The Spectacle Blog

Not a Trailblazer But a Conformist

By on 10.13.05 | 1:01PM

The White House has tried to argue that Harriet Miers is a trailblazing nonconformist. But her shunning of the Federalist Society illustrates that she made sure to restrict her trailwalking to well-worn mainstream paths. Heavy involvement in the ABA, which is basically an arm of the Democratic Party? That's okay, she figured. But the Federalist Society? Oh no, that's the kiss of death. Why should anyone think Miers would stick her neck out on the Supreme Court? She's never done so before. Her instincts are conformist. The idea that a nominee who considered mere membership in the Federalist Society to be outré would overturn Roe v. Wade and decades of liberal jurisprudence is a joke.

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Dobson, Rove, Miers, Whatever

By on 10.13.05 | 12:57PM

Drudge is now reporting that Miers, testifying in a lawsuit fifteen years ago, professed her membership in something called the "Democratic Progressive Voters League" but eschewed membership in horrids such as the Federalist Society. She apparently didn't like the way Federalist Society membership -- which she characterized as "politically-charged" -- might be seen to color her views. At the same time, she said she didn't think the NAACP was a political organization. (And, to be fair, fifteen years ago they weren't as far out in deep left field as they are today.) But what the devil is the "DVPL"?

Meanwhile, the White House has confirmed that Karl Rove did speak to James Dobson about the Miers nomination (without, I believe, confirming all the details we looked at yesterday). This second issue is much more important than the first. All the concerns about what was told to Dobson by Rove, especially about her "judicial philosophy," are going to fuel a large fire in the Judiciary Committee.

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Privatize It

By on 10.13.05 | 12:48PM

Great news if you support smaller government, better service, and free enterprise: Amtrak is one step closer to privatizing the Northeast Corridor. Now if we could only stop individual Congressmen and Senators from mandating that the rest of the country subsidize stops on low traffic routes.

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Re: Harriet Prose

By on 10.13.05 | 12:07PM

Wlady, I was taught early on that great things can be achieved by writing succinctly.

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Re: Harriet Prose

By on 10.13.05 | 12:03PM

You'll also like, Wlady, the can-do, upbeat attitude in her letters to Bush. She also makes effective use of the exclamation point: "Cool!" and "You and Laura are the greatest!"

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Harriet Prose

By on 10.13.05 | 11:55AM

Okay, Dave, Edna Ferber she's not. But have you ever seen a finer use of the passive voice than in this excerpt, quoted by Brooks? "When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on the issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved."

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To CJ and Dave

By on 10.13.05 | 11:01AM

CJ: It goes without saying Scioscia reacted as he did. He's already focused on the next game. Somehow or other the huge injustice will end up a motivator. But I must disagree with Kruk's ex-post-facto remark, Dave. Baseball runs on its routines. If players were constantly having to worry what call an ump might concoct next, they'd never get the ball out of their glove or bat off their shoulder.

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‘Republicanism on Stilts’

By on 10.13.05 | 10:54AM

If the New York Times op-ed page were publicly available (for free, that is), their columnists might actually have an impact now and then. David Brooks takes a good, hard look at Harriet Miers' columns as head of the Texas Bar Association and finds very little to recommend her thinking and writing:

I don't know if by mere quotation I can fully convey the relentless march of vapid abstractions that mark Miers's prose. Nearly every idea is vague and depersonalized. Nearly every debatable point is elided. It's not that Miers didn't attempt to tackle interesting subjects. She wrote about unequal access to the justice system, about the underrepresentation of minorities in the law and about whether pro bono work should be mandatory. But she presents no arguments or ideas, except the repetition of the bromide that bad things can be eliminated if people of good will come together to eliminate bad things.

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Back to Baseball for Just a Moment, Please

By on 10.13.05 | 10:41AM

Wlady….did you notice how California Angels Manager Mike Scioscia -- previously referred to here by our mischevious Prowler as "classless" -- comported himself during and after the outright and outrageous 9th inning robbery last evening? The word "classy" comes to mind. Just saying.

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Musings From Algore

By on 10.13.05 | 10:40AM

I admit it. I miss Al. Has any single American politician ever had a more developed ability to both amuse and bore an audience simultaneously? Thank God the press caught his Stockholm gig.

Uncle Al's latest rant included a riff on "How America would be different if I had been elected..."

The media reported his remarks that we would not "routinely be torturing people." Unfortunately, they missed his silent musings which were later revealed in the thought bubble above his head.

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