and also your tendency to get annoyed with him at times. I'm sure I'm not the only one in that club who reads everything that you write on this subject, then Powerline, then Hugh, then EdM., then NRO, and then calls for a chiropractor because our heads are spinning and our necks are out of joint. I trust Mr. Bush, and I trust you, but I also really really wish that he had nominated Janice R. Brown just for the pleasure of watching the Dems' response.

Can't we declare a moratorium on all of this unfounded speculation? This would be useful if the Senate were required to vote with no questioning of Ms. Miers, but that ain't gonna happen. My second choice, after Justice Brown, is for Ms Miers to continue to gather grudging praise from Sen. Reid and other prominant Dems, and then blister the Senate hearing room with appropriate denunciations of anyone arriving at Constitutional law via penumbras and emanations, and making damn sure that no judge in Brussels has anything to do with our Supreme Court decisions.

Hey, it could happen. So could Justice Brown if Justice Stephens cooperates.

(6) Paul Deignan made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 7:31:17 PM | Permalink


As a friend to the president, she may need to sacrifice and as the president is a friend to those that voted for him, the same is expected. We wait and watch and learn what friendship really exists between us. We will only sacrifice so much for one whose idea of friendship is a one-way street to power at our expense. Because we value this ideal of friendship, we must ask that this overreach be righted.

Ms. Miers should withdraw her nomination.

(7) Skyfield made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 8:15:21 PM | Permalink

Amusing blog at http://driftwoodusa.blogspot.com/

“Kristol assumes presidency and withdraws Miers today”
Washington DC (October 8, 2005) – At a press conference on Capitol Hill this morning, Mr. Bill Kristol, a top dog of the neocon movement announced that he had “assumed the Presidency of the United States” and withdrawn the Miers nomination to the US Supreme Court, “effective immediately.” As the leader of the “elitist conservative pundit movement,” he felt obligated to step in and “take over the presidency from Mr. Bush” to avert the looming “constitutional train wreck heading toward the conservative base,” said Mr. Kristol. Responding to questions from reporters, Mr. Kristol conceded that Mr. Bush was “elected” President in 2004, but “ what happened in 2004, should stay in 2004”, said Mr. Kristol. He also assigned his vice president Charles Krauthammer to lead the search for a new Supreme Court nominee. In a statement from the White House, Mr. Scott Mc Clellan, the President’s spokesman, commented that “the last time I look, President Bush still sits in the Oval Office.”

(8) magna made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 8:21:17 PM | Permalink


I respect and understand your views on this (particularly in terms of the reaction to seeing someone decent attacked).

However, where I differ is at the conclusion where you claim that those of us who call ourselves conservatives are friends. This recent explosion and particularly the many discussions I've had about it have forced me to the realization that, at least politically, many who call themselves conservatives are natural enemies rather than friends. The split between religious conservatives and libertarian conservatives has never seemed starker. I, for one, have put up with a great deal to maintain the conservative coalition due to my interest in seeing a change in the court. Now, it has been made clear to me that the republican party and _its_ version of the conservative movement are more interested in big religious government and a religiously activist court than any of the views that I have fought for.

It is often said that you should be careful who you ally yourself with. I am now feeling the full force of that. I have been forced to accept that my compromises with the republican coalition have done nothing to advance my views. It's become clear that I have more in common with the democrats (not enough to vote for them) than I do with the religious majority in the republican party.

It's nice to send up the idea that we really all can get along. That's false. These are longstanding rifts in the beliefs of the party and many of us have pasted over them due to a shared belief in the importance of the courts. With that cover ripped off, I think we're all about to find out why there is nothing more feared than a war between brothers.

The conservative movement, as such, has been hijacked by theocrats (I'm sure on the other side they talk about it being hijacked by Godless anarchists). Well, I don't think it's worth a fight. I'm simply going to leave and let others fight this out. I simply see there being no reason to discuss issues with people who share none of my basic assumptions about the possibility of communication or argument.

In any case, it's time we faced the facts that the conservative movement and republican party are only held together by fear of the democrats. Some of us have been pushed far enough to head back to the third party wasteland where we will probably safely disappear. Enjoy the quiet without us.

(9) Andrew made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 8:25:38 PM | Permalink


(10) David Walser made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 8:46:15 PM | Permalink

A.S. - I understand you think service on the Supreme Court should be reserved for the very best. What I don't understand is why. I don't want to denigrate the entire legal profession, but, let's be honest, it does not require a lot of mental horsepower to be a very good attorney. It does not require much, if any more, intellectual power to be a fine justice. There may be thousands of people who are smart enough, have the proper training, and the right character to serve as a very good justice. That does not mean the selection is unimportant, it's that it seems people are raising the bar, in terms of technical qualifications, too high while ignoring the questions of character.

Besides, even if we were going to limit our pool of candidates to the "best", how would we do that? Reportedly, Miers has been listed as one of the 100 best attorneys in the nation. Should the president be required by law to limit his nominations to those who are on that list? I've known well a lot of attorneys in my career. I couldn't begin to come up with name of the single best attorney I've known. Some were great with clients, others were great draftsmen, others didn't know the meaning of "no" and could always come up with a way to make "it" happen, and still others could cut straight to the heart of a matter, but not one was an attorney I'd use without regard to the situation.

(11) derebu made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 9:56:59 PM | Permalink

While I can see your passion and enthusiasm on your posts I appreciate your defence of this woman fully. Your arguments have been sound and informed and made the accusions on Miers seem petty, superficial, and selfish. Someone needed to do this, because I have been agast at the immature and irresponsible comments made by normally credible individuals bent on making this candidate go down in flames.
Its dissapointing to see these "devastated" people are bent on pulling a Planned Parenthood type response to this SCOTUS candidate and make ALL conservatives look like a bunch of elitist prejudice snobs. How would you like it if you were working your tail off and the CEO of the company offered you a major position promotion, but a massive wave of shareholders flipped out and wanted you fired, when they know nothing about you, dont care to even find out, and are crushed when Jim or Sally didn't get the position instead. I dont think anyone would want that kind of sabotague in their lives but suddenly its ok to demand a withdraw or No vote when you admit you dont even want to learn about this woman. On top of that I'm certain the libs are reveling on how we are imploding on this and demonstrating outright hypocracy on Miers when we demanded the democrats in the Senate needed to "learn more about Roberts and give him a chance". Pathetic.
I also have yet to hear of a nonjudicial experience candidate with bonus points for woman/minority that is a better choice then Miers. I really want to hear one because that is a losing argument to say SCOTUS needs only judges, when almost 40% of them have not been.
After Bork's elitist, out-of-touch, uninformed condemenation of Miers today I'm even more in favor of the idea of a nonjudge filling the role. Methinks a nonjudge might have been able to give those current justices a dose of reality and the consequences of dangerous decisions like Keto.

(12) Jim Hu made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 10:01:57 PM | Permalink

Well, I hope you at least remembered to watch the Astros beat the Braves! I'm wishing I forgot to watch the Aggies...

(13) Rob made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 10:18:58 PM | Permalink

"Ms. Miers should withdraw her nomination."?????

i.e. de facto Bush withdraws Ms Miers

Just what we need

Weakness, vacillation, and appeasement, THAT would be the signal sent by the leader of the free world

Mr Miers should withdraw for what reason now?

1. wrong law school?

2. wrong law firm?

3. 400 lawyers too small?

4. law firm in wrong state?

5. wrong law review?

6. class rank insufficient?

7. pro-bono work insufficient?

8. ABA work irrelevant?

9 Ann Coulter not approve?

10. not enough intellectual firepower?

Time for the Miers critics to deal with reality

(14) DC made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 10:39:25 PM | Permalink


Full disclosure: I am a trial lawyer practicing in the Houston area. My experiences, too, color a lot of my thoughts re: Miers. For instance, her prominence in the Texas Bar is not a plus, in my view. Many, if not most, big firm lawyers are overrated, in my experience. Also, her long-time affiliation with the
ABA is a big negative. Her apparently disdain for the Federalist Society is a red flag, and should be for any conservative. I still haven't heard you discuss this.

But I will say ... I agree with your sentiments. I love Pres. Bush, and have gone to the mat for him. If you look at my blog, you will note no criticism of him at all prior to 10/3. But on that date, in my view, the dam kind of broke. The reservoir of trust is not there, especially for something so important. He should not have ignored conservatives on this. I am no elitist, Beldar. None of my candidates are/were Harvard grads. My favorite is a fellow UT law alum -- Edith Jones.

Much of what Pres. Bush has done has not been conservative, but many of us have hung in there with him for two reason: 1) nat'l security; and 2) the Court. I loved the Roberts pick and thought it was a master stroke. But the Miers pick is wrong on so many levels ... it just makes me heartsick.

I agree with you that she is facially qualified. This, again, is not the problem. The problem is that we don't know who she is, and to the extent she argues for a conservative jurisprudence at her hearings (which I doubt, for a number of reasons), the Demos will claim that she is a mere evangelical without experience and serious thinkers don't believe this stuff. It is a major league trap the President stepped in.

This is what happens when you listen to your enemies' recommendations for SC picks rather than to your friends.

With that said, I hope I am wrong about her if she is ultimately confirmed. Yet, I will do what I can to educate people to oppose her confirmation, absent compelling information that leads me to a confidence that she will in fact be a fulfillment of the President's promise -- Thomases and Scalias.

I appreciate your contribution to the debate. Hook 'em.

(15) Deborah made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 10:44:00 PM | Permalink

Beldar, you have finally gone too far. Forget the RRS? For shame.

(16) PLM made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 11:35:46 PM | Permalink

Keep it up. You are doing this country a great service. I say this as a lawyer for 42 years.

(17) Steven Jens made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 11:53:26 PM | Permalink

I don't have any comments specific to this entry, but I wanted to say that I've appreciated your posting the last few days (and the opportunity to hear you on Hewitt's show). I'm a lot more skeptical than you, but you've convinced me to wait until the hearings before making a final judgment.

(18) Steven Jens made the following comment | Oct 8, 2005 11:55:11 PM | Permalink

Oh, and I also meant to congratulate your 'horns. :-)

(19) Rob made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 12:54:13 AM | Permalink

The problem for some critics is not that "they don't know who she is", they simply don't WANT to know who she is.

If the left takes her down in the hearings, and the right wing elitists pile on, I hope Bush resubmits with a tax lawyer (not currently under indictment) who will then dominate court decisions

Yes, tax lawyers are superior

Then NO ONE on the planet including Scalia and Roberts will then be able to figure out the decisions

And it will finally shutup that big mouth Ann Coulter, who will finally give up and stop reading court decisions

(20) brandon davis made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 1:07:49 AM | Permalink

Hamilton - to whom one might perhaps defer, eh - writes in Fedralist Papers, #76

"To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration."

Some of us disagree with the president this time, and with this choice ...for a multiplicity of rational reasons. And hence, with you Beldar. And likewise with Hewitt. And with "et alia" (some of whom in the latter group, immediately precede me here ...y'all know who you are) whom quite apparently comprise the President's Echo Chamber. Our mere disagreement with Bush and y'all doesn't make us wing-nuts, or DU'ers or FR'ers, or unreasoned or irrational or simps or whatever particular inflammatory name that seems to spring to your pen at the moment of your - witless - writ. It's disillusioning to hear compatriots judge us - simply for disagreeing with the president - in the same terms & the same fashion that we've become inured to from those on the Left.

Be specific. Is she a better choice than, let's say, Michael Luttig? Why? And while you're at it, do compare her as choice with Judge Janet Rogers Brown, please. Tell us specifically why she's a better choice than the distinguished jurists that we're familiar with ...and jurists whom the president cannot have been unaware of, either.

Don't compare her with me though, or with JPod ...I'm sure she's better at Law than me, and JPod has admitted as much too. Big whup. That sort of observation doesn't exactly raise the bar for Meirs (pun intended, as usual).

And don't bother trying to convince me that she's capable, smart, witty ...at some nominal level. Actually, I've read enough that I'm sure you're right ...at some nominal level. Equally, don't post on her resume: by now, I've read it. I'm even impressed with the woman ...at some nominal level. Though not overwhelmingly so. No, don't bother echoing the president ...it won't wash (though I do understand and appreciate your passion to correct the obvious mistakes of fact that have, as usual, creeped into the debate ...or heck, came roaring into it like a house a'fire). You see, I'm simply not impressed with some nominal level kind of candidate.

Because I've read OTHER CV's too (including those of Judge's Luttig & Brown) ...and in comparison I remain deeply unimpressed, and thoroughly wary, of Meirs As Ideal Choice. Or even As Choice Period.

I'm EQUALLY unimpressed with the impassioned assertion that we should continue to loyally trust the president in this, simply because, well, he's the president ...and on his mere say-so we should - supposedly, or so seems to go the argument from the Bush Echo Chamber Partisans - bow to his Karnak-like omniscience, and quash our puerile and specious discontent with his adamantine unwillingness to adequately address our concerns with, and dissatisfaction of, his choice simply due, I s'pose to your concern with our lese majeste ...heh, that level of "reasoning" reminds me of a certain pastor with delusions of uber-holiness that I once loudly and publicly admonished - and on a Sunday morning - with the observation that I doubted he was any more able to put his pants on both legs at once than I was, to the shocked horror of nearby parishioners. Well? He couldn't! And it was high time someone pointed it out to him.

I've argued before ...trust isn't a one way street: it doesn't only flow "upward". And at the most fundamental level, trust (like respect), is earned. What trust surely isn't and surely should never be, is demanded. Sadly, by this juncture, I'm no longer entirely convinced that Bush has adequately demonstrated that he has grasped this fundamental - and potentially humbling - fact of life (and that is NOT "like" saying that he's stupid, which I don't for one minute believe ...wrong, yes, he is that: but stupid? - don't make me laugh). And from what I'm reading, some of the rest of you are kind of tenuous on the subject of respect too!

I used a mild alliterative euphemism for coitus at one point (which I was - rightly - reprimanded for) to describe the response of - and equally, the attitude of - those who demand this kind of "respect". At another point you, Beldar, rhetorically asked "is the president flipping off the base" (which, I might add, sniff, is simply another euphemism for the same act). I'll answer you here and now, with a word, Yes. Or another word, Obviously.

To give one example of Bush's previous lack of perspicacity in adequately grasping his responsibilities to conservatives and conservatism, I illustrate by asking: Should President Bush have also received my respect for signing McCain-Feingold, after he himself said it was unconstitutional, and expected it to be overturned by the Supreme Court? Isn't the office and oath of the presidency to "defend and protect the Constitution of the United States"?

So does it make me worthy of epithets if I - vehemently - disagree with the President over his acquiescence of McCain-Feingold when he himself viewed the bill as unconstitutional? Why? Why not? Is it because you agree that McCain-Feingold sucks, too? But since I - again, with reason - disagree with the president, this time I'm a raving theocratic idiot? - Bein' a bit inconsistent and inflammatory in the application of equitable respect and deference to American principles of constitutionally-approved dissent, aren't we? Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

I don't give a rats patootie for your arguments that Meirs is this, that, or t'other. THAT'S NOT THE POINT. I was expecting, and I was promised by the President someone with the stature and the credentials of a Scalia and a Thomas and those people are available and well known ...and he gives me this unknown. And his reason is - simply - "trust me". But. I Don't. Not On This. Not LIKE this.

I disagree with the man this time. You know the man I'm talkin' about: he's the one puts his pants on one leg at a time. And screws up ev'ry once in awhile. Like you. Like me. And whoo-ee, but he surely got this one wrong ...which you'd think would be obvious, on any of a number of levels, as evidenced by the raised hackles of the fragmenting "base". (And if you don't think that's not evidence of a strategic political miscalculation, I've gotta wonder what you're smokin'.)

And calling us dissenters names simply because we recognize that there were and are other, better, more well-known, more capable, more familiar choices ...is [[please insert phrase descriptive of large cud-chewing animals' - commonly used in the dairy industry - excretory wastes in this section]] (as I surely wouldn't want to unknowingly offend anyone's tender sensibilities with overly specific reference to bovine execretory functions).

(21) derebu made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 2:05:12 AM | Permalink

Hmmmm promises.

First of all get off the "jurists we all loved to have been picked instead" argument because the Senate effectively prevented that with their power 14 clan. Brown, Owens, Luttig, etc... would have all been nuked. You can sing all day about how mighty they are and how glorious the fight would be, but they would have been effectively borked. I'm not making that up (see Levin's article in NRO on McCain).
So if the president knows in advance from the republicans in the senate that the publically known jurists everyone wants would be effectively borked would you still pick them? Note that is basically saying you would be happy with O'Conner or empty seat sitting on the court through 2006 and even then hoping the republican controlled Senate doesnt self destruct in those elections.
Now what the president promised. Yes I am very ill on the president not vetoing campaign finance, not dealing with our borders, pushing the prescription pork plan, and even support senators like spector and chafee over staunch conservatives that could have helped him out of this mess.

But what promise did he break on SCOTUS nominations? I'm really challenging you complainers on that one. He promised to nominate strict constructionists to the court. The folks flipped out have basically conceded at this point that this is not enough ..No. There was a implicit extra promise that its not enough if the candidate is an originalist it has to be a public one so we can have our Senate war once and for all. The president last I checked did not sign his name in blood for that at all. Everyone not even wanting to get the hearings and more information on Miers basically are saying they dont even care if she's an originalist because its not ostentatious. It appears from Mark Levin that the republicans in the Senate did not sign up for that fight either and begged Bush not to start it without losing both the battle and war.
The only path Bush has to get a strong conservative through the Senate is via stealth at this present time. The actual question is whether Bush has read Miers right.
I take exception to this idea that Miers should be fired simply because she's not an overt public conservative. My youngest sister is the most conservative sibling in my family but most folks would never even know it. She does works very hard and is cautious and kind and rather meek if she disagrees with an opinion/action given/taken by others in public. She would also turn in her stomach to be labeled as a "souter" just because she meek and quiet and not overtly conservative like me.

(22) Rob made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 3:22:57 AM | Permalink


that is a dead-on no nonsense analysis

deception, (ie in this case no written record to rip) is the essence of warfare - a key principal of Sun Tzu

Kennedy, Biden, Schummer etc would have been checkmated as to how far they could have bad mouthed Ms Miers. They would have voted against her in any case, but enough dems would have been forced to go along

However, as Buddy Love (the Jerry Lewis nightclub swinger character in the original masterpiece comedy THE NUTTY PROFESSOR" said:

"you finally went an done it, messed up a good thing, when YOU SHOULD HAVE KEPT YOUR BIG MOUTH SHUT"

If only Ms Coulter kept her big mouth shut (so to speak)

(23) brandon davis made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 4:25:00 AM | Permalink

Ah ...no. The question isn't whether Bush has read Miers right.

The real question is whether Bush has read the conservative base right.

If having ephemeral Senatorial "customs" that suggest a "supermajority" of 60 are mandated for "advice & consent" when all that's constitutionally necessary is a majority of 51 - to wit, that Senatorial rules have been allowed to trump the US Constitution - isn't reason enough to change the damnable Senate rules, what pray tell would be? Why start with the defeatist assumption that one of the eminent jurists we have confidence in would have even been able to be effectively "borked"?

We think we can win this one, period ...and glorious don't have nothin' to do with it.

For what use, pray tell, is conservatism, or having conservative principles & values and voting for representatives who've said they share and will support those values if by their acts, they are - obviously - only concerned with staying in office, and they continually ignore the values of the voters who put them there?

What the hell vision of a representative American republic is that?

Did I miss something here?

Listen up: we didn't elect and re-elect this president to have to endure another 20-30 years of liberal domination of the one branch of non-elected, life-time tenured, little-tin-god'ed federal government that has done more to damage the very fabric of American society than any other single factor I - or anyone - can name.

We don't know Miers from a pig-in-a-poke one way or the other. She is NOT the issue. Her competency - or lack thereof - is NOT the issue. Bush's "read" on her is not at issue. Who cares about Consiglieri Miers?

What's at issue is the president's cavalier and contemptuous "trust me" of this particular nominee to the base. Because Bush didn't just blind-side the Democrats with a stealth candidate. He blind-sided his conservative base ...and one time too many, in re: the list of Bush domestic policy mis-steps.

We don't want to have to trust the president on blind faith this time: we wanted him to demonstrate his loyalty to us.

Because loyalty ...because respect ...is NOT a stream that only flows one way.

So Beldar's defense of Miers is superfluous, unnecessary, and beside the point. Because Mier's herself isn't the real issue.

We're the conservative Republican majority that the president for damn-sure owes his presidency to, and he is under no illusions - and has never been - what the real issue of his base is: the base can smell the end of anti-Constitutional liberal dogma and domination that the Court has emanated and penumbra'd upon the American people for over two generations, warping the very fabric of American democratic values, along with the rise of a bloated federal bureaucracy that has stifled and smothered and actively tried to destroy the spirit and potential and the wonder and future of the Last Best Hope of Man.

We've been able to count forward from the birthdates of the aging current jurists on the Court, and we've understood the implications well enough.

So ...you're right about one thing. We do want this fight. It's time.

And that's the real issue: it's time.

(24) Beldar made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 4:36:27 AM | Permalink

Mr. Davis: Stem-winder of an argument. Parts of it, I agree with, and I wish that the Nuclear Option had been used with a circuit judge nominee earlier this year so it would have already been an established precedent.

But this isn't all about you.

Offended conservatives, disappointed conservatives, wonderful loyal articulate donating faithful conservatives — are important. Everything else being equal, I'd like to see the President maintain broad support throughout his base. But keeping the entire base tickled pink and happy is not more important than getting a Justice appointed to fill Sandra Day O'Connor's slot who will be the kind of Justice the President promised to appoint. It just isn't.

(25) RattlerGator made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 4:56:26 AM | Permalink

I've followed all of this mess with a certain sense of amazement and curiosity -- and it strikes me that magna


has been the most honest opponent of the Harriet Miers nomination in this particular thread. Nothing explains the eruption of irrational opposition quite as well as the discomfort these folks have with an evangelical getting on the court.

It's almost as if these folks don't really believe that the Supreme Court belongs to all of us. It appears as though they give lip service to believing in the "American" way but what they really believe in is a stratified caste -- and for certain positions, certain people NEED NOT APPLY.

And the real kicker is, they have no clue that this is what they are communicating to the mass of Americans busting their butt so that their progeny can advance in this country.

Theocracy? Yet another jaw-dropping absurdity swirling around this nomination. Stand firm, Mr. President.

(26) hunter made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 6:38:10 AM | Permalink

Excellent disclosure. It covers the facts and intent of your position well, fairly and reasonably.

(27) lee leonard made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 6:49:33 AM | Permalink

You forgot one thing in your presentation. The arogance of the present federal bench (from which these pundit demand Bush chose). It is this at the base of the Supreme Ct's over reaching decisions. Lets hope that Roberts statements are not just faking this character trait. Clearly Miers has it. We need more of this on the Supreme court as an example to the lower Federal bench

(28) stevesturm made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 7:14:01 AM | Permalink


I'm not sure if you fall into the 'Miers-ought-to-be-on-the-bench' camp or if you're merely taking some well placed shots at her opposition. You are doing a good job rebutting and knocking back her critic's (relatively lame) arguments... reinforcing my opinion of you as a pretty good guy to have on one's side in a (legal) fight.

But Bush and Miers are the plaintiffs here - they're arguing that she ought to be on the Court, and a plaintiff ought not win by merely arguing against the defense... at some point the plaintiff's lawyers ought to start offering up some substantial support for their own position...

It's (often) not enough to say the other guy is wrong, at times you have to show why your side is right.

(29) Mark L made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 7:14:08 AM | Permalink

Zo. Vee learn de truth. You support Harriet Miers because if she cannot become a Zupreme Court Justice, neither can you!

Seriously, Beldar, you have almost single-handedly transformed me from being extremely skeptical of Miers to a person who now believes that it would be a real loss to the court if she did not get on it. That says something. If I ever need an advocate -- not just a lawyer -- you are now on my short list.

(30) [email protected] made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 9:28:41 AM | Permalink

Beldar, you are almost single-handedly making the case for Miers in the blogosphere. You know the market she worked in and the firm she led, and you are a pretty effective trial lawyer. That puts you head and shoulders above the rest of the non-lawyers and establishment conservative pundits who have dumped all over Bush and Miers, based on zero knowledge of what it takes to lead a large law firm in Texas.

As I've said before, I think she brings much needed diversity to the court. I don't mean because she is a woman, but rather because she is a Southerner, an evangelical Christian (disclosure - I'm not religious), numerate, a very competetent manager, a savvy lawyer, and strong on commercial litigation. That makes her a good choice.

Politically, it is better for Bush to move the court from 4:5 to 5:4 on conservative issues using a low-key candidate who can't be Borked. Once that has been done, Bush can throw red meat to the base with a very public conservative choice. He'll almost certainly get that chance.

Republicans should shut-up until she has made her case to the American people during the confirmation hearings. If she is as poor a candidate as the likes of Will and Krauthammer have claimed, she'll fail miserably and won't be confirmed. Somehow, I think we'll find she was misunderestimated!

(31) Glenn made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 9:34:55 AM | Permalink

Stevesturn wrote:

But Bush and Miers are the plaintiffs here - they're arguing that she ought to be on the Court, and a plaintiff ought not win by merely arguing against the defense... at some point the plaintiff's lawyers ought to start offering up some substantial support for their own position...

I think you are right, and I expect that to happen mostly over the intervening time before the hearings and at the hearings themselves.

Make no mistake - Miers' qualifications will be challenged from the left and right in the hearings. If she isn't up to a defense of of them, as well as an affirmative showing of why they are relevant to the court, I think her nomination will be in trouble.

I have argued that the burden of proof vis-a-vis allegations of "cronyism" is on those making that charge. But since Miers' qualifications aren't beyond a reasonable question of sufficiency for the Supreme Court, I believe she has some burden to show why they are sufficient - not just her defenders, Miers herself as well.

I don't think we should hold hands and go all Kumbaya about this nomination. But Beldar's suggestion that we aught not let "overheated, hysterical, and scar-producing rhetoric" rule the day seems right to me.

(32) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 11:42:56 AM | Permalink

Tim Russert played a few minutes of an interview Antonin Scalia gave to an NBC reporter, in which Scalia said that with the death of Rehnquist the Court no longer had a valuable perspective that comes with someone with other than a judicial background--Rehnquist having been a deputy AG in the Nixon Administration.

Scalia also mentioned Byron White and Lewis Powell. I don't know if the interview was recorded before or after the Miers nomination, but it would seem to be a boost to Miers' credentials.

Btw, I know of two men who came to the Court from the executive branch who overuled themselves. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase partly ruled that his actions as Treasury Sec'y in the Lincoln Admin had been unconstitutional. Justice Tom Clark voted that the advice he'd given Truman about seizing the steel mills was also unconstitutional.

(33) J.J. made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 11:50:33 AM | Permalink

Beldar, I think you give a perspective that has some insight into it. That's what we need to be informed. People know exactly where you are coming from. It gives you credibility while the conservative media and pundits are losing both credibility and respect. They are giving us nothing in the way of informed opinion. PERIOD. It just doesn't exist in their arguments.

The critics are NOT OBJECTIVE. They all wanted it done their way and when it wasn't ..... They are not informing. They are backseat driving.

Finally, why is their call to criticize you for giving another perspective? I think that they are still media who prove their point by trying to eliminate discuss and opposing points of view. They may be impressing each other but they are not informing anyone.

(34) J.J. made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 12:02:23 PM | Permalink


Re: Your comment on Miers' disdain for the Federalist Society. I saw a limited quote of her actual comments. I am not a lawyer, but the quote struck me just the opposite. I believe the critics have taken up this "disdain" argument for their purposes and it is being repeated unfairly.

Note that the actual quote is not being repeated, which I saw once and which has, now, seem to disappear in the depth of all the threads on this issue. I saw the quote before the "disdain" accusation. Even if it surfaces, now, people will not get an untainted perception of it.

(35) Paul Deignan made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 12:11:25 PM | Permalink


Miers is a crony of Bush.

That is not an insult, analysis, speculation, guess work or anything else. It is an observation of the obvious.

It is remarkable that you think this has to be proved. Please have the intellectual courage to simply accept the simple facts. This fact alone is sufficient to reject Miers as it strikes directly at the separation of powers at a critical point.

We rely on the judiciary as a check to an irresponsible executive. We accepted Bush's signing of McCain-Feingold on the grounds that the SCOTUS would sort it out. They barely did. With Miers on the bench, there is even less protection against this sort of power grabbing.

As a result, we lose democratic accountability. No president who has sworn an oath to the Constitution should ever have done what Bush is doing here. We must reject it.

(36) Mike on Hilton Head Island made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 12:19:52 PM | Permalink

The cynical tactician in me says that Bush has pulled a fast one on his critics and is probably not completely unhappy with the backlash by conservatives.

Can you imagine a comparable scenerio where a religious, somewhat right wing President would appoint a born again evangelical like Miers and you have Barbara Mikulski coming to her defense?

AND NO.... before my fellow conservatives jump all over me... I do NOT think that being born again is a qualification, nor disqualification for the court... but it is an interesting twist.

You have someone with a literal interpretation of the Bible... Imagine how litterally they will interpret the Constitution... Can you say ORIGINALIST?

When the blessed day arrives that we FINALLY have a conservative majority in government, not simply a Republican majority, we can nominate SCOTUS justices like my favorite, Janice Rogers Brown.

And I would advise my conservative friends who are upset about the Miers nod to work HARDER in their respective states to elect conservative members of the House and Senate.

I hate to see right wingers behave like right whiners and I would prefer they behave like RIGHT WINNERS!

(37) derebu made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 2:36:29 PM | Permalink

I still see too many people holding ferociously onto their paradigm of what they think is reality on this situation. That paradigm being conservatives have a majority in every single branch of government and the moment of decades work is NOW to expose liberal falacy of the purpose of the judicial branch before God and country once and for all. Lastly adding that there was an implied campaign promise for Bush to force this battle or he would betray the base.

Now I'm going to bare myself that I wanted this battle too and really liked the idea of Janice Rogers Brown both as a jurist and how it would make the democrats implode denigrating a christian black female to their base. This was before the nomination was made.

But then some information came in via Mark Levin, Rush, and Thomas Sowell that really dimples this epic clash constructed for the ages and turns it on its head. That being that Bush was informed before the SCOTUS nominations that he didnt actually have a republican controlled Senate. A crucial linchpin in the above paradigm. True we have 55 Republicans in the Senate but they dont control it. They practually confessed their impotence to Bush during the consulting phases of these nominations. In advance of a nomination Bush had some leadership in the Senate and some of the 7 power 14 "republican" Senators strongly hint a few things:
1) They would not allow a Rules change on filibusters on SCOTUS nominations. So the 51 vote dream of actually enforcing the republican majority is out.
2) They would not stop a filibuster attempt if Brown, Luttig, Owen, etc.... were nominated after they "spent a lot of political capital" just getting them to the appeals courts a short time earlier. So now the president needs 60 votes instead of 51 and thats starting to look very tall order for any of our candidates we all dreamed of.
Add to that that Bush would be cognicent that not only is there a high risk chance Brown, Owens, Luttig and company would be filibustered and be thrown into a multiyear limbo or dropped by the Senate, but that the situatuion of conservative votes could even worsen in the Senate in the 2006 elections. If he picks the fight he also accepts that either O'Conner or no one is on the seat in the SCOTUS while all this is happening. So he looks at his hand he has been dealt and decides the importance of having originalists on the bench, thus fulfilling his ACTUAL campaign promise, trumps, above everything else, the sweet desire to have the Senate fight NOW, which is screaming from his base.
So this again goes back to what I stated earlier. Bush absorbed all the advice and believed conservativism and fundamentally returning SCOTUS back to a more originalist mission, rather then possibly damaging the court and the decades of work just to have a public battle to the death (that we would lose) was the highest priority. So based on that play, again I affirm the question is whether Bush read Mier's correctly as a originalist in jurist philosphy. So I do want to be more informed about her in that light. That is the responsible action to take rather then sumarily dismiss her, dare I say pre-judge her, because I am still stuck on winning a filibuster rule battle that in reality is likely not winnable at this moment in time. Not only not winnable but likely even more long term damaging to the decades long goal of changing the court if the fight take place, right now.
Please understand I want this fight too but am convinced its too late to happen on this go around. It needed to happen on a appeals candidate or cabinet type position. I do still cling to the idea Bush could consider using Ken Starr or Mark Levin as recess appointments to the court although O'Conner has to fully step down.

(38) antimedia made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 3:21:27 PM | Permalink

Paul Deignan writes, "It is remarkable that you think this has to be proved. Please have the intellectual courage to simply accept the simple facts. This fact alone is sufficient to reject Miers as it strikes directly at the separation of powers at a critical point."

May we assume, then, that you would reject Janice Rodgers Brown had she served in the same capacity as Ms. Miers? (Somehow I think not, which makes your argument a nullity.)

The charge of cronyism applies when the candidate is unqualified. Beldar has demonstrated that Ms. Miers is at least prepared, if not qualified. Her hearings should reveal whether or not she is qualified. All else is mere sound and fury signifying nothing.

Personally, I prefer someone with good JUDGMENT to some with good bona fides. We've had far too many justices with poor judgment, both about the immediate impact of their decisions as well as the long term, deliterious effects of their decisions. I get the impression that Ms. Miers will not fall into that trap.

(39) antimedia made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 3:30:43 PM | Permalink

To derebu et.al salivating for a Senate fight, I merely say this - Lincoln Chafee, Olympia Snowe, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, John Voinovich, Michael DeWine, John Warner.

Only fools rush in to a battle they cannot win.

(40) derebu made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 3:56:29 PM | Permalink

You misrepresent me. We are actually agreeing with each other. I only want the fight when the cards and time is aligned.
If you actually read my last comment I was laying the framework that as much as one might wish it is the time for the fight the very names you listed is why it is not the right time. Especially when they voice in advance they will not act as anything but enemies in this situation. Normally I wouldnt care about their voice except that these 7 voices actually are running the Senate against the party majority and conservatives.

(41) Crank made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 5:27:29 PM | Permalink

Beldar - OK, I ask this in all sincerity, and not just as a rhetorical question: if someone had asked you a month ago to name the smartest, savviest commercial litigators in Texas in your years of practice, how far down the list would you have been before you got to Harriet Miers? Can you honestly say she's the first commercial litigator in Texas who would have come to mind?

Patrick R. Sullivan: How is Miers' federal executive branch experience significantly different from that of Thomas, Scalia or Roberts? Thomas headed an enforcement agency, after all.

(42) Al made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 5:53:42 PM | Permalink

Has anyone made up a list of "Top twenty lawyers who are _NOT_ judges?"

That is, who else is in _this_ pool?

(43) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 6:05:56 PM | Permalink

'How is Miers' federal executive branch experience significantly different from that of Thomas, Scalia or Roberts?'

They all came to the SC from the judicial branch.

(44) Patrick R. Sullivan made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 6:11:18 PM | Permalink

Now that the Meet the Press Transcript is up:

'JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA: Well, I think it's a good thing to have people with all sorts of backgrounds. There is now nobody with that background after the death of the previous chief. And the reason that's happened, I think, is the nomination and confirmation process has become so controversial, so politicized, that I think a president does not want to give the opposition an easy--you know, an easy excuse that, "Well, this person has no judicial experience." And I don't think that's a good thing. I think the Byron Whites, the Louis Powells and the Bill Rehnquists have contributed to the Court even though they didn't sit on a lower federal court.'

(45) RLG made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 7:22:06 PM | Permalink


I am glad to have stumbled across your knowledge. I have been close to being the "reddest faced", "hottest under the collar", and "most generally disallusioned" Dubya fan around, since this nomination. And having very little influence in the political arena, I was absolutely praying constantly that he would nominate Janice Rogers Brown to the SCOTUS. (I have more faith in God directing Dubya, than I do Karl!!;-)

As you know, there is a large consensus of very confused folks in the conservative world right now. I agree with Beth @ "bamapachyderm" that you should be published in the Washington Post, and I would add all the Major publications. Have you posted an article in "Opinion Journal" of the Wall Street? If not, may I hope that you will, please?

I visit several other blogs, FederalistPhoenix, RedState, Bamapachy, etc. After reading this today, I have posted a recommendation to read you on federalistphoenix.blogs.com."D" at FedPhoenix is a brilliant young attorney in the D.C. area. I encourage everyone to visit his blog also. He is as hugely disappointed in this nomination as I have been.

After reading here and seeing a few other comments, do you think the Pres. was expecting this reaction, maybe even hoping for it? Obviously, Harriet Meirs is one tough lady and as close as she is to him, would be prepared to support anything "Dubya" wanted. Politics being what they are, if she "miraculously stepped down", we would probably all rush to the side of anyone with a conservative track record he picked. Just a thought.

On the other hand, we also should all realize that he actually may have given us a nominee to the SCOTUS that is in the "mold" of Scalia and Thomas after all?!?!? We all know he "Luvs" "stealth" nominees, by virtue of CJ Roberts. (Besides, she did donate to Al Gore, and Dubya does know how to keep the enemy close, right?!;-) Seriously, I do hope he understands the spirit and purpose of Fed Papers 76 and is sincere, focused and on target with this nomination.

This is not a "dumb" President, no matter what the "Left" thinks. He is a very shrewd and decisive man in most everything. As have you, I have had the pleasure of him being my Governor and my President. With the possibility of a Stevens resignation, and three more years in office himself, I don't want to believe that he is acting without good judgement. ( Besides, we've got Laura watching him, right?!??!! ;-) )

Thanks again for this very indepth and interestingly fair perspective of this honorable lady.

(BTW, don't hold my "Maroon and Red" blood stains against me!! FWIW, I am in the Grand and Green Old State of WA now, and only get to see what happens to my Aggies and my Red Raiders from afar! So..., GO HUSKIES! ;-) )

Step Down Stevens, Step Up Brown, and God Bless Us All,



(46) pbswatcher made the following comment | Oct 9, 2005 7:49:21 PM | Permalink

Much of the defense of Miers including on this blog appears to be along the lines of "she's not as bad as they say" and "let's wait and see, give her a chance." I suggest a different approach to measure the depth of support at Hypothetically Speaking and some thoughts to explain the strength of the backlash at The Nub. Basically conservatives are tired of being treated by Republicans the way Democrats treat their loyal black voters.

(47) Glenn made the following comment | Oct 10, 2005 7:27:15 AM | Permalink


Miers is a crony of Bush.

That is not an insult, analysis, speculation, guess work or anything else. It is an observation of the obvious.

It is remarkable that you think this has to be proved. Please have the intellectual courage to simply accept the simple facts. This fact alone is sufficient to reject Miers as it strikes directly at the separation of powers at a critical point.

I am not arguing that Miers is not a "crony" of Bush. The definition of the word clearly encompasses the Bush/Miers relationship.

In my opinion, a charge of "cronyism" is not the same thing as simply saying "Bush appointed someone he knows well." In the political context, "cronyism" assumes bad faith - that is to say it suggests a person was nomitated as some sort of political or personal reward, rather than for legitimate reasons of qualification and/or honest belief that they will do a good job. I think that is the charge the must be proved, and the currently available facts are insufficient in my opinion.

This fact alone is sufficient to reject Miers as it strikes directly at the separation of powers at a critical point.

The fact that Bush has had a long professional and political relationship with Miers is sufficient reason to reject her? Not to me. Your milage may vary.

We rely on the judiciary as a check to an irresponsible executive.
And as a check to an irresponsible legislature, last time I checked. Also, Miers has yet to pass the scrutiny of the Senate, and if they find themselves in agreement with you based on that examination, I expect them to do the right thing and reject her. In my opinion, however, Miers' close assosciation with the President is not sufficient reason to assume bad faith on his part and impute future bad faith to her as a justice.
No president who has sworn an oath to the Constitution should ever have done what Bush is doing here. We must reject it.
And we may, after a sufficient examination of Miers' qualifications and her suitability for the position. You are entitled to assume all the bad faith you want. My tendency is to "trust, but verify."

(48) Deborah made the following comment | Oct 10, 2005 2:21:20 PM | Permalink

Beldar, you mentioned the emails you received from people that support Harriet Miers, including professional acquaintances. After reading John Fund (http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110007384), I'm curious. How many partners at Locke are publicly supporting Ms. Miers?

(49) Jeff made the following comment | Oct 10, 2005 3:48:55 PM | Permalink

antimedia wrote:
To derebu et.al salivating for a Senate fight, I merely say this - Lincoln Chafee, Olympia Snowe, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, John Voinovich, Michael DeWine, John Warner.

Don't forget Specter. That's 9 (yes, NINE) Republican senators we can't count on in this fight. Lott seems a little squirley these days too. I don't hear anyone talking about the consequences of losing the fight that so many are asking for. Maybe W has considered them more carefully.

(50) Rufus made the following comment | Oct 10, 2005 4:42:05 PM | Permalink

I'm not going to wade into the middle of this very far, I just want to correct one point that I see being made here and other places. Evangelical does not equal conservative. Evangelical does not equal fundamentalist.

Evangelical means that the church puts and emphasis on evangelism. There are politically liberal and religiously liberal evangelicals.

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