But there is another criticism today that I believe may have a more subtle effect on the nominee's chances. It is found in this sample from a quote from an email, received by Jonathan Adler at NRO's Bench Memos, describing her responses to the Senate Judiciary Committee's questionnaire this way:
[The answers to the] questionnaire suggests a broader problem and a breakdown in the controls that make the White House an amazing place to work and a typically
zero-defect environment. There are at least four issues w/the response. First,
it was late. Miers promised it to Specter in three days. They missed the
deadline and had to get more time. Then it contains a glaring misstatement of
facts that is easily checkable — the incorrect dates for when her bar membership
was suspended and the mischaracterization of how promptly the non-payment was
remedied (WPost story). Next it contains another possible misstatement — the
characterization of Miers as a Board member of Girls, Inc., in Dallas when the
National Girls, Inc., folks have no recollection of her service (LATimes
story). [After more illustrations he concludes:] All of this makes me ask the next question — what else did they miss?
The problem identified by Adler's correspondant is sloppiness, lack of attention to detail and generally questionable competance in a written presentation that is, to say the least, very important. When I read Roberts' written responses last month, I was impressed with his command of the English language, his attention to detail, and his persuasive presentation style. Miers' written response did not impress me at all. If Roberts' was 100, Miers is, perhaps, a 65 or at best 70. This does not bode well as a predictor for Miers performance before the Committee. Unless her performance there grades out at 80 percent of Roberts' performance, I do not think she will be confirmed. And I do not think she should be.
This has nothing to do with her educational background, her experience, or her stellar accomplishments in her law firm, in her trial practice, in her work on the Texas Lottery Commission or as a White House lawyer. It has to do with performance now. If improvement is not forthcoming, I am afraid if I were a Senator, my mind would change from a yes to a no.