RNC Spin Machine’s New Definition of ‘Praise’

The RNC’s latest blast email (What They’re Saying About Nomination Of Harriet Miers To Supreme Court: Volume III) lists what it calls "Praise For Miers’ Nomination To Supreme Court."

One of the "praises" for the nomination of Bush’s friend/lawyer comes from Rich Lowry, Editor of National Review. What were Lowry’s glorious words for Miers? Not much. From the RNC release:

I think she’ll be confirmed easily. (ABC’s "Nightline," 10/3/05)

Quite the praise, don’t you think? Of course, Ginsburg was confirmed pretty easily, but I’m not sure I would classify that as "praise for the nomination."

What’s really striking about the RNC’s using this quote as praise is that Lowry has been far from laudatory of Ms. Miers. Read this from his piece ("Promoting Diversity: It’s Not Always a Good Thing") on NRO today:

President Bush struck a blow for diversity on the Supreme Court by picking White House Counsel Harriet Miers as his latest nominee. Bush thus made a strong statement that the Court has room for highly distinguished justices and not-so-distinguished justices, for nominees who have made their reputations in the wider legal world and for nominees people have hardly heard of, for world-class lawyers and for lawyers he happens to know and like.

After the nomination of John Roberts, Bush boosters hailed the president for bucking the political imperative of selecting a woman or a minority and for instead caring above all about high qualifications. They now have to take all that back. We don’t know much yet about Harriet Miers, except that she is the anti-Roberts, a nominee whose credentials are less than sterling and whose qualifications for the Court are less than obvious.

That’s from the same man the RNC claims "praised" the nomination of Miers just last night. Here’s more:

Watching Bush strain to pump up her accomplishments was cringe-making. He said she has tried cases “before state and federal courts”! She has “argued appeals that covered a broad range of matters”! She was head of the Texas Lottery Commission and “insisted on a system that was fair and honest”! She was a leader with Child Care Dallas, Meals on Wheels, and other charitable groups! She has a law degree! From Southern Methodist University!

Of course, Miers currently has a heavy-hitting job as White House counsel. That is testament to a certain legal acumen, and she has apparently impressed people with whom she has worked closely. But given the significance of a lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest Court, this is a rather thin qualification. Indeed, the most important reason Miers was picked is that Bush is comfortable with her.

Finally, here’s how Lowry actually describes the Miers pick:

Now it looks like the latest act of an overly insular, increasingly off-key White House.

RNC spin machine is on full tilt.