Today, James Wolcott's posting about Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. He starts off with a pretty funny bit writing that Harriet Miers is George Bush's Miss Jane Hathaway. Miss Hathaway,
archeologists will recall, was Mr. Drysdale's prim, devoted secretary
on the Beverly Hillbillies.
Ha! I laughed to myself! That's funny! He continued by writing that if you were in on *the joke* when the Beverly Hillbillies was on TV, you knew Mrs. Hathaway was gay. Wink. Wink. That haircut was such a giveaway! And then, further down in his post he links to this post in the San Francisco Chronicle that states that in 1989, Miers, while running for Dallas City Council filled out some sort of questionnaire drafted by the Lesbian/Gay Political Coalition of Dallas (although she didn't have to because she was not seeking their endorsement):
She stated she agreed that homosexuals should have the same civil rights as heterosexuals. But she did not believe that Texas's sodomy statute -- which outlawed gay sex -- should be repealed. That law was later struck down by the Supreme Court in the landmark 2003 Lawrence vs. Texas decision, which decriminalized homosexuality.
Miers, at the time a prominent corporate lawyer, also stated that she supported increasing city funding for AIDS education and patient support, adding, "I do consider the AIDS illness as a serious total community problem."
Hilary Rosen, former head of the Recording Industry Association of America and a leader in the city's gay politics, wrote in a blog Wednesday that when Miers served on the Dallas City Council, she had appointed an openly gay man, Don McCleary, to the Dallas Board of Adjustment.
When McCleary died of AIDS in 1996, Rosen said, Miers, then managing partner of a large Dallas law firm, lent public support when his funeral made prominent mention of AIDS, noting that "it caused a stir."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, which has withheld its endorsement of Miers, responded in a statement that he had "a concern that Miss Miers was helping to legitimize the drive of homosexual organizations for power and influence over our public policies." He predicted that Miers would be closely questioned on the topic in her Senate hearings.
So what was Wolcott's point?
Was he suggesting the Harriet Miers is gay? And that's the real reason why the right wing is having a hissy fit right now?
Or, just take Tony Perkins at his word above, that the religious right wing doesn't even like it when someone associates themselves with a gay/lesbian group, let alone hire one and support them publicly at their funeral?
Or was the Miss Jane Hathaway reference just a clever way to talk about this issue in a post, giving us all a little chuckle?
I can't say that I know for sure. I do not know the man's heart. But here's something I know for sure. The way I feel about this paragraph that ended Mr. Wolcott's post:
What I don't understand is why Harriet Miers didn't have the modesty and self-knowledge to say no to Bush's overture. She must know that her training and experience have unprepared her for a seat on the highest court in the land; it is an honor she does not deserve, and a job for which she is overmatched. Yet she assented. Is it because so deep is her deference to Bush that she couldn't imagine saying no to his proposal? Or is it because her evangelical faith have groomed her to believe that being on the Supreme Court manifests God's mission for her, that it is the task for which she has been chosen, the reward for her conversion? Is she an instrument Bush's will, God's will, or both? Or does she have a mind and a will of her own? That's what worries conservatives, a will and intelligence that may travel wayward against their interests. To them, all that eyeliner may signify David Souter in drag.
Couldn't this same paragraph describe George W. Bush being nominated and then elected to the office of the President of the United States of America. Here's how it would read:
What I don't understand is why George W. Bush didn't have the modesty and self-knowledge to say no to the conservative movement's overture. He must know that his training and experience have unprepared him for the job of leader of the free world; it is an honor he does not deserve, and a job for which he is overmatched. Yet he assented. Is it because so deep is his deference to his own ego that he couldn't imagine saying no to this proposal? Or is it because his evangelical faith have groomed him to believe that being the president manifests God's mission for him, that it is the task for which he has been chosen, the reward for his conversion? Is he an instrument of God's will? Or does he have a mind and a will of his own? That's what worries both liberals and conservatives, a will and intelligence that may travel wayward against their interests. To all of them now, that smirk now indicates that he does, which is much, much scarier than David Souter in drag.