Bush Nominees: "No Crony Left Behind"

I admit, when it comes to the Jefferson-Hamilton feud, I am a Jeffersonian through and through. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate the Federalist Papers. As it happens, Federalist 76 is mighty popular right now among the blogs discussing the cronyism aspect of the Harriet Miers nomination. Alexander Hamilton, the author of Federalist 76, warned against the nomination of those "who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which [the president] particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him."

The Legal Theory Blog also makes note of this key distinction in this post, in between two other meaty Miers-related posts.

Olasky, a blogger at the World Views Christian news and opinion site, went off the record with a conservative Christian lawyer who worked with Miers. He quoted the lawyer as saying, "I never heard her take a position on anything... We'll have another Sandra Day O'Connor... Harriet worships the president and has called him the smartest man she's known. She's a pretty good lawyer.... This president can be bamboozled by anyone he feels close to. If a person fawns on him enough, is loyal, works 25 hours a day and says you're the smartest man I ever met, all of a sudden you're right for the Supreme Court."

Michael E. Levine floats an interesting theory in answering the question "Why are Bush's nominees so moderate?"

Putting aside the questions about the question -- are we really able to say just yet that either Roberts or Miers is moderate? -- Levine says Bush has two goals in mind:

1) Avoiding another Souter -- that is, he'll only nominate someone he knows rather than taking someone else's word about what that person is.

2) Playing to the gang of 14 Republican senators that headed off the "nuclear option" of disallowing filibusters several months ago.

Gene Robinson also figures there could be one of two rationales for the president's pick. The first is that Bush was trying to avoid a fight, knowing his approval ratings are low enough already. But Robinson points out the flaw in that theory -- it would mean that "obviously the president just doesn't understand the need to dispel the odor of rampant cronyism -- the whole 'Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job' thing." So it is likely, Robinson writes, that Bush was feeling omnipotent and figured even if his nomination of Miers triggered a fight, ultimately it was a fight he'd win.

Robinson adds that whatever the outcome, it probably won't have a profound impact on American jurisprudence for generations to come. Colby King agrees: "to all who regard Miers's possible elevation to the Supreme Court as a dramatic and irreversible change in the country's direction, I humbly offer this thought: Chill."

And then there's this from David Letterman: "It's all part of the president's policy -- No Crony Left Behind."

By Emily Messner |  October 11, 2005; 3:40 PM ET  | Category:  Beltway Perspectives
Previous: The Miers-Roberts Double Standard | Next: No Guarantees on Miers's Confirmation


Please email us to report offensive comments.

"Harriet worships the president and has called him the smartest man she's known".

Here's your evidence. She's clearly delusional.


Posted by: Derek | October 11, 2005 03:49 PM

This just in:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Agency) - President George W. Bush today announced his replacement for Thad Allen as director of the relief and reconstruction effort in the Gulf Coast region hit by Hurricane Katrina in September.

In a press conference held at a Mississippi Home Depot, where Bush was buying supplies to help rebuild Trent Lott's porch, he announced that Rosa Hernandez, the White House maid and housekeeper, would assume the key hurricane recovery role.

"Rosa cleans up real well," said Bush. "The way she picks up after Laura, me and Barney tells me that she'll clean up the Gulf Coast like no one has cleaned up a coast before - and the clean folds she leaves on my duvet just shows that these states will soon be the tidiest in America."

Both Republicans and Democrats alike immediately attacked the President's decision, questioning the qualifications of Ms. Hernandez to take on this position.

In response to this criticism, Bush told reporters that "I've looked into her heart, and I know that she is a good Christian; America has just got to put the same trust in me that I put into her to dust my Andover cheerleading bullhorn every day."

An Air Force C-130 arrived in Biloxi today with a cargo of vaccuums, rags, Windex and feather dusters, in preparation for Ms. Hernandez starting work on the Gulf Coast.

Posted by: Agency | October 11, 2005 04:44 PM

is that supposed to be funny?

it was not funny.

so, are you going to have a proper countdown to the 28th, or what?

Posted by: heap | October 11, 2005 04:47 PM

was that supposed to be smart?

it was not smart.

so, are you going to capitalize any letters in your sentences, or what?

Posted by: Derek | October 11, 2005 04:53 PM

bad jokes, and a troll - you rule!

Posted by: heap | October 11, 2005 04:54 PM

If Bush is the smartest man Harriet Miers ever met . . . . oh no, Mr. Bill.

Posted by: Linda | October 11, 2005 05:12 PM

people don't understand that bush is a true zen master. he has emptied his mind and achieved nirvana on earth. I think steely dan wrote a song about him once...

Posted by: heap | October 11, 2005 05:41 PM

Above I read "we have another Sandra Day O'Conner" Tell me,what was wrong with O'Conner? And as far as Bush being the smartest man Meirs ever met she had to be saying that to gain an "in" with him.NO BODY IN THEIR RIGHT MINDS could possibly say that and mean it.

Posted by: busyhands | October 12, 2005 01:58 AM

Mr. Bush is certainly a smart man pretending to be ignorant. This above all things makes our Mr. President a very dangerous man who may escape many serious
torts--including war crime proceedings. Mr. Lettermans's thoughts reek with wonder: 'No crony left behind' is a smart mans way to buffer himself against an inimical world.

Posted by: auster | October 12, 2005 07:40 AM

auster, you are absolutely right.

Posted by: Tiffany | October 12, 2005 11:48 AM

Being from Texas and having seen W for more than a decade in public life; he is neither smart nor reflective. He is at once ignorant and arrogant and THAT is what makes him so dangerous.

Posted by: wornout in Texas | October 12, 2005 03:41 PM

I think Bush is much more reflective than when he first ran for president, he public performances have gone from C- to a solid B. But I think that the Miers nomination represents the beginning of the end game of the Bush predidency. At the moment, he is more interested in holding things together and paying back a few of the people who sacrificed for him. His policy agenda only has a few "last throes" left. Now he needs to make sure his friends get titles and pensions and experience to help them should the next president be a republican too. In just a little more than 2 years, he gets to join the ex-presidents's club and rise above the fray. For now, it is taking care of personal business.

Of course, the real excitment will come when he does the end-of-term pardons. That'll be great. I bet the list has already been started: Karl Rove, Ken Lay, Martha Stewart, Carman Santiago . . .

Posted by: Blinkermann | October 12, 2005 06:05 PM

BTW Auster . . . double bonus points for vocabualry, though generally it is inappropriate to use a word like "inimical" in a discussion about Bush unless you immediately paraphrase, as in " . . . inimical world -- that means a world that is hateful, bad."

Posted by: Blinkermann | October 12, 2005 06:12 PM

Jennifer Moses writes in "Losing Hope in Louisiana" (Post, October 12) that "the federal government, having apparently lost its ability to govern, has gladly allowed private organizations, and especially the churches, to shoulder most of the burden of care, granting Jesus the primary responsibility for clothing the naked and feeding the hungry."

Reading the Column I get the impression that the whole debate on Miers has achieved one thing: diverting the attention of the nation from the sorry plight of hurricane-ravaged Louisiana's hoi polloi who have been left to fend for themselves (with some help from Jesus, of course), while trying to convince the nation that the Supreme Court is safe in the hands of evangelical, God-fearing, Bush-obeying, crony Miers. Whom shall we give credit for this grotesque spin: Gonzales or Rove?

Posted by: GMajor | October 12, 2005 08:37 PM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.