Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground has collected some interesting tidbits about Harriet Miers, which originally appeared in a detailed Texas Lawyer profile of Harriet Miers, published on December 16, 1996. The long and detailed article was based on extensive interviewing of Harriet Miers, her colleagues, and her friends. (Gavel bangs: Orin Kerr and Michael Cernovich.)
Article III Groupie located the full profile (via LEXIS), and after reading it, she noticed something very interesting: Harriet Miers's life can be set to music, namely, the top 40 hit Bitch, from the Meredith Brooks album Blurring the Edges. "Bitch" was the 15th most popular song in 1997, and if the title of the song doesn't ring a bell, you'll remember it immediately from the first few lines of its super-catchy chorus: "I'm a bitch / I'm a lover / I'm a child / I'm a mother..."
Now, please don't misunderstand A3G. Even though President Bush has called Harriet Miers a bitch -- to wit, "a pit bull in size six shoes" -- A3G is not doing so. A3G is merely observing that the degree to which these song lyrics encapsulate the life of Harriet Miers is a bit uncanny.
Let's take a look at the lyrics, shall we?
I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change
This is clearly addressed to President Bush, who has been "so good" to Harriet Miers, bestowing upon her several plum positions over the years. As noted in the Texas Lawyer, the Bush-Miers friendship dates back many years; she even "represented [Bush] in a suit over his East Texas fishing house."
A3G recently wondered why Harriet Miers didn't "just say no" when President Bush indicated his desire to nominate her to the Supreme Court. Well, maybe she tried to decline, but he wouldn't hear of it:
Tried to tell you [no, I don't want to serve on the Supreme Court]
But you look at me like maybe
I'm an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet
Now, in the days since her nomination was announced, things have been kinda rough for Harriet Miers. People can say the meanest things! How has she reacted to all of the criticism, especially the vicious attacks upon her qualifications?
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one
Very interesting! Here Harriet Miers is telling President Bush that she doesn't envy him, given the confusing and tricky political position he finds himself in: criticized by the right as well as by the left for his SCOTUS choice. And the criticism flows from the fact that the elusive Harriet Miers -- a conservative born-again Christian, who has made campaign donations to Democrats; who maybe supports gay rights, but maybe doesn't -- is "a little bit of everything / All rolled into one."
And now, the chorus:
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
The Texas Lawyer profile confirms the truth of all these statements, starting with "I'm a bitch." In her interview with the magazine, Harriet Miers offered this candid assessment of herself:
I'm not universally liked by everyone because I have very strong views of what's right and wrong, and I take my positions seriously, and I fight for them strongly.
Hmm -- if she walks like a be-atch, and she talks like a be-atch...
The lyric "I'm a child" speaks to Harriet Miers's well-known devotion to her 91-year-old mother. "I'm a lover" reflects how much Harriet Miers enjoys the practice of law: "It's my first love in terms of a career."
And "I'm a lover" also refers to the fact that Harriet Miers is... a lover of federal judges! Yes, that's right; just like the readers of this blog, Harriet Miers is an Article III groupie. The profile quotes Harriet Miers as follows:
I definitely think that once you've clerked for a federal judge, litigation gets in your blood and you develop an admiration for the system, for those who serve in the judiciary, and there's no question that clerking led me eventually to want to do trial work.
Harriet Miers sounds like a woman after Article 3 Groupie's own heart. A3G is starting to like her more and more!
Okay, now we've reached "I'm a mother." Some of you are thinking: "A3G, now you're stuck. The childless, possibly virginal Harriet Miers is definitely no mother!" But you're wrong. Check out Howard Fineman's Newsweek column, Mother Hen Nominee, in which Fineman observes as follows:
Bush always has had a habit of surrounding himself with what he calls “mother hens.” Miers is one of them. Others, in approximate order of their time of prime service, include Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, Karen Hughes, Condi Rice and Frances Townsend. These women are of a type: independent, athletic, forceful and not quite traditional by the old standards of the Establishment.
WOW -- the amount of insight that this "Bitch" song provides into Harriet Miers is definitely unsettling, almost creepy. It's the Harriet Miers theme song! And there's still more; here's the rest of the chorus:
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way
These lyrics are intriguing; they reflect the jurisprudential enigma that we call Harriet Miers. If confirmed to the Supreme Court, will Justice Harriet Miers be the "hell" of liberals and the "dream" of conservatives -- a justice in the mold of Scalia and Thomas? Or will she become the "hell" of conservatives and the "dream" of liberals, a.k.a. Justice David H. Souter? Guess we'll have to wait and see...
And now, Harriet Miers turns to address the U.S. Senate, imploring its members to confirm her as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court:
So take me as I am
This may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing!
The last four lines reveal the strategy that Harriet Miers will be taking at her confirmation hearings: she will engage in the deft bobbing and weaving done by Chief Justice John G. Roberts before the Senate Judiciary Committee. When she "starts to make [conservative senators] nervous" -- by noting that Roe is "settled law," for example -- the next day she will remind Senators Schumer and Kennedy that even "settled law" -- e.g., Plessy -- can be overruled. In other words, after saying something controversial or troubling at her hearings, the next day she "will change / and today won't mean a thing!"
Finally, let's conclude this pop music exegesis with the bridge of the song, which offers us Harriet Miers in her own words:
I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover
I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it any other way
In these closing lines of the song, Harriet Miers returns to address President Bush, probably the most important man in her life (right up there with Justice Nathan Hecht). This legal "goddess on [her] knees" reassures the president: "When you hurt, when you suffer" -- for example, when nasty litigation surrounds your East Texas fishing house, or when you need some Texas National Guard messiness cleaned up in a jiffy -- "I'm your angel undercover!"
Finally, what does Harriet Miers think about the possibility of her sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court? The last line says it all: "You know I wouldn't want it any other way!"