Miers: A Scalia in sheep’s clothing
By Bill Press
By nominating Harriet Miers
to the Supreme Court, President Bush has put forth a total unknown. A blank
slate. A cipher. Not even the president knows where she stands on the issues,
because he never asked her.
That's what the White House
wants you to think. Don't you believe it.
Of course, if you listen to
most conservatives, Harriet Miers is as dangerous as a card-carrying member of
the ACLU. "I'm disappointed, depressed and demoralized," huffed the Weekly
Standard's Bill Kristol. "Her qualifications for the Supreme Court are
nonexistent," puffed former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan. She's nothing
but a "natural follower" and "natural followers don't belong on the Supreme
Court," sniffed former Bush speechwriter David Frum. Commentator Ann Coulter
concluded that the Miers nomination proves that "Bush hates conservatives."
conservatives are either on the White House payroll or they are dumber than I
thought. Perhaps inadvertently, they're part of one of the slickest con jobs
foisted on the American people since P.T. Barnum trotted out the sword swallower.
And, like the great carnival hustler himself, Bush is counting on the fact that
"there is a sucker born every minute." Especially in the United States Senate.
Make no mistake about it.
This decision is too important. Replacing William Rehnquist with John Roberts
was a wash. It's this appointment, to fill the shoes of swing-vote Sandra Day
O'Connor, that will determine the future direction of the Supreme Court. Karl
Rove would never have let George Bush nominate Harriet Miers if he didn't know
that she agreed with Bush on every issue.
The idea that Bush never
discussed issues such as abortion with her is simply unbelievable. He's known
her for 20 years. She was his private attorney. They've traveled together.
They've had meals together. She's hung out at the "Lazy W" ranch. She cut brush
with him. They belong to the same faith. What do you think they talked about all
that time? The Rangers?
It's not hard to figure out
how Bush decided on Miers. If elected president, he promised in 2000, he would
appoint to the Supreme Court justices like extreme conservatives Antonin Scalia
or Clarence Thomas. John Roberts didn't fit the bill, so Bush knew he had to
deliver this time around. But he also knew that any one of the names on the
conservatives' wish list – Michael Luttig, Edith Jones or Janice Rogers Brown –
would stir up a firestorm in the Senate, which Bush wanted to avoid.
So Bush came up with Plan
B, as brilliant as it is diabolical: Nominate someone who is every bit as
conservative as Luttig, Jones or Brown, privately, but who is a complete mystery,
publicly – with no judicial experience to get in the way, and no paper trail to
examine. And that's Harriet Ellan Miers. The perfect stealth candidate. Antonin
Scalia in sheep's clothing.
In case you still harbor
any doubts about her right-wing credentials, here's final proof. After four days
of complaints from the far right, Karl Rove got on the phone to leading
conservatives, starting with James Dobson, head of Focus on the Family. Rove
convinced him to support Miers, Dobson confirmed, by giving him "confidential
information" on her religious beliefs. Miers, like Bush, is an evangelical
Christian. Rove's message, in other words, is: You don't have to know where she
stands on the issues. Hey, she's born-again (wink, wink).
Notice how the White House
plays the religion card both ways. It was wrong for Democrats to raise the fact
that John Roberts is a Catholic, they argued, just one month ago. But now it's
OK for the Bush team to make sure everyone knows that Harriet Miers is a devout
Notice also what their
doing so tells us about Harriet Miers. She's a soul mate of James Dobson, Jerry
Falwell and Pat Robertson. She's anti-choice, anti-stem cell research, anti-separation
of church and state, pro-school prayer and pro-teaching intelligent design in
public-school science classes. She's way out of the mainstream. She's George
Bush's candidate to turn the court over to the extreme right, narrow
constitutional philosophy of Scalia and Thomas.
So what are Democrats
waiting for? They know enough about Miers already to merit all-out opposition –
including the filibuster, if necessary. And they'd better act fast.
If Harriet Miers is
confirmed, joining John Roberts on the court, we'll be yearning for the good old
days of "moderate" William Rehnquist.
Bill Press is host of the nationally syndicated "Bill
Press Show," also heard on Sirius Satellite Radio. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
His Web site is: www.billpress.com.
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