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  Is Harriet Miers a victim of sexism?
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ContributorCOSDem 
Last EditedCOSDem  Oct 13, 2005 10:34pm
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CategoryOpinion
MediaNewspaper - Chicago Tribune
News DateFriday, October 14, 2005 04:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe people supporting Harriet Miers' Supreme Court nomination, who started out looking defensive, have now proceeded to acquire symptoms of outright desperation. Rather than strain themselves with the impossible task of justifying the appointment, they are now on the attack. The critics, they claim, are opposing Miers just because she's a woman.

In truth, Miers' gender was one of her two attractions for President Bush-the other being her canine worship of him. But the complaints about her weak credentials would be made even if she had testosterone coming out of her ears.

Miers, after all, is by any standard the least qualified Supreme Court nominee since Harry Truman picked his poker buddies. Among conservative women, who are not known for their prejudice against Republican females, she has drawn reactions ranging from tepid support to withering contempt.

Finding a reason to reject this nomination is about as hard as finding sand at the beach. What's tough is coming up with any rationale that would fool a 4th-grader. Yet a bizarre array of activists has joined together in blaming Miers' cold reception on old-fashioned male chauvinism.

Early on, Ed Gillespie, former head of the Republican National Committee, said the opposition carried "a whiff of sexism." First Lady Laura Bush agreed "that's possible," while grousing that "people are not looking at her accomplishments."

Some liberals joined in, such as Eleanor Smeal, head of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who exclaimed, "Does she have the mental capacity? Give me a break. Would they say that about a man?" Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) professed to be "shocked at the sexism and double standard coming out of the far right."
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