David Frum On Harriet Miers

Here are some key quotes from the latest David Frum column about Harriet Miers. As you read Frum’s devastating comments, keep in mind that he used to work with Miers:

“So if I don’t dislike Miers and want the president to succeed, why am I speaking out? Aside from all the substantial reasons I have cited to date, I am speaking out because there are so many others who want to speak but cannot. I have spent many hours of the past three days listening to conservative jurists on this topic – people who have devoted their lives to fighting battles for constitutionalism, for tort reform, for color-blind justice, people who fought the good fight to get Bork, Scalia, Thomas, and now Roberts onto the high Court.

Their reaction to the nomination has been almost perfectly unanimous: Disappointment at best, dismay and anger at worst. Here’s the tough truth, and it will become more and more important as the debate continues: There is scarcely a single knowledgeable legal conservative in Washington who supports this nomination. There are many who are prepared to accept, reluctantly, as the president’s choice. Some still hope that maybe it won’t turn out as bad as it looks. But ask them: “Well what if the president had consulted you on this choice,” and the answer is almost always some version of: “I would have thought he was joking.”

“Inside the White House, Miers was best known, not as a conservative, not as a legal thinker, but as a petty bureaucrat.”

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“Some NRO readers have challenged me: Why should we trust you when you say that Miers is not qualified rather than trust the president when he says she is?

My answer is: Don’t trust me. Trust your own eyes. The woman is 61 years old, a lawyer for more than three decades. Can you see any instance in this long life and career where Miers ever took a risk on behalf of conservative principle? Can you see any indication of intellectual excellence? Did she ever do anything brave, anything that took backbone? Did anyone before this week ever describe her as oustanding in any way at all?

If the answers to these questions is No, as it is, then you have to ask yourself: Why is a Republican president bypassing so many dozens of superb legal conservatives to choose Harriet Miers for the highest court in the land?”

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