Wednesday, October 05, 2005

My, My, Miss Harriet, I Do Declare, You're Moving Up in the World
To jump off from a comment by reader J (who has his own fine blog, Silent Speaking) about the Miers nomination--I think I agree that the primary motivation for Miss Harriet's selection is not about getting a stealth conservative on the court, although that may be the effect. After all, Miss Harriet is likely to be, as Cheney suggested this week, a conservative in the Scalia/Thomas mold, if only because she'll be depending on them to tell her how to vote, much as you or I would have to take direction from some other justice if we magically found ourselves appointed to the Supreme Court. And so maybe the administration doesn't need to name a more high-profile conservative if it's succeeded in cloning Scalia and Thomas.

But I don't think it's an ideological pick foremost. Like J, I think it's the pick of a guy who's just given up. He told the press the other day that she was the most qualified candidate in America, which is as indefensible as if he'd stood up and said two and two make five. That's the kind of answer you give if you can't think of anything else.

There are legitimate reasons for Democrats to oppose Miss Harriet's nomination, if only because she's clearly not qualified for such a post. And although there are political reasons for Democrats not to oppose her--i.e., the next nominee could be worse--the Senate's responsibility to advise and consent is clear, straight from the pen of no less a personage than Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist Number 76, quoted at Best of the Blogs the other day:.
[T]he necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity.
Recommended Reading: If you're a cat owner, you'll want to visit CatsInSinks.com, which is all about cats in sinks. Cute cat pictures abound.

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