Wednesday Stuff

Weeks of no rain leads to this: a whole week of rain. But, at least some people have perspective – the flooded folks out in NJ told some tv news reporters that, on the bright side, it’s not like it’s Katrina. People can deal. And, we can avoid a drought. But, the wet and gray can get tiresome.

Imagine the Smurf village getting bombed and poor Baby Smurf all orphaned and injured. I just don’t have that kind of sick imagination, but apparently someone in Belgium and/or UNICEF does. Yeesh.

Laura Bush apparently felt that some of the criticism of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers could be due to sexism. When I heard that, I wasn’t overly impressed. I mean, honestly, Miers is nominated to replace the 1st woman justice; criticism may be attributed to elitism, snobism, or plain old justifiable criticism – but sexism? I almost want to say, maybe. Well. Slate’s John Dickerson says, “Get serious”:

Yesterday, the first lady tried to improve Harriet Miers’ confirmation chances by charging that some of the nominee’s critics were guilty of sexism. The powerful accusation may count in some quarters as an answer to legitimate criticism, just as it sometimes did when it was leveled at Hillary Clinton’s antagonists. But crying discrimination isn’t going to help Harriet Miers, both because there isn’t much truth to it, and because to the extent it’s a factor, it’s coming from the guy who appointed her.

The White House should have stuck with claiming that Miers’ foes were snobs and elitists. At least that had the advantage of being true: Many of the most outspoken opponents of the nomination are intellectuals, who are elitists almost by definition. The Bush side could make other plausible complaints about Miers’ critics: that some in the Senate are opportunistically looking for ways to draw attention to themselves, and that those on the religious right are being impertinent and fussy, demanding a second dessert after being served the treat of John Roberts. But sexist? It seems like the last desperate act of a team whose nominee is in trouble.

[….] The White House limited the field of potential choices to women. In ordinary English, that is called a quota. This admission of truth, which Bush’s father never made about Clarence Thomas, makes it hard for the president to rebut criticism that Miers is not the most qualified person for the job. We know for a fact that half of humanity—and a good deal more than half of the federal bench—was deemed ineligible to be chosen at the outset. I thought conservatives like the president believed that women could withstand open competition? Instead, Bush has subjected Miers to what he calls the soft bigotry of low expectations.

[….] President Bush will not give in to the increasing calls to withdraw her nomination. It’s not in his DNA to back down from a fight. Miers could withdraw herself, but that would only confirm another sexist stereotype: that when it comes to politics, women can’t handle the pressure.

The “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Hmm.

Well, meanwhile, Miers and the rest of us may check out Prof. Michael Dorf’s Con law Crash Course. I have to read this one very carefully – looks quite interesting… 😉

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