I am on a hunt. How does one acquire the smugness necessary to be be as arrogant as this President? Over and over we are subjected to his unique style of patronizing and didactic governing. The appointment of Harriet Miers may be his denoument. With this nomination, the President is saying - once again - "you don't need to know any facts, because I know what's best".
Since Harriet Miers is the woman who rehearsed John Roberts so that he would not answer any questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month we are not likely to get much more than we already know. Just the fact that the President likes her and trusts her. And maybe she used to be a Democrat (though my experience is that the coverted are always the most rabid). And she used to be in private practice. And she served a term on the Dallas City Council. And she used to run the Texas Lottery Commission. What a great analogy. Our chances with her rulings will be just as predictable as buying a lottery ticket.
So he picked his friend for a job where her qualifications seem sketchy. He's done that plenty of times before. But as importantly, it is a job that has such authority and power over each and every American that we actually deserve to know something about the actual views of the candidate. And he deliberately guaranteed that we would be so denied.
What kind of friend would be complicit in such a game? First there is the Dick Cheney accusation. Miers was runnning the search for an Associate justice for the President to appoint. How will she be able to charm her way through an answer that says, "I am called to duty because I agreed with the President when he firmly told me that I was the best qualified person he could find for the position?" At least Dick Cheney was filling a gap in national security experience when he chose himself for the ticket. There are 250 women on the federal bench alone. But we might be able to know something about them so they wouldn't do. What does it say about Miers, that she endorses this notion of stealth candidacies?
Then there is the not so simple problem of recusing herself from speaking (or ruling if she were confirmed) about ANYTHING she might have been privy to as the White House lawyer for the last several years. Those who have been around the White House know, the counsel's office is involved in simply EVERYTHING.
She is going to be subject to huge scrutiny over the next several weeks. There seems to be no way she can satisfy a majority of those with concerns. Her friend the President must have sworn to protect her. The only possible result the President can be expecting is to power and bully his way through to final confirmation. The fact that she gave money to candidate Al Gore shows she certainly had good tase in politicians at one time. But there is no rationale for the American people having to decipher coded behavior to understand anything about a nomination as important as a Supreme Court Justice.
As the saying goes, "I wouldn't wish that on my best friend".