Monday, October 03, 2005

Truly outrageous nomination

Just when I think it can't possibly get any worse, of course, it does. Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court is beyond outrageous. It is cronyism at its most corrupt. Bob Kall of OpEdNews shares a open letter to his senator about his disgust. Here's how it gets started:

Dear Senator Spector

I hope you are feeling the same level of outrage as I am. You have been handed a nomination that smacks of pure cronyism, an instant replay of the vice presidential nomination—where the person delegated to help select the nominee selected herself.

We have a nominee who accepted a plum partisan appointee job as Lottery director for six years. This is not in itself, bad, but it is not good enough for a member of the supreme court. A person who takes a job like this is allowing herself to coast, unchallenged by growth opportunities, accepting an easy path to comfortable income. This is not the character we want in a member of the supreme court.

Based on this nomination, president Bush must believe we must have zero good judges who have enough experience and competence.

This woman is a purely partisan player who promises to make Michael Brown look good.

Even Chris Matthews says that this is patronage.

How partisan is she? David Frum, White house speechwriter, reports, “In the White House that hero worshipped the president, Miers was distinguished by the intensity of her zeal: She once told me that the president was the most brilliant man she had ever met,"

As an attorney, as someone who respects the law, you must find this nomination an obscene abomination—a total disregard for the sanctity and integrity of the supreme court.

Will Bunch, columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, reports on his blog:

"But she does know better than just about anyone else where the bodies are buried (relax, it's a just a metaphor...we hope) in President Bush's National Guard scandal. In fact, Bush's Texas gubenatorial campaign in 1998 (when he was starting to eye the White House) actually paid Miers $19,000 to run an internal pre-emptive probe of the potential scandal. Not long after, a since-settled lawsuit alleged that the Texas Lottery Commission -- while chaired by Bush appointee Miers -- played a role in a multi-million dollar cover-up of the scandal."

And it gets much worse. Bunch reports how Michael Isakoff describes Miers' "initial foray in the morass of Bush's Guard service:

The Bushies' concern began while he was running for a second term as governor. A hard-nosed Dallas lawyer named Harriet Miers was retained to investigate the issue; state records show Miers was paid $19,000 by the Bush gubernatorial campaign. She and other aides quickly identified a problem--rumors that Bush had help from his father in getting into the National Guard back in 1968. Ben Barnes, a prominent Texas Democrat and a former speaker of the House in the state legislature, told friends he used his influence to get George W a guard slot after receiving a request from Houston oilman Sid Adger. Barnes said Adger told him he was calling on behalf of the elder George Bush, then a Texas congressman. Both Bushes deny seeking any help from Barnes or Adger, who has since passed away. Concerned that Barnes might go public with his allegations, the Bush campaign sent Don Evans, a friend of W's, to hear Barnes's story. Barnes acknowledged that he hadn't actually spoken directly to Bush Sr. and had no documents to back up his story. As the Bush campaign saw it, that let both Bushes off the hook. And the National Guard question seemed under control.

Will Bunch comments, “So far, intriguing...but it gets better, and more complicated. At roughly the same time all of this was happening, Miers was also the Bush-named chair of the scandal-plagued Texas Lottery Commission. The biggest issue before Miers and the commission was whether to retain lottery operator Gtech, which had been implicated in a bribery scandal. Gtech's main lobbyist in Texas in the mid-1990s? None other than that same Ben Barnes who had the goods on how Bush got into the Guard and avoided Vietnam.

Look, you might want to click through and read the entire letter. It simply boggles my mind. Bush is engaging in cronyism with impunity. The woman isn't even a judge.

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