Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Nanny Factor

Interesting choice, Bush. Not that I could claim to know the first thing about your Harriet Miers--and it seems I'm not the only one--but I'm concerned about the pattern that seems to be recurring. Listen, for all I know your Miers might turn out to be a truly great constitutional scholar and Supreme Court Justice. It doesn't exactly sound like it, at first sight, but I certainly hope she will. But greatness is not what immediately springs to mind in association with her name. "Efficient functionary" might do it better. Right-hand woman. I guess it's my own liberal idealist agenda, Bush, but I was rather hoping for evidence of a greater, more expansive, more imaginative intelligence for the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Something grander, more in keeping with the gravitas of the court itself.

Instead we get, well, what seems to be another Bush nanny. A woman you can trust to protect you--not unlike your Karen Hughes--and who knows your deepest thoughts. A stalwart. She has worked for you in trusted positions for God knows how many years, content to remain in the shadows, knowing, perhaps, that she has your ear--and you, hers. A person who takes care of you. A confidante.

And it's that closeness that bothers me. That sense that here you're grabbing onto yet another security blanket--much needed, I'm sure, at a moment when everything, even the weather seems to be conspiring against you. It's not quite the same as the cronyism we've all been complaining about. No, it's the nanny factor. I've always thought of you, as you know, as a fearful man, a never-quite-grown-up boy, and one who is, secretly, desperately out of his depth in that high office to which a mix of charm, and privilege, and the expectations of others have promoted him. But here was another opportunity to find your own inner wisdom, to reach for greatness, to express a vision. And you let it slip.

Anyway, for me it's more mundane stuff today. Back to the sorting, back to the packing... So have a good day, Bush. Knock 'em dead. On second thoughts, that's not the best metaphor in our current circumstances. Better keep 'em alive!

3 comments:

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David said...

Peter, it looks like W's stacking the deck for the next close election, just in case. And I think it's no accident that he picked someone with no judicial record. I'm sure he knows exactly how she stands on his key issues, and there's no paper trail for anyone to check during the confirmation process. Whatever damage she does as Supreme Court Justice will be the only record, and by then it will be too late to stop her.