The Laura Bush “It’s Possible” Controversy

A huge deal has been made today over supposed ‘controversial’ comments First Lady Laura Bush made in response to a question Matt Lauer from the “Today” show asked her. Relevant part of the transcript:

Lauer: Some are suggesting —

Laura Bush: Not only that, she is very deliberate and thoughtful and will bring dignity to, uh, wherever she goes. But certainly to the Supreme Court, she will be really excellent.

Lauer: Some are suggesting there’s a little possible sexism in the criticism of Judge [sic] Miers.

Laura Bush: That’s possible. I think —

Lauer: How would you feel about that?

Laura Bush: That’s possible. I think she is so accomplished that… I know, I think that people are not looking at her accomplishments and not realizing that she was the first elected woman to be the head of the Texas Bar Association, for instance, and all the other things. She was the first, uh, woman managing partner of a major law firm. She was the first woman hired by a major law firm, her law firm.

The “it’s possible” answer to Lauer’s question as to whether the suggestion that some of the criticism was sexist in nature has turned into “Laura Bush says you’re sexist if you oppose Harriet Miers nomination.” (paraphrasing). A simple check of the transcript, as provided above, shows that she said no such thing. Any number of things are “possible” in terms of what the critics of the nomination are saying. I’ve seen no ‘big names’ play the sexism card against Miers’, but travel around the comments sections on some blogs and political message boards and note some of the things that have been said about Miers, like she’s 60 and single with no kids, which supposedly means that as a result she would have limited understanding of certain family issue-based cases that come before court, which *is* sexist in nature because I don’t think that would be said by anyone if it were an unmarried man who had been nominated to the USSC.

I know this nomination has stirred the passions of my fellow conservatives who obviously have strong opinions about it, but I think criticism of Mrs. Bush’s “it’s possible” remark is overblown. I find myself respectfully disagreeing with two people I generally agree with on most issues: Captain Ed and Michelle Malkin, and agreeing wholeheartedly with Big Lizards’ Dafydd (emphasis Dafydd’s):

Again, Laura Bush did not call critics sexist. She did not even agree with Lauer that they were sexist. Close examination of the transcript — or simply viewing the segment — shows that she brushed off the question and instead simply gushed about what she saw as Miers’ accomplishments.

Make sure to read the entire post. Ian has the video.

With all due respect to my fellow conservatives out there who have taken issue with Mrs. Bush’s comments, I ask you to reassess them – presented in the context as they were in this post (courtesy Dafydd) and if you still see the “it’s possible” statement as off the mark, that’s fine. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. But I think what really should be getting attention here is not what the First Lady said, but what the President says, and what Ed Gillespie and other RNC big players have said. We should continue down that path of discussion, and abandon this argument against Laura Bush’s remarks, which were – in my opinion, innocent.

Other bloggers thinking similarly: Bryan Preston , Jay at Stop the ACLU, Cao, Rob at Say Anything, AJStrata

Cross-posted at California Conservative

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