As is often the case, Tina Brown quite amusingly makes all the wrong points in her column today on the Harriet Miers nomination. For starters:
“The healthiest aspect of the Harriet Miers nomination is that women haven’t rallied to her cause. Ten years ago, there would have been a lot of reflexive solidarity about keeping the Sandra Day O’Connor spot on the Supreme Court from reverting to male type. But every female lawyer I’ve spoken with in the past week skips right past the sisterly support into a rant about Miers’s meager qualifications or her abject obeisance to power. The good news is that for women, it seems, Miers’s nomination is like the moment for blacks in Hollywood when it was suddenly okay to cast an African American actor as something other than a perfect hero. The Sidney Poitier phase is definitively over.”
Would that it were true.
But it isn’t. If Ms. Miers were a liberal with the viewpoints and credentials that carried cachet in Ms. Brown’s set, they would be rallying to her banner. A conservative woman, however, is no different from a white male in their view.
Here’s the real message: Republicans fail whenever they try to play the affirmative action game, and so they shouldn’t try. Clarence Thomas is a fine justice, but his appointment didn’t earn applause from the liberal establishment.
Interestingly, Brown evokes Lady Thatcher as a feminist trailblazer. It is rare for liberals to praise Mrs. Thatcher, so I want to quote Brown’s kind remarks:
“The former chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, Lord Palumbo, who lunched with Mrs. T six months ago, told me recently what she said when he asked her if, given the intelligence at the time, she would have made the decision to invade Iraq. ‘I was a scientist before I was a politician, Peter,’ she told him carefully. ‘And as a scientist I know you need facts, evidence and proof — and then you check, recheck and check again. The fact was that there were no facts, there was no evidence, and there was no proof. As a politician the most serious decision you can take is to commit your armed services to war from which they may not return.’
“Happy Birthday, Lady T — and hail to you and all the women who’ve gone before! You won us the freedom to say that if opting for a Harriet Miers means we risk getting not just a sycophant but a stem-cell-banning, abortion-denying, Bible-thumping presidential sycophant, maybe we’d just as soon have a guy.”
Does anybody really think Tina would wish Lady T. a happy birthday if the Iron Lady had espoused a pro-Iraqi war position?
Only by going wobbly can a conservative woman win Tina’s praise.