Thomas vs. MiersMany are suggesting that the Miers nomination is similar to that of Justice Thomas. I would have to agree that many at the time felt there were more qualified candidates than Justice Thomas. That said, Justice Thomas was a Yale grad (as a black conservative that is a significant accomplishment). He led the EEOC which produced more than its share of political controversy which he defended masterfully. He was a very outspoken conservative whose views on a number of topics was stated and known. He was very active in the conservative movement, one of if not the most active prominent black person so involved at the time. He had writings that you could look at and decide what he was about. He had a brief but interesting history on a federal court that could be examined. The liberals were out to get him from the beginning.
Where is the similarity to Ms. Miers? I think this comparison is wishful thinking. Justice Thomas turned out to be even more conservative, more constructionist, and a more brilliant scholar and writer than even his staunchest supporters would have believed at the time. We can only hope that there will be such a similarity in this case but the only similarity I see between the two cases thus far is that they are both affirmative action picks. Clarence Thomas argued against affirmative action in his hearings. Will Ms. Miers? Will she state that she thinks Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided? Thomas was attacked because blacks are supposed to blindly support affirmative action (according to the left anyway). Women are likewise supposed to support abortion on demand.
Many people felt that Chief Justice Roberts wasn't as conservative as they would have liked. They looked and said, we could have done better but he is a viable choice. They looked at Clarence Thomas and said, we could have done better but we will support him. They looked at Miers and said this is unacceptable and scary.
Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt and others are arguing that while not one of the better choices we should support this choice. I would argue that unless something awful comes up she will be confirmed, with or without that support. Thus, the argument is irrelevant. Senators in general, and Republican Senators in particular, do not have the spine to stand up and publicly argue that a Presidential crony is unacceptable when they are surrounded by cronies. I fervently hope she does turn out to be another Justice Thomas. If she does and still is 5+ years from now I will come back and apologize and sing her praises from the rooftop. She may turn out to be a better choice than Roberts was, only long history tells the final story. To stay silent because "our leader has spoken" makes the conservative base no better than the liberal one. We are supposed to disagree, learn from it, and move on while trying to do better.
Is this different than Roberts? So far it is. The base accepted Roberts fairly quickly and the lefties only did so after he kicked the Democratic Senators' butts in the hearings. Even then, half, FULLY HALF, of the Democratic Senators voted against an extremely mainstream brilliant man. I predict that Justice Miers will get more votes from them and if not totally, nearly sweep the Republican votes as well. I pray President Bush is smarter than I think he is on this.
In closing on this topic, I do not think poorly of Harriet Miers. She is clearly a competent, accomplished, hard working, loyal woman. Were it not for the fact that her single largest accomplishments occurred under President Bush himself and her record there will and should remain closed, I would have said "this is not a great choice but the President has the authority to have her on the court." I am not attacking her. I just believe that, while commendable, that is not enough for one of nine spots on the court in an era where the courts are continuing to legislate from the bench. I am attacking a single decision made by my President that I continue to disagree with. I similarly disagree with his incompetent policies and lack of enforcement on immigration. I largely agree with his GWOT policies and other things. I still believe we are much better off than we would have been with a (God forbid) John Kerry or equivalent thereof in the White House.