'Right Wing' Questions About Miers are 'Sexist,' Dem Charges

By Jeff Johnson | July 7, 2008 | 8:31pm EDT

(CNSNews.com) - While many conservatives continue to complain about President Bush's choice of Harriet Miers for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, two Democratic senators Thursday offered their own interpretations as to why those conservatives are unhappy.

Sen. Charles Schumer of New York said Miers is not conservative enough to please the "extreme wing" of the GOP and Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland charged that some of the conservatives disenchanted with the Miers pick are "incredibly sexist."

While there is majority support for the Miers nomination among GOP senators, some conservative activists have questioned the White House counsel's credentials as a "real conservative."

"I'm shocked at the sexism and double-standard coming out of the far right," Mikulski said.

The Maryland Democrat claimed that conservatives - who have most often questioned Miers' views on social issues - are really attacking the nominee because of her sex.

"All of a sudden they're saying that a woman who was able to become head of the Texas Bar Association isn't qualified? They're saying a woman who was one of the first to head up a major law firm with over 400 lawyers doesn't have intellectual heft?," Mikulski concluded. "I find this a double standard. I find it incredibly sexist."

Schumer, on the other hand, believes Miers was picked, not necessarily because of her qualifications, but because of how little is known about her political views.

"I think that the hard, the extreme wing of the Republican Party was demanding that the president appoint somebody who had openly shown fealty to their viewpoints," Schumer charged. "But the president knew darned well that that would be way out of synch with what America wants and so the president had to go with a stealth candidate."

Schumer claimed that presented the president with a dilemma.

"Unfortunately there was only one stealth candidate who had brilliance and could, sort of, pull it off, and that was John Roberts," Schumer continued. "When he reached for the second stealth candidate, if you looked at the list of the 12 people considered, Harriet Miers was the only stealth candidate."

Schumer believes criticism of Miers from the "hard right" is based on conservatives' misunderstanding of American values.

"What they don't get is they don't represent America. And it's amazing that George Bush has pulled this off for so long," Schumer said. "He kept the hard right placated and, at the same time, has not alienated most of America. But the piper is calling and it's calling on Harriet Miers and that's why he has such trouble."

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