I have changed my mind about Harriet Miers. Last Thursday, I wrote in OpinionJournal's Political Diary that "while skepticism of Ms. Miers is justified, the time is fast approaching when such expressions should be muted until the Senate hearings begin. At that point, Ms. Miers will finally be able to speak for herself."
But that was before I interviewed more than a dozen of her friends and colleagues along with political players in Texas. I came away convinced that questions about Ms. Miers should be raised now--and loudly--because she has spent her entire life avoiding giving a clear picture of herself. "She is unrevealing to the point that it's an obsession," says one of her close colleagues at her law firm.
Fund gives numerous examples of Miers' unfaithfulness as a conservative. After detailing the notorious history of the "trust me" excuse used by Republican Presidents over the past 50 years which resulted in 7 liberal appointments to the Court, Fund notes that:
Ms. Miers's record is one of initially supporting a conservative position and then abandoning it. She started out backing a plan to redistrict the City Council that had received the endorsement of two-thirds of Dallas voters in a 1989 referendum. When it appeared that plan would lose a court case on account of its alleged effect on minority representation, she backed a plan for single-member districts supported by liberals. "I formally debated her on the issue," recalls Tom Pauken, a former chairman of the Texas Republican Party. "She was a liberal then. I don't know about today, but in the last week all the liberals who've been on the council have been singing her praises."....
After giving her effusive praise, her friends are a little nonplussed when asked if she is a conservative. "She is a person of great integrity," says Ms. Spaeth. "I have never had a political conversation with her." While many of the Bush judicial nominees she has helped shepherd to confirmation are affiliated with the Federalist Society, Ms. Miers herself has been ambivalent about the influential conservative legal group. In 1990, she almost anticipated how much of a lightning rod the group would become to the left. She testified in a court case that she would not join the society because "it's better not to be involved in organizations that seem to color your view one way or the other for people who are examining you."
I would read Frum's article just for the grim history of failed Republican appointments to the Court. You end up thinking "it's happening again." It's almost as if it's a curse or something. Given the history, it is unfathomable that defenders of the President think we owe him any trust on this issue. We certainly do not. The President has made his choice, but he must live with it. And so Miers should be defeated or withdrawn.