Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mediocrity Deserves Representation Too ... Right?

Steve Chapman weighed in on the latest Supreme Court nominee a couple of days ago, and I find myself about half in agreement with what he writes.
For the latest vacancy, Bush conducted a wide-ranging national search and ended up with someone from down the hall. After John G. Roberts Jr., the only appropriate response to the nomination of Harriet Miers, on either the right or the left, is: You cannot be serious.
I agree with Chapman that Miers is the most underqualified Supreme Court nomination in my memory, and quite probably the most underqualified ever. Even Haynsworth and Carswell look like John Marshall next to her.

My other feeling, though, is that it is ridiculous to feel any surprise at the choice. This President is increasingly being defined by his own mediocrity (try this, go to google, type in "failure" and hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. Funny? Not too funny.) and by the mediocrity of his choices in advisors and personnel (Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Brown, Rice, Chertoff, etc., etc., etc.).

This is now an administration in the throes of cronyism run amuck -- Harding II. Why should we expect anything different from a Supreme Court appointment now?

There is also no point in feeling any consternation at the choice. This is the guy the country elected twice (OK, OK, once -- make it twice, with an asterisk). Time and again we've heard that what Americans like about the guy is that he makes a decision and sticks to it -- he has the courage of his convictions. Well, the flip side of that is that he's going to do whatever the hell he wants and damn the consequences for the future of the country. God talks to him, so who are you to tell him that anything he does is wrong? "Trust me," is what he says, and this is not a request. It is a command.

Chapman writes that,
A president is entitled to give priority to personal loyalty and comfort when he is choosing, say, a staff secretary--a job Miers previously held. But for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, a bit more should be expected.
More should be expected from most Presidents, but I'm afraid that almost 5 years into this President's term, you cannot seriously expect more from this one.


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