Joining her husband in defense of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, Laura Bush today called her a "role model for young women around the country" and suggested that sexism was a "possible" reason for the heavy criticism of the nomination.
"I know Harriet well," the first lady said. "I know how accomplished she is. I know how many times she's broken the glass ceiling. . . . She's very deliberate and thoughtful and will bring dignity to wherever she goes, certainly the Supreme Court."
But dignity is one thing that will not attach to a nominee relying so heavily on her gender. Again, folks, this is what I thought I had voted against in the last election. As Matthew Franck says at NRO's Bench Memos:
I've posted about this before, but it bears repeating: If Ms. Harriet Miers were instead Mr. Harry Miers, former managing partner of a large Dallas law firm, former head of the Texas Lottery, former president of the Texas Bar, former staff secretary and deputy chief of staff to the president, and current White House counsel — in short, if all the facts we now have about Miers were exactly the same but she were a he — the crescendo of criticism from all quarters would be deafening. A male nominee, otherwise identical to Miers, would probably have been withdrawn already by now. More to the point, he probably wouldn't have been nominated in the first place.
The president, in his first campaign, referred memorably to affirmative action as the "soft bigotry of low expectations." It is more than possible, it is probable, that the president, his administration, and their enlistees in the public debate over Harriet Miers are guilty themselves of precisely this form of bigotry.
When Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) (I mean, really, really D) talks about opposition to Miers as sexism, I am reminded why I left the Democratic party. Does the Bush Administration want me to leave the GOP too?
Get with the program, people. More than half of the students in law school are women. Women in law can advance as far as they want to. The last time talk of sexism and glass ceilings was kind of interesting was about 20 minutes in the 1970s.
Memory-Hole Update: The Post has erased or moved the original story to which this item was linked. As of 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, it now points to a story in the Wednesday edition. This story may, or may not, be an extended version of the original online file, or a new story entirely. I noticed this when Dafydd at Big Lizards posted an item saying Laura Bush didn't say what these stories said she said. I think he's wrong, but check out his rundown and decide for yourself.