Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Hugh Hewitt says that the Senate Judicary staffers are being disloyal for breaking with the President over Harriet Miers:
Very nice. Committee staffers are often very bright, and superb politicos, unless they are simply the grandchildren of rich donors. There are brilliant staffers, and there are copy machine staffers. Some went to law school and excelled there, some have clerked on high or even the highest courts. Others have never worked a day in the private sector on behalf of a client. The incredible disloyalty they are showing in this instance to their bosses, the Committee, the nominee and, yes, the president, is not surprising, but disheartening. In fact, if they acted without the authorization of their Member, they will have violated the Canons of Ethics of the Bar. A small matter for some, no doubt, but call me old school.
Sorry, Hugh, but disloyal to the nominee and the president? They don't work for the president or the nominee. A lot of people, including Hugh Hewitt were forced, by this president, to choose between loyalty to the cause and to principle on the one hand, and loyalty to the party and winning at all costs on the other. Most of us have chosen to stay loyal to the cause and principle rather than flak for a nominee that resume fits on an index card and still needs to be double spaced.

And what Canons of Ethics did the staffer break? They are public employees who did not divulge any confidential information.The president and Miers aren't the client. Hugh shouldn't be throwing around accusations like that without explanation. And how are they being disloyal to the members? Those blowhard senators "haven't made up their minds, yet" so it is not as if the staffers are breaking with their bosses.

There's more:
Those who have been arguing that there is no "elitism" in the opposition to Miers have a new story to refute. The conservative opposition to Miers is rooted in the conceit among some Beltway operators --echoed by some conservative pundits-- that some conservatives know how to discern a nominee's philosophy and future trajectory, and are better positioned than the president, the vice president, senior aides, former White House Counsel lawyers, law professors Gralia and Starr, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, James Dobson, Jay Sekulow, Chuck Colson etc.
I'm no Beltway operator and I didn't go to an Ivy League law school or even a top tier law school, but I'm vehemently opposed to this nomination because Bush broke his promise on why type of justices he'd nominate as Miers doesn't have a sterling record that qualifies her for the court (it's debatable at best that her qualifications are sufficient), she's a crony (that's not going to change), and she lacks any type of record demonstrating a committment to a conservative judicial philosophy (as oppose to conservative policy preferences) developed over many years.

All of those people, except for the president and Hecht are simply relying on those two as references for Miers's conservativism. Hugh, it is disingenuous to cite all those names without mentioning that most of them have never met Harriet Miers and are simply "trusting Bush" or "trusting Hecht" for their own opinion. Well, I don't trust any of them and I shouldn't have to. The conservative stable of great jurists is there, but Bush went after an underqualified crony instead and gave us nothing more than "trust, me she's a good Christian." That simply doesn't cut it.

Still unqualified. Still a crony. Still Harriet Miers.