Harriet Miers And The “Bos-Wash Axis of Elitism” Hogwash

One of the most insulting, obnoxious, and “Maureen Dowdishly” silly memes that has sprung up since the Harriet Miers debacle began is that opposition to her nomination is based on elitist snobbery, out-of-touch beltway conservatism, and membership in something called a “Bos-Wash Axis of Elitism” that to the best of my knowledge was heretofore unknown to humanity until the last week or so.

While there have been a few people in the anti-Miers camp who have made a point of noting that Harriet Miers didn’t go to a particularly distinguished law school, none of them, even Ann Coulter who talked about the issue extensively in one of her columns, has treated the fact that Harriet Miers didn’t go to an Ivy League school as a primary reason to oppose her nomination. Nor should they.

Instead, opponents of the Miers nomination, myself included, have noted that:

— Harriet Miers would not have had the slightest chance of being tapped for a Supreme Court appointment had she not been friends with the President. On the basis of cronyism alone, Miers should be voted down 100-0 in the Senate.

— Ms. Miers has led an accomplished life. However, compared to the “A-List” candidates for the Supreme Court, her qualifications for the job are embarrassingly sparse.

— We have no objective proof whatsoever that Harriet Miers believes in originalism.

— Because of Ms. Miers’ almost non-existent track record on questions of Constitutional law, we have little significant evidence to support the contention that Miers will strictly interpret the Constitution beyond the President saying, “Trust me.” After previous Republican Presidents have given us John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and David Souter, “Trust me,” just isn’t good enough.

— Moreover, the preponderance of the available evidence seems to suggest that aside from her pro-life position, Harriet Miers is a moderate or perhaps even a left-leaning moderate, not a conservative. In other words, the chances that she’ll turn out to be another O’Connor or even another Souter in the long run, are inordinately high.

— To top it all off, Harriet Miers will have to recuse herself from some crucial war on terror related cases because she worked on those issues as the counsel to the President.

Put it all together and you have a very strong and substantial case to be made, from the right, against the Miers nomination.

Of course, just because it’s a strong and substantial case, doesn’t mean everyone on the right will agree with it. There are also plenty of bright, competent, well meaning conservatives who support the Harriet Miers nomination. While I don’t agree with them, they are, just like those of us who oppose Miers, taking an honorable position and it should be treated as such.

That being said, conservatives who have opposed the Miers nomination should not be slurred as Brie eating, elitist eggheads who have turned up their nose at Harriet Miers because she didn’t go to Yale and doesn’t know how to play Polo.

Consider some of the people that have opposed or at least heavily criticized the Miers nomination:

Gary Bauer, Robert Bork, Pat Buchanan, Mona Charen, Ann Coulter, John Fund, David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, Michael Graham, Bill Kristol, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer, Rich Lowry, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, Manuel Miranda, Peggy Noonan, John Podhoretz, & George Will among many others.

Now, they’re all snobs, they’re all bad people? Gee, most conservatives didn’t seem to think they were bad people BEFORE they opposed the Miers nomination…well, OK, you got me on Buchanan. Still, if all of these prominent conservatives who’ve hopped into the trenches for the GOP so many times before are saying, “There’s something terribly wrong here,” it should set off alarm bells on the right instead of prompting some Miers defenders to disdainfully assume that her detractors on the right have ulterior motives.

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