October 23, 2005

No Other Way To Couch It


At this stage of the nomination dance, why does the typical Harriet Miers photo still show her waiting alone outside some Senator’s door (and positioned so far away, no less)?  The answer — which some right wingers are desperately trying to justify as qualification — is that she earned the nod for being loyal and meek.

I read what I consider a spot-on comment at HuffPo the other day.  The writer was responding to a post by one Kathleen Reardon, who was attempting to wrap Harriet Miers’ character around some kind of "power woman" theory. The commenter, knighterrand, writes:

I pity Harriet Miers. When she was introduced by Bush I was struck by how she was looking at him, with fawning eyes that never strayed. It was weird. Then I read this [an article in Slate on Miers’ modest finances] and realized that here was a person who has been a partner and president at one of the biggest law firms in Texas and I’m richer than she is ….

I’ve known such people in local politics. True believers who worship some specific elected official and will sacrifice all for them. They are the perfect volunteer. I’ve seen cynical politicians ride them like a loyal horse who will run himself to death to please his master.

To call her a crony or sycophant it to credit her with too much
self interest. She is a votarist, more a cultist than a politician.
Should Bush choose to martyr her she will walk into the flames with a
smile on her face.

The sad fact about Harriet is that, regardless how competent she was as
a corporate lawyer or even a presidential counselor, she’s not SCOTUS
timber. Of course, this is fast becoming obvious from her interviews
with Senators, her written answers to the Judiciary Committee
questionnaire, and greater scrutiny of her background.

The pictures seem to mirror the same fact.  I believe it partly explains why she was looking somewhat askance
during her nomination press conference, and why she has been
continually photographed in doorways and antechambers waiting to talk
to Senators (Durbin’s office, Grassley’s office).


I believe it’s also why, in the first photo to hit the newswire last
week kicking off Harriet’s second (or, maybe third) reintroduction, we
saw a file shot of a much younger Miers posing for news cameras. The
problem is, no matter how hard BushCo tries to create a salable
picture, most attempts defy the visual impression of a credible

(image 1: Jim Young/Reuters. October 20, 2005. Office of Senator
Ken Salazar (D-CO), Washington, D.C. October 20, 2005. Via YahooNews.
linked image 1: www.whitehouse.gov linked image 2: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas.
Washington October 4, 2005. YahooNews. linked image 3: REUTERS/Yuri
Gripas. Washington October 6, 2005. YahooNews. image 2: State Bar of
Texas/A.P. Then State Bar of Texas President Harriet Miers. 1992. Via

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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