Poor Sen. Cornyn (R-TX): He had the duty this week to pen a Wall St. Journal op-ed arguing for Harriet Mierss appointment to the Supreme Court. Forget Charles Krauthammer, forget George Will, forget Bill Kristol and all the other "must read" op-eds against Miers. Just read Cornyns argument for Texas favorite daughter to know why this nomination is a blunder. Setting aside the straw-men arguments he knocks down, his reasons in favor of her appointment contain their own refutation. They can be summed up as follows: Miers deserves to be a S Ct justice precisely because the nomination was so un-expected, so counter-intuitive, so un-[fill in the blank].
The short response to all of this un-reasoning is the simple fact that President Bush never made any of Cornyns arguments when he discussed the qualities of potential candidates for the Court. Now for the long response: When did Bush praise the lack of "judicial experience" as refreshing for the high court? When did he extol being a "legal practitioner" as an "asset" for the Supremes? When did Bush say he couldnt wait to appoint men and women who had spent their careers "representing real people in courtrooms across America"? How often did Bush highlight "the burdens of modern litigation," "frivolous lawsuits," and "tort reform" as pressing concerns in his consideration of whom to appoint to the federal bench? Can anyone recall when Bush remarked even casually that he would jump at the chance to appoint someone who knew not "the Beltway"?
Folks like Cornyn argue that we should not "rush to judgment" simply because we dont know Miers. But Bush has told us repeatedly the kind of judges he wanted on the Court. And so the American people had every reason to expect a certain kind of judge be nominated. Two names come to mind; need I say more?
Its been said that you dont really know what your expectations are until they are disappointed. Up till now, pundits have noted how often Bush has exceeded expectations on a number of political issues. But with this nomination, having vetted numerous qualified candidates for the gig of a lifetime, the president has disappointed expectations of his own making.