Horace Cooper

Former President Harry Truman once said, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog." Harriet Miers is finding there's a lot of truth to this axiom. Acting more like reality TV contestants waiting to vote their competition off the island than the professional opinion givers they are charged by the public to be, the Washington talkers and opiners (particularly those on the right) have marched in lock step toward a conclusion that Harriet Miers isn't fit for the job of Supreme Court Justice.

It's amazing how quickly the tide turns. In the spring of this year, she was given a favorable write up (Washington speak for puff piece) in the Washington Post's Style section. Unlike much of the present criticism, then she was "defined by hard work, dedication and client loyalty." At the time of her appointment as White House Counsel, the President's assertion that "Harriet has the keen judgment and discerning intellect necessary to be an outstanding counsel" went unchallenged. Today some claim that she isn’t fit to play an Associate Justice on NBC's the West Wing. Back in the spring, the Post acknowledged that the job of White House Counsel "is a job that has an impact on almost every major decision made in the White House" yet now the position is belittled as insufficient training to play in the "big leagues."

While it's been said that Washington is fickle, who would have guessed that you’d need to carry a blackberry to keep up with who's up and who's down. When you're up in Washington, you're like Leonardo DiCaprio "King of the World." Only the best will be said about you, but when you're on the outs with Washington, sometimes even the lamest things will be said about you and go unchallenged. Miss Miers has had her ups and now it appears that she is getting to experience her downs. And she is also getting to find out about the wonderful world of anonymous critics. Ah yes, the anonymous critic; those individuals who stood by silently before but now feel compelled to speak up because the stakes are so high. Except in order to "maintain their viability" they must do so off the record.

Actually, these antics would be laughable if one didn't realize how painful Washington's game of character assassination can be for those experiencing it. And unfortunately, now that it's open season on her, there's almost a race to get out the most fallacious claims possible.


Horace Cooper

Horace Cooper is a legal commentator and a Senior Fellow with the Institute for Liberty.