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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 17, 2005 / 14 Tishrei, 5766

Meirs vs. Sexism on both sides

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When Laura Bush was asked on NBC's "Today" show if she detected sexism in the rising criticism of the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court, her answer must have brought smiles to those whom Rush Limbaugh once tagged as "femi-nazis."

"I think that's possible," she said.

Instantly, she bonded, whether she knew it or not, with Ellie Smeal of the Feminist Majority Foundation, who also tagged Miers' critics with the S-word.

Yet, one does not have to be a male chauvinist piggy to question whether a man would have fared any better if he only had Miers' meager judicial experience, nonexistent scholarly work and lack of an ideological track record beyond a friendship with President Bush that's thisclose.

Male nominees have had their resumes challenged, too. And worse. President Nixon's nominee Harold Carswell was criticized as having been a "mediocre judge," which led the late Sen. Roman Hruska (R-Neb.) to opine helpfully that mediocre people deserved to be represented, too. (Despite that awesome defense, Carswell was defeated.)

Miers is, indeed, "an extraordinarily accomplished woman" who has "broken the glass ceiling," as the first lady observed. But, her most passionate critics (George Will, Rush Limbaugh, Patrick Buchanan, William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Paul Weyrich, Phyllis Schlafly and Ann Coulter, just for starters) have fulminated from the president's own political base. They're trying to tell him something.

In criticizing Miers, the Right is really criticizing Bush. After struggling more than 30 years to tilt the court rightward, many conservative elites see defeat being snatched out of the jaws of their victory. "Trust me," Bush pleads. But his base remembers earlier promises on which he failed to deliver: trim the size of government, avoid nation-building overseas, secure the nation's borders and reform Social Security, just for starters. As Ronald Reagan said, "Trust, but verify."

Nothing personal, Ms. Miers. It's politics. The Left might have howled, but the Right hardly would have raised a peep had Bush chosen a woman lawyer with a reputation for reliably conservative views and a relish for arguing. (Ann Coulter, perhaps? She'd probably want to shorten her robe.)

And, if anyone called Justice Clarence Thomas a quota hire, it wasn't conservatives. The first President Bush called him "the best qualified lawyer" in the country and conservatives heard the hidden message: "This is the best qualified black conservative lawyer I've been able to find, so please don't make me look again."

And conservatives know how to shave corners on behalf of an attractive female candidate. You can hear it in the amazingly vigorous Washington buzz about drafting Condoleezza Rice to run as a Republican against Hillary Clinton, current front runner in Democratic polls for 2008, despite her repeated denials of interest. One can hardly help but wonder whether the draft-Condi movement (See AmericansForRice.com) would be so enthusiastic were she just another white male with a similarly nonexistent political track record.

But, if sexism against Miers is hard to find in her critics, sexism in her favor is quite easy to find in her chief patron, the President. Evidence comes from no less than Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, a nationwide network of conservative Christian media and organizations important to Bush's base. Recounting the special early briefing he received from presidential advisor Karl Rove, Dobson confirmed what most people already had guessed: The White House limited its list of potential justices to women.

Rove "made it clear that the President was looking for a certain kind of candidate, namely a woman to replace Justice (Sandra Day) O'Connor," says Dobson in a transcript of his national radio program. "And you can imagine what that did to the short list. That... may have cut it by 80 percent right there."

All of which sounds like the sort of practice that conservatives usually condemn as "a quota" unless it is they who are doing it. Then they call it "outreach." Not that there's anything wrong with that. Looking beyond the usual array of qualified guys to find a qualified woman to fill the seat being vacated by the Supreme Court's first woman does not make Bush a bad person. He said as much in his third debate with Al Gore in 2000, when he opposed racial and gender "quotas" but favored "affirmative access."

Frankly, I prefer the succinct label I once heard Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) use for affirmative action: "Look harder." Outreach is good. I only wish Team Bush would be more straightforward about it.

Bush looked hard for a woman, but not hard enough. Now Team Bush seems to be asking us to give her a break precisely because she's a woman. That's a double-barrel insult. It further enflames their base with its S-word implications and insults the rest of us by implying that you must sacrifice quality to have diversity. In fact, you can have both, if you look harder.

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