While George W. Bush is currently a “lame duck” as he waits for his last term as President to close, it is obvious he wields less power than originally thought. The nomination of Harriet Miers showed me that.
The response to Harriet Miers was almost unanimously against her. I don’t think that it was necessarily because she didn’t have any experience “on the bench” because some past candidates were in the same boat…..and some of those went on to become collectively considered good choices. Part of what did Harriet Miers in was that Bush presented attendance to a conservative church and that she was “good people” as main qualifications. Essentially, a “trust me” wink and nudge to have Miers presented with the position of Supreme Court Justice. Another thing that I think may have had an influence was that her time as White House Counsel, several years worth of legal issues, was not made available to the public. Her most recent experience was hidden from review. To be honest, I am glad to see such opposition form against Bush’s choice here. I am glad that even the Religious Right and ultra conservative element balked at making the church attendance imply that she was right for the job. The anger from the conservatives that bashed Bush for his choice made me realize that they don’t really consider him to be their leader. A figurehead who should just be passing along their decisions, and not try to think for himself.
Bush not taking the time to present a serious candidate bothers me somewhat. However, it also bothers me that some Democrats seemed to half-heartily support her, simply because she wasn’t conservative. That also strikes me as lame. Here is the opportunity to put someone in one of the most influential position in our government, but it isn’t a strong candidate. I think the conservatives also freaked out that the opportunity to get someone on their legislative side was nearly squandered by this nomination. From what I understand, they have been waiting decades for the opportunity to do so. Especially with the Ronald Reagan appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor, supported by conservatives but turned out to be way more moderate than most of them probably liked.
Anyway, the picture above seems to capture the doe-eyed eagerness that Bush has to try to rally as much support as possible. With record low approval ratings, 39% if I remember correctly; he will probably try to get anyone on board at this point.
He probably won’t have the chance to stand in front of a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED sign again. In fact, that will probably haunt him much like his father’s legacy of READ MY LIPS, NO NEW TAXES.