That's one of the reasons that Patterico's post on the writings of Harriet Miers (which is an amplification of what David Brooks wrote last week) is so particularly troubling. To quote Brooks again, the written word of Harriet Miers is a "relentless march of vapid abstractions."
It's no surprise, then, to seen this post from Ed Morrissey about the "misunderstandings" Miers has been conveying to senators.
She told Chuck Schumer that:
Then this exchange followed her meeting with Arlen Specter:
After their meeting, Specter told reporters that Miers told him she believed the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut -- a landmark ruling establishing the right to privacy -- was "rightly decided."
But when the White House took exception to Specter's comments, the Pennsylvania Republican released a statement saying Miers later called him to tell him that he had "misunderstood" her answer.
Specter said she told him she had not taken a position on either Griswold or the right to privacy, the legal underpinning for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Specter's statement did not withdraw his comments about Miers discussing Griswold with him, nor did it offer a correction. But the statement said the chairman accepted Miers contention "that he misunderstood what she said."
It is possible that Specter and Schumer are trying to make trouble for the nominee. It is possible that Miers is trying to game the senators.
But it is also possible that Harriet Miers talks the way she writes. If she's speaking to senators in vapid abstractions, that would explain how Schumer, Specter, and the White House can all come to such totally different conclusions about what she's saying.