Thursday, October 27, 2005

Reaction to Miers withdrawal

Posted by Craig Westover | 10:44 AM |  

This is why I’ll never land a job as spokesperson for a politician. Here’s the text of President Bush’s reaction to Harriet Miers withdrawal from Supreme Court consideration.
Today, I have reluctantly accepted Harriet Miers decision to withdraw her nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.

I nominated Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court because of her extraordinary legal experience, her character, and her conservative judicial philosophy. Throughout her career, she has gained the respect and admiration of her fellow attorneys. She has earned a reputation for fairness and total integrity. She has been a leader and a pioneer in the American legal profession. She has worked in important positions in state and local government and in the bar. And for the last five years, she has served with distinction and honor in critical positions in the Executive Branch.

I understand and share her concern, however, about the current state of the Supreme Court confirmation process. It is clear that senators would not be satisfied until they gained access to internal documents concerning advice provided during her tenure at the White House disclosures that would undermine a president's ability to receive candid counsel. Harriet Miers' decision demonstrates her deep respect for this essential aspect of the constitutional separation of powers and confirms my deep respect and admiration for her.

I am grateful for Harriet Miers' friendship and devotion to our country. And I am honored that she will continue to serve our nation as White House Counsel.

My responsibility to fill this vacancy remains. I will do so in a timely manner.
As a communicator, it’s that third paragraph I couldn’t live with. It’s unadulterated crap and worst of all, everybody knows it’s crap. At least if you’re going to put out crap, try something that isn’t so obvious -- perhaps “Harriet Meirs withdrew to pursue other interests” or “to spend more time with her family.”

I suspect a lot of overly-intellectualized analysis, partisan finger pointing and I-told-you-so self-congratulations on this one, but the reality is, this is a case where government actually worked just like it was suppose to. “Advise and Consent” isn’t a rubber stamp and “the president has a right to choose whom he wants” is not an adequate standard for consent. Plain and simple, no one can make a case, let alone a strong case, for putting Harriet Meirs on the bench.

Contention over Meirs’ nomination has swirled around her attitude on specific issues and her past activities. Grant it, that is political noise, but unlike a strong candidate like John Roberts, Meirs has not been able to silence the noise with any strong statements indicating a firm grasp of constitutional jurisprudence and judicial presence.

Nominate Christ himself for the Supreme Court and the opposition is going to bring up his unfortunate lack of self-control and the nasty temper he displayed towards money changers in the temple. To draw a analogy, in the same situation Harriet Meirs would counter by noting she took anger management classes; John Roberts would counter with the Beatitudes.

Meirs was just not a substantial nomination over and above whatever partisan political spin people put on it. She had so support. That would have been my third paragraph.

Category: National Politics