So, I like affirmative action. And eyeliner. They promote diversity, social justice, and the appearance of larger eyes and fuller lashes, all of which I am definitely for.
But today President Bush and his goth-eyed henchwoman/future Supreme Court Justice, Harriet Miers, managed to nearly make me change my mind on both counts.
First, the eyeliner. Harriet seems to have heard that eyeliner is a good idea, but she failed to gather any more information about the topic. The result: incredibly harsh black stuff, applied with a trowel all the way around her eyes like the gate around a high-end ex-urban housing development. Instead of making her eyes look bigger or more defined, it just emphasizes their squinty, cold-hearted iciness--and the color contrast emphasizes her Morticia-like pallor, to boot.
A similar problem explains the twisted version of affirmative action that resulted in the Miers nomination. As Emily Bazelon said in Slate, "Cronyism and affirmative action: It's a nasty mix." In other words, the Bush people thought, "OK, Laura and Sandra Day and those man-hating lesbian feminist interest groups want us to pick a woman. Look, here's one right here!" (I am partially plagarizing not only Bazelon but also Joel Achenbach's Achenblog post, "Bush Names Totally Random Person for Court," which was right-on except for ignoring that it had to be a totally random woman.) The result: a Supreme Court nominee whose main professional credentials are a zillion years as a corporate lawyer (impressive in its own special way, I guess, but not unique--there are about 10000000 other similarly high-achieving, soulless Republican women lawyers in the country), one term on the Dallas City Council, and a couple of years as a Yes-Woman to the President. Not that I would have been happy if it had been a psycho wingnut like Janice Rogers Brown, but at least that would have been just an attack on women's legal rights, not on the whole idea that women can be competent.
Wonkette did a pretty good digital makeover for Miers's "look"--it's too bad they couldn't do the same thing with the nomination.
harriet miers supreme court