The Spectacle Blog
The press, the Beltway, and National Enquirer will want to know the nature of the relationship between Harriet Miers and Nathan Hecht. But the L.A. Times will publish it? They're good friends. Leave it at that in print and gossip amongst yourselves over drinks at the Mayflower bar. Still, Hecht would seem to be fanning the flames with quotes like, "We are not dating. We are not seeing each other romantically. Not currently." Red meat for the dogs.
Mitt Romney's use of a 1913 Massachusetts law barring gay couples from other states obtaining marriage licenses is threatened by a lawsuit in the Supreme Judicial Court. Remember the left's newfound affection for federalism as gay marriage heated up last year? As predicted, one state voiding the contracts of another could not stand for very long -- seizing upon one aspect of federalism destroys the overall quality of constitutional federalism. Of course, this isn't a new fangled argument, but merely Article IV.
I'd been asking this question lately, but admittedly was too lazy to look into it. Thankfully, the New York Times did my legwork over the weekend: "But scientists say that although the threat from the current avian flu virus is real, it is probably not immediate." Not to discount completely the risk, fears, and preparations, but that's hardly scientifically rigorous, is it? Just about any possible catastrophe would qualify.
So George Will, the arbiter of all things conservative, has weighed in on Rep. Tom Tancredo and, through him, the immigration issue looming over the Republican Party. So how does Will treat immigration and Tancredo seriously? He implies that the immigrant's grandson is a hypocrite and treats him as the loose cannon of the party. But the kicker, the real smear, the final sentence shows all of Will's cards: "So Republicans may have found their Al Sharpton, a candidate who simply has no interest in being decorous."
Excuse me? If Tancredo's the Republican Party's Al Sharpton, who's his Tawana Brawley? Will could have chosen many other undiplomatic Democrats (Howard Dean comes to mind), yet he chose Sharpton. George Will's not ignorant of Sharpton's racist past. Instead of having the gall to smear Tancredo openly, he slips it in at the buzzer. How lame.
David Brooks, the designated conservative on both the New York Times op-ed page and the PBS NewsHour, knows which way the wind blows. "After a while you get sick of the DeLays of the right and the Deans of the left," he wrote in the Times on Sunday. Unlike other conservative commentators who have been busy repositioning themselves -- Bill Kristol, George Will, Charles Krauthammer -- Brooks did not mention Harriet Miers, although he did cite Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Alexander Hamilton. When he turns away from the "push and shove of today's weary political titans" and gets "back to basics," Brooks said, he finds himself "invigorated."
And that's fine; and that's also how you get to be a designated conservative: You take the high ground. In this case it was clearly marked: between DeLay and Dean. The high ground is usually not that easy to define; but its distinguishing quality is that to stand there you must join hands with liberals.
In keeping with Wlady's good example, and because nobody watches MSNBC any more, it's my duty to report Judge Robert Bork's take on Harriet Miers.
Asked his opinion of the Miers nom, Bork replied, "I think it's a disaster on every level." Why? Bork said,"...this is a woman who's undoubtedly as wonderful a person as they say she is, but so far as anyone can tell she has no experience with constitutional law whatever. Now it's a little late to develop a constitutional philosophy or begin to work it out when you're on the court already. So that -- I'm afraid she's likely to be influenced by factors, such as personal sympathies and so forth, that she shouldn't be influenced by. I don't expect that she can be, as the president says, a great justice."
Because you would otherwise have to pay to access Maureen Dowd's New York Times' column, I am happy to do the altruistic thing and give you a Mo Snippet of the Day. Today, in "The Trouble With Harry," she hisses at the right for its opposition to the inadequate Harriet Miers, whose selection by President Bush has given liberals a new lease on life.
"Those on the left are perfectly happy to look away from mediocrity," she writes, "because they were spared the lesser of two evils, because they were spared the nightmare of a reactionary maniac."
Oh, what's the deal with Harriet as "Harry"? Earlier Dowd discovered Miers' friends often call her that. There was a time when feminists like Mo loved it when independent women were known by men's names, as for example the vengeful "Alex" in Fatal Attraction. So who's more dangerous? A progressive maniac like, say, "Alex," or a reactionary maniac like, say, Michael Luttig?
Of course, it's not out of the question that Dowd intends her cheap bites to serve as examples of her droll humor. If so, by her standards, in her final paragraph today, she is absolutely giddy:
Russ Potts, the sometimes Republican, always bombastic independent candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial race, really cracked up this week. When Larry Sabato wouldn't admit him to Sunday night's televised debate because he hadn't reached a 15% threshold in any poll, he sued. That's a sure sign of a good sport.