Laura Bush was interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show this morning and was asked if she thought sexism might be playing a role in the controversy surrounding the nomination of Harriet Miers. Mrs. Bush took the bait, and agreed with Lauer.
“It’s possible. I think that’s possible. . . . I think people are not looking at her accomplishments.”
Did Mrs. Bush intentionally bring the subject of sexism into the Miers debate? Anyone who interviews the president or his wife has to present their line of questioning to advisors ahead of time. Did Matt Lauer plan to ask the sexism question and did the White House agree that it was legitimate? One would have to believe that they did. Otherwise, Lauer would be getting spanked right now by press-secretary Scott McClellan for his inappropriate line of questioning and about how sexism isn’t a part of the debate over Miers. Well, we don’t have the push back. So…now the real question is, does the president believe that a majority of conservatives reject Harriet Miers because she’s a woman? Is the White House really trying to turn the Miers matter into a discuss of sexism?
The Miers issue is not one of sexism. The issue is perception. The cronyism argument is a perception. Miers lack of a judicial record leads to a perception that she won’t be able to navigate the unique waters of the Supreme Court. Her lack of gravitas leads to a perception that she’ll be weak when it comes to high caliber cases like Row.
In dozens of ways, conservative columnists, bloggers, and cable TV news pundits have been telegraphing their discontent with Miers. The problem is PERCEPTION, and due to the lack of a relevant record on Miers, the White House hasn’t been able to address this, nor have they thought they needed to.
Time has run out. Minds have been made up. The cow is not only out of the barn, it’s 50 miles down the road and the White House is sound asleep.