"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." Theodore Roosevelt
George W. Bush has just rung the death knell for his presidency. For the Supreme Court of the United States, a president under fire for cronyism has chosen the ultimate crony. For the highest court in the land, a president criticized for a lack of gravitas has chosen a woman whom the president's own former speechwriter describes as "a taut, nervous, anxious personality."
For one of the nine highest legal positions in the entire country, this president has ignored dozens of candidates with impeccable credentials -- top law school honors, judicial clerkships, distinguished careers in academia, lengthy experience arguing cases before the Supreme Court, superb records as federal judges -- and chosen somebody whose qualifications, on paper, are pretty good only for a lower judgeship, if she were 10 years younger.
But forget pure qualifications: The worst thing about this nomination, if you want a successful presidency, is that it will be a political disaster. Bush already is on the ropes in the opinion polls because his White House is seen as being out of touch (guitar-playing camera mugging after Hurricane Katrina will do that to you) and for its notorious fondness for inside baseball ("Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job").
Bush once described Miers as "a pit bull in size 6 shoes." It's worth remembering that many are the dog owners who rue the day they unleashed their favorite pit bulls.