Sunday, October 16, 2005


The Washington Note provides us with David Brooks' troubling analysis of the limited written work available on Harriet Miers. Thanks to TWN for breaking through the iron curtain of "Times Select". Ms. Miers' writings and Brooks' opinion:

Still, nothing excuses sentences like this:

''More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems.''

Or this: ''We must end collective acceptance of inappropriate conduct and increase education in professionalism.''

Or this: ''When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved.''

Or passages like this: ''An organization must also implement programs to fulfill strategies established through its goals and mission. Methods for evaluation of these strategies are a necessity. With the framework of mission, goals, strategies, programs, and methods for evaluation in place, a meaningful budgeting process can begin.''

Or, finally, this: ''We have to understand and appreciate that achieving justice for all is in jeopardy before a call to arms to assist in obtaining support for the justice system will be effective. Achieving the necessary understanding and appreciation of why the challenge is so important, we can then turn to the task of providing the much needed support.''

I don't know if by mere quotation I can fully convey the relentless march of vapid abstractions that mark Miers's prose. Nearly every idea is vague and depersonalized. Nearly every debatable point is elided.

I'd like to repeat one entry from Brooks' list of Greatest Hits (though they are all vapid and sound like mockery of bad business/political-speak).

''More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems.''

This could also read: Society's problems have one (1) answer: (1.)intolerance of unacceptable conditions and (2.) many committed to fix said problems.

Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe have a story in this week's Newsweek on the Bush administration's push for Miers.

Actually, here's what they're saying: We are in serious battle over this one. Miers's fate will rest on her performance in Senate hearings that won't begin until next month, and she has begun to prepare for them with her trademark meticulous diligence. But two weeks after he named the White House counsel as his choice for the U.S. Supreme Court, Bush was still rummaging through the footnotes of the family playbook in an effort to ensure that her nomination doesn't sink before it is formally considered.

It is time for the liberal voices in the MSM and the blogosphere to throw their weight behind the arguments of Brooks and George F. Will. Miers is not sufficiently qualified for a life-time position. The administration should withdraw her nomination. Failing that, she never should have accepted it and she therefore should resign.

No, she does not deserve a hearing. That would present her with too much of an opportunity to win support. I'd rather see a battle-tested constitutional expert I am wary about than a Dubya crony.

As of the posting of this, the Google search for wary returns 13 million pages and one on Miers in the Christian Science Monitor ranks as the most relevant.

The more we learn, the more clever this blog looks.

And, I think it is absurd that the New York Times limits opinion pieces in this day and age -- with wars and Bush cronyism among two of our many problems -- with a "premium" site. Civic journalism is dead at the Grey Lady, I guess.


Blogger Bassizzzt said...

Well, this time it's not really a partisan argument - for I too, disagree with Bush's choice. Besides hosting an obvious disability as an effective writer, she simply does not have the experience. Some conservative co-workers cite the argument that Rhenquist didn't either, but that argument is getting a bit old.

I'm up with George Will on this one.

From a personal comment, she even LOOKS scary.

2:17 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

My worry is that she makes it to the committee and the administration muscles her through there, and then the Senate. Mike Allen reports in TIME this week that she may get as low as 52 votes, but she'll still get confirmed... Maybe some bizarro alliance between left and right to filibuster her? I just hate the idea of a shatty nominee sitting on that court for most of our lives. Bush is slapping our constitution in the face.

3:44 PM  

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