Tuesday, October 04, 2005

That's My Bush!

The American Spectator reminds us of the glory days of Talk magazine:
Before he became president, George Bush was asked by journalist Tucker Carlson, what activity don't you excel at? He responded, "Sitting down and reading a 500-page book on public policy or philosophy or something."

I'm sure the braniacs at SMU are appalled by this sort of thing.

Bonus: As Miers boosters will note, this just goes to show that Ivy League credentials are meaningless!

13 comments:

Stephen Macklin said...

A better refutation of the Ivy League argument would be to simply remind conservatives of Eureka College.

Bizarro Jack said...

I'll save you all from doing the same web search and point out that is where Ronald Reagan got his degree. Kudos to those of you that knew this already; I did not.

In 1982, Ronald Reagan made a speech there that was called "The beginning of the end of the cold war" by some. I was 5, and don't remember that either.

The "2nd best law school in Texas" argument is really the least damaging comment floating around, just ahead of the embarrassing "hasn't given money to Al Gore since 1988." For shame!!

Anonymous said...

Look--and take it from a guy who uses ALL-CAPS to make his points--the comparison of Miers to Reagan is a flat insult to Reagan.

True, neither was particularly well credentialed.

(I'll overlook for the moment the generational gap that separated their education; the Ivies were a much more meritocratic bag by the time Harriet was in school.)

But when Reagan ran for president, he had under his belt, uhm, let's see, successful independent businessman, leadership of a union, and two terms as governor of the nation's largest state, to say nothing of a formidable public record testifying to his native intelligence.

Miers? Friend of the family.

Look, guys, even if she turns out to be super-duper conservative and that's your bag, you don't want to back this one. She got the sweetest gig in town because she lunches with the right people.

It's just wrong. Frankly, it's un-American. (Do any of you tell your kids to blow off studying and make nice with the rich kids?)

Here's the kicker: if it were a Donk in the Oval Office, you'd agree with everything I just said -- and you know it.

Anonymous said...

Lots of Justices got onto the court because they were buddies of the President. For example, William O. Douglas (not my favorite Justice), Byron White, Rehnquist (Nixon's Office of Legal Counsel), Roger Taney (He was Andrew Jackson's AG and picked to be Chief Justice - after he was denied by the Senate to be Secretary of the Treasury and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court), Wiley Rutledge (as Dean of U of Iowa Law School he was an outspoken supporter of FDR's court-packing plan and thus rewarded with a DC Court of Appeals judgeship before being appointed to the Supreme Court), Hugo Black (Senator who supported FDR's court-packing plan). I'm not saying all these guys were fantastic justices; however, it isn't unheard-of to get nominated because you are tight with the President.

Anonymous said...

True enough, lots of justices have gotten on the Court because of their connections to the president.

But look at all the examples you gave. Does Miers even begin to stack up? Did I miss something, or was she never elected Senator? Did I miss something, or was she never White House Chief Counsel? Did I miss something, or was she never dean of a law school?

I'm not trying to be a jerk here. I just want to underscore that she--unlike other buddies of the POTUS--brings almost nothing to the table other than her special little friendship.

That wouldn't be the end of the world, were it not for the fact that we on the right have spent a generation building up serious constitutional scholars. You saw it in Roberts.

A lot of deserving people got stiffed for this. You want to remind me why?

Anonymous said...

"That's my Bush" ruled. Quality TV. They did a great job playing with tired sit-com conventions.

Stephen Macklin said...

It was never my intention to compare Reagan to Miers. I pointed out the Reagan example as something for conservatives to consider before they disqualify Miers in part on the basis of her education.

I am still completely unsure if Miers deserves the nomination and will be good addition to the court. I just don't think getting to hung up on where she went to law school is a valid argument one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps I am missing the snarky subtext of all this...

Is Harriet Miers immediately suspect because she earned her law degree more than 30 years ago from SMU as opposed to a select group of schools (Ivy League + Stanford + Chicago)?

Granted Ms. Miers may be unqualified to sit on the Court, I will wait and see however I simply don't understand why I should snicker with condescension because she attended the "second-best law school in Texas"

You folks want to expand on this a little more?

Mike

Anonymous said...

Actually, most of those Justices I listed had pretty mediocre records before and after being appointed (Taney wrote Dred Scott; there was a move to impeach Douglas twice - the second time had some merit to it; Rutledge was a law school dean but his legal pedigree wasn't so hot - he bounced around law schools as a student.)

Hey, there is a healthy dose of politics in Supreme Court nomination, always has been and always will be. That doesn't make it ideal, that doesn't make it right; however, don't go around and say it is un-American to appoint people tight with the President.

Should Republicans strive for the best nominee regardless of connection? Sure but don't say it is un-American.

One more point. You wrote:
Did I miss something, or was she never elected Senator? And this is supposed to be a strike against her? I think the Roberts nomination clearly pointed out that being a Senator is a liability due to their rather dim bulb characteristics. For heaven's sake Joe Biden is a senator!

Sarah said...

What none of those who have been very quick to condemn the nomination have said is what they want to happen next. Do they want the Judiciary Committee to vote against her? The full Senate to vote against her? The President to withdraw the nomination? Lots of sniping with no suggestions on how to improve the situation. Sounds like the Democratic party to me.

Bizarro Jack said...

Sarah, if you had ever bothered reading the Constitution, it would be obvious that we are implying she ought to be hanged, and her next-of-kin will choose the next nominee to go before the senate. It's in article MCMLXXVII.

Sarah said...

Bizarro Jack, I had forgotten that provision. Of course, I only went to a second-tier law school. . . in a Southern state no less. I'm sure JVL will immediately ban me from this site for admitting my obvious lack of qualifications.

All joking aside I wish she would withdraw.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it!
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