To date, I have seen many reasons to oppose the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, a few reasons to be neutral, and only three to support her. The first of those is that she keeps M&Ms on her desk. The second, is that she is easy to draw for editorial cartoonists. The third, is that Robert Bork hates her. As much as I like M&Ms and cartoons, annoying Robert Bork is the most important to me.
Bork is more than a man with a chin that resembles a kindly old Amish father and an incisive legal mind that resembles that of Tomas de Tourquemada. For old liberals like me, Robert Bork hold a special place in the darkest part of our hearts. Long before Ronald Reagan decided Bork was just the kind of man we neded on the Supreme Court, Bork was the Nixon lackey who carried out the The "Saturday night massacre" of October 20, 1973 when Nixon decided to fire the Watergate special prosecutor who was asking the wrong questions.
When Bork failed to get a seat on the Supreme Court, he became a martyr to the radical right. While they want to redeem his memory by putting someone in his mold on the bench, people like me want to continue to punish him by keeping anyone like him off the bench. It's not just meanness and the memory of Watergate that make us feel this way; Bork's legal philosophy is genuinely dangerous. Bork is a strong defender of the idea that there is no right of privacy--not just as a code word for abortion, he is against the idea of privacy at all. Bork, frankly, is an anti-democratic zealot.
This brings me back to Bork. He really hates Miers.
With a single stroke--the nomination of Harriet Miers--the president has damaged the prospects for reform of a left-leaning and imperialistic Supreme Court, taken the heart out of a rising generation of constitutional scholars, and widened the fissures within the conservative movement. That's not a bad day's work--for liberals.
Wow. The very act of nominating Miers makes Bush a liberal. How can I resist that? It's almost too good to be true. Is it a trap? No, Bork is too splenetic to be coy. He says what he means, says it loudly, and thinks he was very clever saying it. Bork really does think Miers is a betrayal of the revolution. Does that mean we should support her? Of course not. I still think that there are many reasons to oppose her nomination.
As far as strategy is concerned, I think Democrats and liberals should sit back, make some popcorn, and let the radical conservatives savage the Republican Party. There will be plenty of time to oppose her later.