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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 10, 2005 / 7 Tishrei, 5766

Hyperventilating Over Harriet

By James Lileks


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The wailing! The gnashing! The rending of garments! If the conservative reaction to Harriet Miers is any indication, George W. Bush has no chance of winning a third term.

The decision to appoint a relative unknown — or, given her proximity to the Bush inner circle, an unknown relative — has caused many on the right to open a vein and let the despair flow out into the warm bath of misery, disappointment and overextended metaphors. Why didn't Bush clone Antonin Scalia in a dish and appoint him? Here, use some stem cells if you have to. Anyone but another David Souter!

That's the great fear on the right: Souterism. A mild-mannered cipher appointed by a Bush who dons the black robe and promptly starts to eat babies. Souter! How many times have you opened the door at Halloween and seen his face on a child's mask? How many times have you waited in the doctor's office, clammy with dread, waiting for him to slap the X-rays up on the wall and point to a grayish Souter-shaped mass?

Miers could turn out to be the conservative's worst nightmare. She could regard the Constitution as a living document, still in its first trimester. She could, at this very moment, be in the attic assembling the shortwave she got while a member of the Resistance in Texas, dialing in Steinem One to report total success, repeat total success.

Or not.

Keep one thing in mind: Souter was nominated by Bush 41, who stood for genial, ideologically indifferent governance by the Establishment. Bush 43, we're constantly told by his opponents, is so besotted by neocon ideology that he cannot blow his nose without calling Paul Wolfowitz and asking if it's OK to touch his left nostril. He would nominate a squishy cipher? Maybe. Let's look at the reasons:

1. E-Z no-sweat confirmation. Everyone's still resting up from those brutal Roberts hearings, right? There still must be a quart of Chuck Schumer's blood on the walls. Perhaps the administration feared a controversial nomination would trigger the nuclear option and force the GOP to act like it has the majority, something it regards as a dirty secret best not aired in public.

There will be attacks, but they'll be mild. Usually criticism of a professional woman would tar the critic as a gynophobic sexist, but in the case of conservative women you can attack all you like, because conservative women have to give up their uteruses to join the party. Totally true, dude. There's this big ritual in front of a giant owl and everything.

2. Because Bush was weakened by Katrina. By this logic, the failure of the administration to prevent nonexistent murders in the Superdome means he must nominate someone who's pro-choice. If the storm had veered 10 miles to the west, he would have been permitted to nominate someone pro-choice who disapproved of partial-birth abortion unless the life of the mother was endangered.

3. Because Bush isn't really conservative, his positions on immigration, spending and campaign-finance laws notwithstanding. Or perhaps Miers is not squishy. Perhaps Bush knows and trusts her to reflect his philosophy, and thinks this is the right choice despite what the headlines of the day happen to say. A wildly implausible idea! But it could be true.

It shouldn't bother anyone that she gave money to Al Gore's campaign. As Dianne Feinstein reminded us, compassion and pity are just the qualities we want in a jurist.

And it shouldn't bother the administration that hard-core conservative pundits aren't happy. They're never happy nowadays.

These were the people who caught a whiff of Souterism in John Roberts' nomination, and wouldn't be happy unless a nominee announced his intention to back Souter into a corner in the cloakroom and give him a turbo-wedgie every day. Yes, the base would be happier if the Republicans acted like a party that had won all the elections, and pursued its agenda as unapologetically and brazenly as some accuse them of doing. But what does one expect? The operative word in that sentence is "Republicans," the party that dares not speak its own name.

If it's pronounced Conservative, that is.

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JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, James Lileks

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