10/04/2005 08:26 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Miers and the Lessons of the Bush Administration

Two thoughts on the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.:

- Despite the reasonable observations that the administration -- the same folk who treated a 49 percent vote share as a landslide mandate -- chose someone as bland as possible in order to avoid a fight while at low political tide. Nevertheless, the selection of someone with no track record remains in keeping with one of this administration's animating impulses: The notion that people (legislators, members of the public, members of the press) should accept whatever pronouncements the administration makes simply virtue of the fact that they come from the administration. This attitude has informed the administration's compulsive secrecy (recall the secret Cheney Task Force meetings, for example), not to mention how its denizens have treated members of Congress (Rs as well as Ds) and of course the press. Harriet Miers is the same attitude, just without the coating of burgeoning arrogance. But it still boils down to: She's qualified because ... we say she is.

- As part of the passion for secrecy that pervades the Bush White House, they refused to hand over documents relating to his work for the previous Bush administration. Some members of Congress, especially Democrats, made noise about it, but the Judiciary Committee and then the Senate didn't let that bother them. As DailKos noted: Judiciary ranking Democrat Pat "Leahy just allowed a bad precedent -- accepting a nominee after being denied the documentary evidence to make an informed decision. That the administration refused to release those documents means that there was something to hide. But it's a precedent that can potentially allow our own stealth candidates to slip through without a full vetting. The GOP won't have the White House forever."