Sunday, October 30, 2005

Bring Low Sweet Harriet

As President Bush seems set to ‘re-launch’ his presidency after the fiasco of the hurricane response, the indictment of a key administration aid, and the ongoing arguments over foreign policy and the war, a few moments should be spent in remembering another casualty of the day: the unfortunate Ms Harriet Miers.

In hindsight, just about everyone thinks that nominating Harriet to the Supreme Court was the judicial equivalent of nominating the guy who wrote your DVD owners’ manual for a Nobel Prize in literature. The nominee must be a bit disappointed. A week ago she could imagine her name being written in the next edition of the History of the US Supreme Court. Now she can look forward to her name appearing on the answer side of a Trivial Pursuit card.

It’s not as if the administration did not try to get Ms Miers’ nomination approved. In attempting to improve her odds, the President argued that she ‘was the best person he could find’. As a result, Las Vegas changed the odds to 10,000-1 against President Bush finding the most colourful egg in next year’s Easter Egg hunt on the White House lawn. Vice President Cheney chimed in by saying ‘it’s not as if she is someone who just walked in off the street’. Although this was a ringing endorsement for the guys in the security booth at the end of the White House driveway, it seemed to lack the resonance the nominee clearly needed.

Further problems for Harriet came from the President’s own supporters. The Alpine wing of the Republican Party looked down from their journalistic heights and decided that she did not have the intellectual fire power to do the job. Conservative columnists noted her lack of judicial experience, the fact that she had made no speeches on important legal theory, and the absence of any written work more profound than a weekly grocery shopping list. Republican Arlen Spector noted that perhaps she should take a crash course in Constitutional issues. (Perhaps she could have enrolled in one of the crash courses being offered to about 20 million Iraqis.) Interviews with about 30 other senators resulted in a groundswell of drowsiness that was not very helpful.

There was also a rebellion against W’s selection from the President’s powerful base –the Shiite Wing of the Republican Party. In order to reassure the fundamentalist mullahs of the far right, it was pointed out that Ms Miers was a loyal convert to the born-again movement and belonged to a very conservative Evangelical church. This was not particularly effective as no one could produce any documents that proved that she supported burning liberals at the stake or that she believed that the earth was created on August 13, 8003 BC – at 2:38 in the afternoon. Apparently a full immersion baptism on the steps of the Supreme Court was not considered to be in good taste.

Amidst all this turmoil, the opposition party was able to sit back and watch the bringing low of Sweet Harriet. The Sunni wing of the Democratic Party, led by Senators Kennedy, Durbin and Biden were able to maintain a detached silence and prepare for a bout of apoplexy over the next nominee. After all, to paraphrase a well worn Washington rule, why bring a donkey to a catfight when you can bring an elephant.


Blogger Abby Taylor said...

Welcome back!! And what a very good return post.

I'm ready to kick some Trivial Pursuit butt in 10 years.

8:28 PM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

Nice to have you posting again.

As always, your sardonic wit illustrates the situation nicely.

3:09 PM  
Blogger birdwoman said...


Like my butchered french?!

Anyway, I'm one of those who believes this was a nefarious plot by W. He nominates the worst candidate he can get so everyone thinks the next one is sliced bread in comparison!


5:43 PM  

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