It’s been the big news lately: Conservatives are turning on Bush like rottweilers to an overturned hamburger stand. George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Trent Lott, James Taranto, and many, many others.

Why? Charges of “cronyism” are flying. Krauthammer’s take pretty much sums up all the others: “If Harriet Miers were not a crony of the president of the United States, her nomination to the Supreme Court would be a joke, as it would have occurred to no one else to nominate her.”

Sorry, Charles, but duh! That’s why we have presidents. Otherwise, we’d just get a committee of “pundits” and let them choose the most qualified person for every job, and what “makes the most sense” to do on every issue. Of course, this wouldn’t work, since each pundit would choose somebody they know and trust, which would be a different person in each case– back to square one.

Cronyism, and it’s ugly, red-headed step-child, nepotism, have been around forever. I’d even be willing to bet that there are columnists, maybe even one or more of those accusing Bush of “cronyism”, who wouldn’t have their column in newspapers but for somebody who “knew” beforehand them in one way or another, and why not?

Why would an editor pick somebody they’re unfamiliar with but for a few words on a page when there may be one available who said editor knows can make a deadline and produce consistent, quality work? This would allow the other columnists who weren’t chosen to accuse the editor-in-question of the same thing Bush is being accused of: “There’s no way any other editor would have chosen that columnist over others.”

No, they wouldn’t have, because the one doing the choosing didn’t personally know and trust any of the others. It’s pretty simple, if you think about it, and we’ve all been involved in some way, at some point, in our lives.

Saying “nobody else would have chosen Miers” is simplistic in its short-sightedness. Maybe not. But in the restaurant of our lives, we all have different menus with different options, and there are some things on our menus that aren’t on others. For example “nobody else” would probably choose to pay to send my kids to college, either.

Besides, Republican party in-fighting aside, the best way to gauge Miers is not on conservative reaction, but by Democrat action, or lack of, in the confirmation process. If Dems sense Miers may swing to the left on some things, look for them to support her with more vigor than Republicans. If that happens, then we’ll know we’re in trouble.

Weekend side notes:

Ted Kennedy said that Bush’s tough stance on terrorism, and his “bring it on” attitude is a bad thing because it’ll make Al Qaida “try harder”. It’s as if Ted’s afraid we’ll turn killing infidels from evening and weekend hobby, into full-time profession. Here’s a little news, Ted: It’s already their full-time job.

If that’s how things work, Ted, then why don’t you just go with the flow and let Republicans kill the liberal agenda? That way, you won’t be encouraging them to “try harder.”

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