Saturday, October 22


I've read or watched any number of weather forecasts on Hurricane Wilma this week -- it's predicted path, predicted speed, and predicted wind velocity. And, among the most grim of these reports, one meteorologist went so far as to forecast that Wilma would eventually stall over southern Florida and drop as much as 40 inches of rain -- a veritable reservoir-like storm system that would surpass in sheer volume of rain anything we here in Texas dramatically term a "gully-washer." Indeed, my wife and I recollect the 20 or so inches Tropical Storm Allison dumped on the greater Houston area in June, 2001, and it's incomprehensible that Wilma could double that volume (or that south Florida could withstand it).

But why do I mention George Will in the headline and open this post with a paragraph about Wilma? I'll tell you why. Because George Will, in this "Washington Post" column, dumps more buckets of unadulterated condescension on his readers in the space of five minutes than Wilma will ever hope to dump rain on hurricane-weary Florida, and that's whether it gallops across the Sunshine State in five hours or sits stationary atop it for five days.

Now understand two things: 1) I'm a George Will fan; and, 2) I think President Bush should withdraw his nominee to the SCOTUS, Harriet Miers, for the good of his presidency and the good of the Court. But having said that, I find Will's haughty disrespect of those who want to take a wait and see attitude, and give Ms. Miers her fair shake in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings and in an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate, insufferable. Talk about elitist. The entire column smacks of elitism.

Chew on this, as an example:

Such is the perfect perversity of the nomination of Harriet Miers that it discredits, and even degrades, all who toil at justifying it. Many of their justifications cannot be dignified as arguments. Of those that can be, some reveal a deficit of constitutional understanding commensurate with that which it is, unfortunately, reasonable to impute to Miers. Other arguments betray a gross misunderstanding of conservatism on the part of persons masquerading as its defenders.

Or here's another:

As Miers's confirmation hearings draw near, her advocates will make an argument that is always false but that they, especially, must make, considering the unusual nature of their nominee. The argument is that it is somehow inappropriate for senators to ask a nominee -- a nominee for a lifetime position making unappealable decisions of enormous social impact -- searching questions about specific Supreme Court decisions and the principles of constitutional law that these decisions have propelled into America's present and future.

And this devout lover of baseball continues up the baseball bat:

As for Republicans, any who vote for Miers will thereafter be ineligible to argue that it is important to elect Republicans because they are conscientious conservers of the judicial branch's invaluable dignity. Finally, any Republican senator who supinely acquiesces in President Bush's reckless abuse of presidential discretion -- or who does not recognize the Miers nomination as such -- can never be considered presidential material.

And that, as they say, is that. No one who supports Miers, or her right to be heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee, is left standing. Will has cleared the other team's dugout and is playing the game by himself.

He's not being pugnacious. He's waxing imperial and omniscient.