A Glass of Chianti

Monday, October 03, 2005

Today is a day I really wished I didn't teach lessons

I came home this evening, put in a movie and started to snuggle with my kitty in front of the computer. The plan was to skim a couple of my "must read" blogs and then get lost in the nice, warm glow of a glass of wine. My plan was disrupted when I saw this post, from a man whose opinion I highly respect. And then I went further down the rabbit hole. After I caught my breath, I went to the home of another blogger on my list...

Straws?! Multiple camels?! What is going on here?

Look, this pick reveals something about Bush that should have been plain as day to most people- he distrusts the establishment, especially in judicial matters. I mean, I may have an education from a mediocre Texas university and a small musician brain, but that was pretty clear to me from the get-go*. The fact that we are so shocked at a pick from "the inside" is insane. How in the world is he supposed to change the culture of a judicial body that he clearly distrusts without picking someone he knows well? He's heard from all sides of the conservative movement "If you pick another Souter..." and the threats that follow. Here, at the very least, he is saying "I vouch for this woman's conservative credentials." You know what? I believe him on that one. You know what else? This isn't Bush playing politics because I'm fairly certain that he would have made the same pick with or without a Republican majority in the Senate. If for nothing else, I respect him on that point. Angus, for someone who was advocating (in jest, I know) a pick of a former college professor of yours, you're going to have to do a lot of talking to convince me that you can change the culture of a political body without closely knowing the person you are nominating. You're telling me that if you were President in 30 years, you wouldn't nominate one of your law school friends to the Court? What if you truly thought that person was the most qualified for the job?

Cronyism is only a fair charge, really, if Miers is unqualified for the nominated position. I don't know if she is or if she isn't**. I thought that's what the confirmation hearings were for. I could be wrong. (Remember, small musician brain! Please tell me what they are designed to do.) I do know that it's really silly to be surprised, but very reasonable to be disappointed (if you think she is unqualified).

*I guess I'm not so upset because he never seemed like "My Guy." Phil Gramm? My Guy. Calvin Coolidge? My Guy. Steve Forbes? My (uncapitalized) guy.
**Please tell me why she isn't. Seriously. Then I can be outraged, too. I knew nothing at all about Roberts and as soon as I heard that a couple people that I respect a good deal and are a great deal smarter and better informed on the issue were satisfied, I was thrilled. The same thing goes here. Basically, I'm just giving her the same benefit of the doubt that I gave Roberts.

UPDATE: Really, just a tiny bit of clarification. Bush has been a big disappointment to me in matters relating to economic policy. Cutting taxes when it wasn't really politically necessary was a step in the right direction, but undid only so much for me in that regard. If this is a case of someone who is obviously underqualified for the position, I guess the difference is that it doesn't change much for me. I was never really on the camel, I was always just kind of walking beside the camel happy that it was, at least, a camel and not a bear.