Today's Washington Times blog has an article titled "Miers spat is a family affair" in which managing editor Fran Coombs writes, "Enter Harriet Miers, undoubtedly a fine and talented individual but singularly ill-prepared to serve on America’s most powerful court. This is cronyism run amok. Even Mr. Bush’s most ardent supporters find themselves making torturous defenses of a nomination that cannot be defended." This is an example of Washington elitism par excellance. Keep the status quo: don't let an outsider in. The strongest case against Ms. Miers is that she has never served as a judge and therefore has not handed down opinions to critique.
There is not now -- nor has there ever been -- a rule that says only serving judges may be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court. In that past that has served us well since some of our finest justices had no judicial experience when they were elected. Justice John Marshall was one. A new justice with little experience on the bench brings fresh thoughts and ideas to a moldy, staid and somewhat jaded set of minds.
Coombs continues, "You know the White House is in trouble when it is reduced to smearing Ms. Miers’ conservative opponents as “elitists” and “sexists.” This is the kind of rhetoric one expects from Hillary “vast right-wing media conspiracy” Clinton and other leftists for whom the only political defense is a below-the-belt punch. But for a White House that at least ostensibly labels itself conservative to fling the empty canards of the Left at fellow conservatives is downright insulting." It's a rather left-handed compliment to the White House that the editor finds that discourse insulting. It's true that the "right" has let the "left" use that kind of language in the past but perhaps it's time to call a spade a spade. Refusing to consider someone other than a judge IS elitist. I don't agree with the sexist charge but will chalk that one up to justifiable anger.
Coombs again: "Mr. President, woo the disaffected on the Right as if they were members of your own family. “Yes, I understand your concerns, but trust me, bear with me on this,” you should say." All he should do is what he has been doing. He shouldn't have to "woo" anyone. "Wooing" in this case would be the same as explaning or apologizing and he should not have to do that. He is right to assume his supporters will trust his judgement.
Yes, I admit I trust the President. I have not always agreed with his decisions but I have always been able to see why he made them and (most important) I recognize that he is doing what he believes is right for the country. Right in the sense of best, for I don't believe conservatives are the best for the country all the time. And I don't believe liberals are EVER the best for the country! But I trust President Bush and would not have voted to put him where he is if I were not prepared to do so.
Congress should place Meirs on the court BECAUSE she has no judicial experience. Congressional members should NEVER assume that what someone thought or believed, wrote or said 20 or 30 years ago is an indication of what they believe, would write, say or do now.
If someone is that fixed in attitude and closed in mind, they should not serve in any public capacity. What government servants (in Congress, on the Court or in the Executive Branch) need are open minds, patriotic hearts, elephantine skins and a "do unto others as I want done unto me" morality.
Give the Supreme Court a fresh, unfettered mind, eager and willing to learn. A touch of the early Patriot, if you will. What Congress should be ascertaining is Miers' patriotism and if she is dedicated to upholding the Constitution. After all, that's all we can ask of her -- or anyone.