Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The men in Miers' life

By Aussiegirl

I should perhaps preface my remarks with a few caveats.  It is always dangerous to psychoanalyze someone from afar, and normally I disdain such endeavors.  However, in the case of Harriet Miers, two curious facts have given me pause -- facts which I cannot ignore.  Perhaps I should mention that in one of my previous incarnations I spent some time working in the mental health field.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure Harriet Miers is perfectly rational and sane and well balanced.  But in the little that we know of her life, we can look to two major life events that have occurred in the last ten years which seem curious, or at least notable in a person of her age.  I cannot avoid the fact that in the last ten years she not only changed her lifelong party affiliation from Democrat to Republican, but also converted from her Roman Catholic faith and entered an Evangelical fundamentalist church.

Now, there is fundamentally nothing wrong, or even completely unusual, about such occurrences.  And often in middle age people face a crisis in which they re-evaluate their values and their lifelong beliefs -- but I can’t help but notice that both of these major changes had something in common, they seemed to be precipitated by her close friendship with two important men in her life.  

In the case of her conversion from Catholicism to Evangelical Christianity, she was led into her new faith by her friendship and closeness with her long-time social companion, Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht.  She was baptized into the church that he attends and has been a faithful parishioner there ever since.

She was a Democrat until she met George W. Bush at a social function.  According to published reports, when Bush was running against Ann Richards, his chief of staff recommended that they hire a woman as their counsel as a counterweight to Richards.  Harriet Miers, who was then the president of the Texas Bar, was suggested as a good candidate.  Since then, by all accounts, she and the President have been extremely close and Miers has worked for Bush in varying capacities ever since.  By all accounts Miers is zealous in her undying admiration for George W. Bush.  She is obviously also very close to her long-time friend Justice Hecht.

One could be forgiven for drawing the inevitable conclusion that Harriet Miers may very well be a person who is susceptible to being influenced by powerful male figures in her life.  Her father died rather early in her life, forcing her to face some challenges involving being able to pay for her college tuition.

If this is true, and I hasten to add, we have no way of knowing her mind or inner thoughts on this matter, which male justice of this Supreme Court would she be most likely to be influenced by?  We can hope it would be Antonin Scalia, known for his abrasive and scathing intellect.  But it could just as likely be the courteous and gentlemanly and very intellectual Stephen Breyer.

It is just precisely to avoid such emanations of penumbras of psychoanalysis that we need and deserve a nominee with a clear and outstanding record, so that we are not reduced to reading psychological tea leaves in order to determine her judicial philosophy or her fitness to serve on the Supreme Court.    


At 6:30 PM, Anonymous Pindar said...

Aussiegirl, you've done it again! Nowhere else in all the articles and posts about Ms. Miers' nomination have I found this particular idea propounded. It seems entirely reasonable to me...after all, we are all are molded by our early years. But the crucial point is, given your insightful and provocative analysis, which male Justice will become her mentor and influence her thinking and thus her decisions? There's a lot to think about here.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Thanks for the comment, Pindar -- I hesitated whether or not to even write this, as normally I hate this sort of psychobabble about public figures -- but I was struck by the association of two big changes of heart with her close friendship with two powerful men. In the long run, this is all meaningless, as she will rise or fall depending on matters that are beyond our control -- but then -- what would we do if there was nothing to speculate about out here in the blogosphere?

At 3:29 PM, Blogger Timothy Birdnow said...

You`ve got a great point, Aussiegirl! Unless I am mistaken, Miss Miers has never been married and has no children. Perhaps she seeks a strong male figure to fill that particular need?

George Bush won`t be with her forever. Who will take his place?


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