October 22, 2005

"Such is the perfect perversity of the nomination of Harriet Miers that it discredits, and even degrades, all who toil at justifying it."

George Will writes in tomorrow's WaPo:
Many of their justifications cannot be dignified as arguments. Of those that can be, some reveal a deficit of constitutional understanding commensurate with that which it is, unfortunately, reasonable to impute to Miers.
Man, that is one hoity-toity sentence. But it's true!

As I was just trying to do with my last post, Will lays down the rule that every Democratic Senator who voted against Roberts must vote against Miers or lose all credibility (as anything other than political hacks). He has a rule for Republican senators too:
[A]ny who vote for Miers will thereafter be ineligible to argue that it is important to elect Republicans because they are conscientious conservers of the judicial branch's invaluable dignity. Finally, any Republican senator who supinely acquiesces in President Bush's reckless abuse of presidential discretion -- or who does not recognize the Miers nomination as such -- can never be considered presidential material.
I concur!

13 comments:

Paul said...

Me Too! And last night was not the night, so it's not gonna be alright, yet, she may still do the honorable thing.

Jonathan said...

...Will lays down the rule that every Democratic Senator who voted against Roberts must vote against Miers or lose all credibility (as anything other than political hacks).

Yeah whatever. Columnists are always saying that politicians mustn't do X or they will be forever discredited, and the pols are always doing it anyway and getting away with it. That's one of the reasons why they are pols: they are good at that kind of thing. Meanwhile columnists are good at armchair quarterbacking and at recycling arguments that anyone with a memory can see have failed before. Remember how the Senate Democrats were going to forever discredit themselves if they didn't convict Clinton? And of course the Republicans will forever discredit themselves if they don't limit government spending. I think Will is tied for recent howlers with Krauthammer, who was yesterday touting his clever plan for how Bush could withdraw the Miers nomination with minimum political cost -- except that it's obvious that any such plan could not be implemented successfully (assuming it could even do what Krauthammer suggested, which is doubtful) once it was publicized. But I suppose columnists have to eat too.

Menlo Bob said...

I forget, was Will jumping on the bandwagon to descredit Miers because of unclear writing? Hmm.

Ann Althouse said...

Menlo Bob: At some point, especially in law, we need to equate bad writing with bad thinking. The Court's work is largely reading and interpreting texts, and putting reasoning into written form. Writing is a job qualification.

Scott Ferguson said...

So have we established that Miers writes bad legal opinions, or is that just an assumption?

(George Will can be such a prissy queen at times.)

Ann Althouse said...

Scott: Deal with the reality that it's a lifetime job that affects us all a lot.

twwren said...

Hopefully, we are observing the limits of 'Triangulation'.

Jacques Cuze said...

Ignoring the bad writing == bad thinking argument for the moment, I am just trying to understand your opposition. (You were like opposed then for and now opposed again?)

I am curious, must a nominee have legal training? if George Bush nominated Jeff Bezos, Princeton Summa Cum Laude, EECS, Banker, CEO Amazon, Republican and no law training whatsoever, how do you think you would feel about that?

amba said...

Oh God, just more proof that they have to get out of this before it even gets to hearings. It's become the Tar Baby.

Scott Ferguson said...

Ann: I guess given your profession, this Miers nomination must be THE ABSOLUTELY MOST GOSH DARN HUGEST IMPORTANTEST THING IN THE WHOLE BLESSED UNIVERSE. But to us mere mortals who watch people in your profession weep and wring their hands, it's a bit over the top.

The problem with the law from the vantage point of us wee folk is that it has become so Epicurian in its practice that it is divorced from the reality that we experience. Miers seems to be a woman of sound judgment and deep practical experience. That ought to be good enough. I don't trust Mandarins; and it's refreshing that Miers isn't one.

Ann Althouse said...

Scott: Read the linked "Mellowing on Miers" post to see why your comment does not make sense as a characterization of my thinking on this. I am willing to have a hyper-competent practicing lawyer type on the Court. My problem is that she doesn't fit that description. She specialized in law firm management, bar association activities, and political work. She has been presented to us as someone who will go on the Court and vote the right way.

Undecided said...

I read what George Will said and I think it was unfair. He spent the whole essay borking her, but then said that she needs to demonstate her judicial mettle by answering tough constitutional questions posed by the senators during the senate hearings.

If things go badly for her during the hearings, she can use the line made famous by Clarence Thomas: "This is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who dare to think for themselves ..."

When one of the senators asks if she misspoke, and meant to say "uppity women," Ms. Miers will point out the she is a distant relative of Harriet Tubman and is therefore part African-American. There will be stunned silence from the senators. She will then become the first black woman on the Supreme Ct.

Menlo Bob said...

My comment about George Will (above) was intended to connect the David Brooks complaint about Miers writing and the confused rhetoric of Will. In that I wasn't clear, I have assumed a position alongside Miers and Will. Is it hot in here?