Opposite day

News & Politics

The big question about Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court is this: who is willing to really get down and dirty and fight? As usual, the answer is the evangelical conservatives, some of whom are determined to have her name withdrawn.

Fat chance. This is W. we're talking out here. He doesn't withdraw.

But just because there's a conservative outcry, should progressives be celebrating? Sorry, but definitely not. The consequences for this nomination are monumental. Ms. Miers is up for the "swing vote" seat on the court, and as Forbes points out, we're looking at a seriously conservative turn at the Supreme Court. Another religious conservative on the court could affect everything from whether people are tortured in America's name; whether the rights of corporations will completely overrule those of individuals, whether there will be a roll back in most of the civil rights advancements of the last forty years,and, of course, the fate of reproductive rights.

It's true that, given this President and this Congress, the chances of another religous conservative are high. If Miers' name is withdrawn, the thinking goes, won't we end up with someone even worse? Do the Democrats really have enough muscle or spine (or anything really in the middle) to stop a Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown? After all, Miers gave money to Al Gore's 1988 presidential campaign, launched a women's-studies lecture series at her alma mater, and likes chocolate. How bad could she be?

Bad, for sure. How bad, we have no idea.

Bush says it comes down to a matter of trust. On the one hand, he trusts her and I don't trust him as far as I could throw him (though I'd like to see how far I could throw him.) On the other hand, Bush has notoriously bad judgement, so if he thinks she won't change, maybe she will.

If progressives are basing their support for Miers on the hope that she'll dramatically change, that's slim pickings indeed. I don't see any cause for celebration anytime soon.

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