Friday, October 07, 2005

Miers Wins the Expectations Game

Not that she needs to; I'll be shocked if she isn't confirmed. But Charles Krauthammer makes some good points:
To serve in Congress, or even as president, there is no requirement for scholarship and brilliance. For good reason. It is not needed. It can even be a hindrance, as we learned from our experience with Woodrow Wilson, the most intellectually accomplished president of the 20th century and also the worst.

But constitutional jurisprudence is different. It is, by definition, an exercise of intellect steeped in scholarship. Otherwise it is nothing but raw politics. And is it not the conservative complaint that liberals have abused the courts by having them exercise raw super-legislative power, the most egregious example of which is the court's most intellectually bankrupt ruling, Roe v. Wade ?

Miers will surely shine in her Judiciary Committee hearings, but that is because expectations have been set so low. If she can give a fairly good facsimile of John Roberts's testimony, she'll be considered a surprisingly good witness. But what does she bring to the bench?


Anonymous said...

Woodrow Wilson, the most intellectually accomplished president of the 20th century and also the worst.

Wilson? Wilson? The worst of the 20th century? Now, I hold no brief for President Woody, and once argued the point with a Wilson-worshipping Russian handyman in pidgin Russo-dutch ("Vilson, ochyen grote presidyent!" "Nyet, Sergei, neit grote presidyent!"). But the 20th century gave us President Harding. As bad as Wilson was, he was no Warren Harding. said...

I am gradually being won over by the volume of distress over Miers. There is however one problem with Krauthammer's suggestion. If this nomination is froma position of weakness, which has begotten more weakness, would not Senate democrats have the gumption to just tellt he President to stuff a Luttig or McConnell or whomever you would have him nominate? I think the answer would be yes. Miers may be great. but the timing and the flubbing of this pick leaves me feeling rather concerned about the next three years. We conservatives, having been jilted by the President either have to pull a Hewitt and rally around him to buoy him and any chance of success in '06 and '08 and the GWOT, or we need to find a new leader and fast who will accomplish those same things. Increwasingly, I see Dean Barnett's point as largely correct, Bush is not one of us.

Anonymous said...


I don't know that anyone needs to worry about how Democrats in the Senate will react to a McConnell if the Miers nomination fails.

As stubborn as Bush is in the face of opposition, you figure the next nomination might be Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel.