Harriet Miers has become laughing matter

Harriet Miers has become the butt of jokes as her personal and professional writings have become public. A choice example of why everyone is laughing is this one from the Washington Post.

One example, from a May 1996 letter asking George and Laura Bush to appear at a ceremony honoring her, displayed both an obsequious tone and a tortuous prose style. "I am respectful of both of your great many time commitments and I realize you receive many, many requests," she wrote. "Of course, I would be very pleased if either of you is able to participate. However, I will be pleased with your judgment about whether participating in this event fits your schedule whatever your decision. . . . I feel honored even to be able to extend this invitation to such extraordinary people."

This was among the Bush gubernatorial correspondence released this week by the Texas State Library, and posted on Web sites, including the Smoking Gun. Miers was Bush's personal lawyer and lottery commission chairman when he was Texas governor and later became his White House counsel. Her letters have provided recent fodder for sarcasm for writers such as Gerard Baker in the conservative magazine the Weekly Standard. "Miers has delivered some thundering dictums in her various legal and paralegal roles," Baker wrote in a column first published in the Times of London. He cited a 1997 handwritten card that mentioned Bush's daughters: "Hopefully Jenna and Barbara recognize that their parents are 'cool' -- as do the rest of us. . . . All I hear is how great you and Laura are doing. . . . Keep up all the great work. Texas is blessed!"

From the White House vantage point, such commentary is hardly a laughing matter. In part because she does not have a long record of serious constitutional writings -- in contrast to recently confirmed chief justice John G. Roberts Jr. -- Miers may be at particular risk of being turned into a judicial equivalent of Vice President Dan Quayle. Until his stumbling national debut, Quayle had been regarded as a bright senator from Indiana, but he never fully recovered from the initial blast of mockery.

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