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    She has a nice personality

    Am I glad I’m not on Virginia Postrel’s bad side or what:

    As regular readers know, I’ve written an extraordinary amount about Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. Early on, my primary purpose was reportorial–to use my locational advantage to provide information and context for people outside of Dallas. But the more I learned, the more appalled I became.

    For whatever reason, the president has picked a woman who not only has no constitutional or judicial experience but even in her business practice has demonstrated no interest in the law as anything other than a source of billable hours. At 60 years old, she appears never to have had a substantive conversation about law or policy with any friend. She comes from a closed and cronyish legal and business culture and appears to have gotten ahead through a combination of networking, nose-to-the-grindstone diligence, and willingness to do her law firm’s management, rather than legal, work.

    Oof! Bear in mind, Virginia has gone out of her way to be sympathetic toward Miers the person.

    She ends her post with a link to Americans for Better Justice and a set of links to her own previous posts about the nomination. Not being able to see as many homegrown news reports as Americans who live at home, I can’t assess whether Bush actually seems to be laying the groundwork for a withdrawal of the nomination. By all accounts, the proceedings so far are not doing his trusted friend any favors.

    Things seem to have died down a bit, but it’s a shame that so many people reflexively decided to see the debate over this nomination in Blue States vs. The Real America terms. Cultural insularity isn’t irrelevant here, but it’s not the central issue. The BOS-WASH and SAN-SAN population belts deserve to be informed, emphatically and often, that much of what’s important in America goes on outside them. Hell, I grew up in Allentown, PA, and I can assure you it may as well have been the moon for all many people in New York (1:45 away), Washington (2:30 away), or even Philadelphia (1:15 away) knew about what life was like there.

    However, the big-city power centers are still where most ambitious people go to seek the most viciously competitive environment in which they can test their ideas and competencies. In that sense, the arrogance of seeing yourself as a player in Big Decisions is a good thing. Miers is clearly a fantastic person–for goodness’s sake, if she weren’t, someone would have said so by now, given the way journalists have been beating the bushes for any opinions about her whatsoever–but there’s no evidence that she’s tested herself as a thinker or learned to adjust to working in a pressure cooker.

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