After speaking with my chief political consultant (my old man) I realized that I needed to qualify my disappointment in her appointment. I am not critical of Miers as a potential Justice, I am upset that an opportunity was missed to publicly debate things like abortion. I think that an appointment of someone who has publicly expressed disagreement with Roe v. Wade or even made rulings against Roe would instigate a debate about this decision cum Constitutional Amendment. For the most part, appointing Miers avoids this debate.
However, I understand that the War on Terror and crises resulting from Rita and Katrina probably cause President Bush to want to avoid yet another battle. After long experience with Ms. Miers he trusts her implicitly. President Bush has been applauded for great appointments to lower courts and many of the recommendations on potential candidates for these appointments have come from a group led by Miers. If she is partially responsible for recommendations like John Roberts and others we can conclude that she is a like-minded individual (read: conservative & constructionist).
Another point that merits mention: she was the first female partner and eventual President of one of the most prestigious law firms in Texas. I was reminded and instructed (again, thanks dad) that things were not then, (20-30 years ago) what they are now. In other words, opportunities for women were not as prevalent, or in any way the norm. In a profession and a state that lend themselves to being the ultimate “boys club,” her accomplishments there should not be overlooked. How good must she be to have overcome the obvious gender hurdles in Texas circa 1970? My guess–good.
Accusations of “cronyism” are hardly worth noting. Simple association with President Bush should not disqualify (or qualify, for that matter) anyone for any position. One President historically noted for his supposed “cronyism” was Harry Truman. My reading of his David McCullough biography shows that many of his closest associates who became his appointment were also some of the best. Granted, there are always exceptions. Those that end up being bad appointments are bad because of their own ethical problems or incompetence–not because of their association with the President.