Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bush jumps the shark

Is there any doubt left that with the Harriet Miers nomination, the Bush Administration has finally jumped the shark?

This whole debacle has reinforced every major criticism opponents of Bush have made over the past 5 years: cronyism, ineptitude, lack of planning, not taking governance seriously, refusal to admit a mistake in the face of overwhelming evidence, and a plain old lack of intelligence.

An article in today's LA Times (which I have delivered on the weekends since it's cheap and I have time to at least skim a paper on the weekends) pretty much sealed the deal that this nomination is an outright disaster and jump the shark moment. Here are the first five paragraphs, which almost made my head explode:

WASHINGTON — Asked to describe the constitutional issues she had worked on during her legal career, Supreme Court nominee Harriet E. Miers had relatively little to say on the questionnaire she sent to the Senate this week.

And what she did say left many constitutional experts shaking their heads.

At one point, Miers described her service on the Dallas City Council in 1989. When the city was sued on allegations that it violated the Voting Rights Act, she said, "the council had to be sure to comply with the proportional representation requirement of the Equal Protection Clause."

But the Supreme Court repeatedly has said the Constitution's guarantee of "equal protection of the laws" does not mean that city councils or state legislatures must have the same proportion of blacks, Latinos and Asians as the voting population.

"That's a terrible answer. There is no proportional representation requirement under the equal protection clause," said New York University law professor Burt Neuborne, a voting rights expert. "If a first-year law student wrote that and submitted it in class, I would send it back and say it was unacceptable."

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