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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What to make of Harriet Miers?

The right side of the blogosphere seems to be on fire about President Bush's appointment of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. People are mad, not because Miers isn't conservative enough, but because it is painfully obvious that she isn't the most qualified person for the job.

Much of the criticism is now centering around the idea that this is an example of cronyism.For some reason, Hugh Hewitt has decided to go against the grain and support Meirs. I really don't understand this comment he made:
"Of all the criticsims of Harriet Miers out there, the three that most grate are (1)the charge that she is a "crony," a necessarily deeply derogatory charge that carries with it the undeniable assertion that the target is not qualified for the job he or she holds, and lacks integrity for holding the job for which the unqualification is so manifest"
Hugh, this first point would be valid except for some recent history in the case of Michael Brown, former director of FEMA. Being a "crony" doesn't mean one is not qualified, but being not qualified does. And that is what Miers is; not qualified.

John Podhoretz speaks very well to this issue of "cronyism":
Without the patronage of George W. Bush, Harriet Miers is nothing more than a fairly obscure lawyer from Texas who served as president of a relatively minor law firm and served in state government on a lottery commission for five years.

They are the kind of credentials that might, under other circumstances, get someone a post as assistant secretary of labor, or even (in an administration's second term after a productive stint in the White House) a minor Cabinet post. These are not credentials for the U.S. Supreme Court, whose nine members essentially preside over the third co-equal branch of the federal government.

And finally, I think that Radley Balko sums up very well my thoughts about this appointment:
Hugh [Hewitt] titles his defense of Miers, "Do You Trust Him?" The implication, I guess, is that good conservatives should shut their eyes and grab hold of Bush's shirttails, despite Miers' complete lack of a paper trail.
My question to Hugh is, why?

Why in the world would anyone who gives a damn about the Constitution trust President Bush's judgment?

Should we trust President Bush's because he....
  • Signed a campaign finance reform bill that he admitted was unconstitutional?
  • Refused to take a side in the Kelo case, but only after considering filing a brief on behalf of the city of New London?
  • Praised the Supreme Court for upholding the affirmative action policies at the University of Michigan?
  • Is wholly responsible for the Raich case, which effectively killed Rehnquist's federalism revolution, stopping Morrison and Lopez in their tracks, and condemning at least another generation to a federal government with no constitutional limitations on its power whatsoever?
Maybe we should we trust him because of the stellar job he's done utilizing his party's control of Congress to roll back federal spending, the regulatory state, and entitlement programs. Maybe we should trust him because of the way he reformed the tax code. And the way he privatized Social Security. And because of how he has steadfastly refused to engage in nation building. Killing off that prescription drug benefit was a bold display of principle, too.

Yeah, you're right Hugh. When it comes to limited government and adherence to the Constitution, I can't see why anyone wouldn't trust President Bush. Golly, his track record speaks for itself, doesn't it?