bardseyeview

A Shakespearean Glance at the People and Issues of the Day.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Bard on the Miers Nomination

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"Thou seek'st the greatness that will overwhelm thee."

I had a few choices for this one, just like President Bush did, but I've decided to go with Henry IV, Act 4 scene 4. I know what you're thinking - was this Henry IV Part One or Henry IV Part Two?. Can't get much past you, can I? It was Part Two, le sequel.

King Henry says the above line to his son Prince Henry, also known as Hal, and later to be known as Henry V. Hal has been struggling with his youthful spirits, constantly led astray by the larger-than-life Falstaff. He will eventually undergo a profound tranformation into the wise ruler we see in Henry V, the next play in Shakespeare's history series . Miers too, as we know, has undergone profound transformations, changing religions and political parties, struggling we all hope successfully to come into a full maturity.

Hal walks in on his father when he's asleep. Thinking him dead, Hal takes the crown into the next room and weeps over it. His father awakens and suspects his son of ambition. They argue, but at last Henry is assured of his son's great love, and reciprocates it. We see the same sort of bond, forged over time and shared adversity, now existing between President Bush and his personal attorney.

"...God knows, my son,
By what by-paths and indirect crook'd ways
I met this crown; and I myself know well
How troublesome it sat upon my head..."

Our democratic party-affiliated readers will savor this passage. Miers, but of course I mean Hal, assures her client, I mean his father, of the legitimacy of his rule:

"...My gracious liege,
You won it, wore it, kept it, gave it me;
Then plain and right must my possession be..."

And so too would Miers' rule, in a judicial position in many ways co-extensive with the presidency, extend beyond her father's, I mean the President's.

"Thou seek's the greatness that will overwhelm thee."

Henry says this earlier, before he is won over to full confidence in his son. Miers of course oversaw the selection process for Bush's previous judicial picks, including the strict vetting of candidates. Though she did decline once the crown of nomination, she accepted the second offer, and when she did she exempted herself from the same vetting process. Only a personal friendship could support such an exemption, which is now getting her nomination into trouble and harming her client's - the President's - interests. But then I suppose he is now her former client.

Thus it is that I feel an accusation of ambition is justified against Miers. And when I refer to ambition I mean the wrong kind, the kind Brutus killed Caesar over, not the good kind, that led let's say Roberts to devote himself for over 30 years to developing an expertise that rendered him at last deserving of his nomination. Like Hal.

Yes, I think Henry IV Part Deux will do quite well for Miers. This will now leave me free to move onto something lighter, like Brad, Jen and Angelina. Actually Falstaff, in this same play, has an eventful dinner with two competing women, Doll Tearsheet and Mistress Quickly. One of them has sued him over a proposal he denies making while the other applauds everything he does. That may well do for Brad's triangle. I'll be thinking it through.
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