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."
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