"a sorry retreat into smallness"

Thus is the Miers moment captured by Charles Krauthammer today. There are many problems with the nomination of Harriet Miers, but the single most important reason for her to not get to the Supreme Court as a justice is the fact that her sole qualification is loyalty and closeness to the president.

That she is a born-again Christian is not in doubt. That her faith would help inform her jurisprudence is also more than likely. So what? It is not sufficient to be a Christian, nor is it sufficient to be an evangelical Christian (actually, a redundancy, but then, so many “Christians” don’t get as far as Matthew 28:19). As Dr. K. so rightly points out, if there is a single area where Miss Miers has an edge, it is in cases that might come before the Court dealing with our war on terror. And it is in exactly these areas that her expertise disqualifies her, because she, at least in theory, would have been involved in the crafting of many of the administration’s policies.

Even were this not a stumbling block, Miers’ expertise in anything approaching a national scope is tied, with bonds of steel, to George W. Bush. Dubya assures as that he knows her heart, and knows that she’d be the same person twenty years down the road. Given that her other area of expertise appears to be running a clean lottery in Texas, this is not reassuring.

Mr. Bush, withdraw this nomination. It is an insult to the deep reserves of conservative jurists, with relevant experience, whom you could have, and should have named. It is also an insult to all of us, and not just conservatives. Harriet Miers’ nomination sends the clear message that you, George W. Bush, are afraid of Harry Reid and his big bad Senate Democrats. That you shy away from fighting the good fight.

Unless, of course, your rhetoric has been empty all these years. Do the right thing, George.

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