Main Entry: qual·i·fied
1 a : fitted (as by training or experience) for a given purpose : COMPETENT b :: ELIGIBLE
2 : limited or modified in some way
having complied with the specific requirements or precedent conditions (as for an office or employment)
- qual·i·fied·ly /-"fI(-&)d-lE/ adverb
My principle reaction to the Miers nomination was "Huh?"
I thought perhaps I was simply behind the curve on the who's who in Sycophant Circle, as shamefully, is closer to my usual than I typically care to admit publicly. So, I made the obligatory visits to the Wiki, caught up on the MSM chatter and still, was left with "Hm" as my overriding response. As has been pointed out by those more in touch than I've been in recent days, it appears that much of the right is also afflicted with a common befuddled head-scratching.
As such, during a moment of peace in my toddler-wrangling day, I have to step back and wonder if this nomination doesn't pretty much crystallize Bush's apparent trouble with understanding the concept of "qualified".
As if we needed another reminder, right? As if "Brownie" wasn't ample demonstration enough. The evidence of cronyism within the administration has been commented on at length, and my point isn't to retread the issue here. Rather, it is to wonder aloud about the basic mechanics of judgment.
I don't believe that Roberts was Bush's idea. Roberts is a product of the entire inner circle, of the GOP machine. I say this because, cynically, I've no real reason to believe Bush is truly able to understand why Roberts is as intelligent and competent as he apparently is. My ideological reservations about the man aside, I'll be among the last people around that question his qualifications as a judge. Ergo, Bush simply isn't clever enough to have thunk it up himself.
Conversely, however, when evidently left to his own devices, we're presented with Harriet Miers. A woman who has a perfectly fine list of accomplishments to show for her career, a woman whose professional life is worthy of respect (at least in terms of status achieved), and a woman who appears to have at best, minimal qualifications for the post to which she's been nominated.
It does not necessarily follow that a lawyer will make a suitable Justice. That both occupations require familiarity with the law makes them siblings at best. I wouldn't expect my cable guy to be hired on at Mission Control. I wouldn't expect a 3rd grade teacher to sit at the head of the DOE. And I wouldn't expect the local mechanic to keep up in a NASCAR pit. Is Bush really going to stand there and suggest that we're being unreasonable to expect that his SCOTUS nominee have some real-world experience being, you know, a judge? Then again, I don't know what we should expect, really, from someone whose level of qualification for his own job is equally vague.
And this is where I part company with Senator Obama in his much-discussed Sept. 30 missive.
In such circumstances, attacks on Pat Leahy, Russ Feingold and the other Democrats who, after careful consideration, voted for Roberts make no sense. Russ Feingold, the only Democrat to vote not only against war in Iraq but also against the Patriot Act, doesn't become complicit in the erosion of civil liberties simply because he chooses to abide by a deeply held and legitimate view that a President, having won a popular election, is entitled to some benefit of the doubt when it comes to judicial appointments. Like it or not, that view has pretty strong support in the Constitution's design.
While I take his point and agree, at least in theory, that the Office of President deserves the benefit of the doubt, this President does not. He has proven, repeatedly, that he puts personal interest and ambition before national concerns, and consequently, is no longer entitled to such a privilege. The good faith of the American public is not so elastic as to ignore, forgive or dismiss assault after bloody assault on its resilience. To expect otherwise goes to confirm that this administration is hopelessly out of touch with reality, and sociopathically alien to basic introspection.
I almost feel bad for Ms. Miers. She'll be dragged through the mud throughout the hearings, by the looks of it from both sides of the aisle, even. Then again, given her status in Bush's inner circle, I figure either she's arrogant enough to believe she'll come out all shiny & pretty or she's as tragically disconnected as her boss.
Maybe that makes her the worst kind of patsy -- the willing kind. Coming up on the end 0f her career, she figures, "What the hell? I'll take one for the team, since I owe it to li'l Sparky there."
Hardly the motivation I want under the robes of a Supreme Court Justice.
Harriet Miers Supreme Court SCOTUS nominee