West Texas State Rocks
by Virginia Postrel • Oct 7, 2005 at 12:16 pm
Reader Michael McDowell demonstrates that you don't need a prestigious college degree to read carefully and think logically:
I am one of the folks who sometimes get defensive when prestige of colleges comes up. As the son of non-college educated parents of moderate means, any college was college and that was progress; therefore I am a proud graduate of West Texas State.
The difference between me and many of those commenting on this touchy subject is that I can't pretend that West Texas State is the "Harvard of the Panhandle." Failure to realize that going to any school other than the elites puts you at a day one disadvantage seems to me to be an indication that maybe a person lacks the reasoning ability that would have allowed them to get in an elite school. Fortunately after day one comes day two, and on day two I have the option to work that silver-spooned, soft-bellied SOB into the dirt. (kidding, but just sorta)
We live in a "what have you done for me lately" world, and that is a tremendous equalizer. All that I read in your remarks is "what has Miers done for me lately?" If Miers had a distinguished body of work that seemed related to the task of Supreme Court Justice and was still being criticized about choice in law school, I would be personally angry as I often personalize that type of slight, but I don't see that. What I see is someone that was nominated to the Supreme Court because of who they know. Sure going to Harvard law probably gets you invited to some nice cocktail parties, but apparently being a part of the Texas good ole' boy and gal system gets you nominated to the Supreme Court. For consistency's sake, shouldn't the same people who get angry because of non-merit advantages that an Ivy League grad might enjoy also get angry when that non-merit advantage comes from another source?
Today's DMN looks at Miers's corporate litigation career and finds little of Supreme Court substance: "Over her career as a corporate litigator, she became recognized as among the best in her field. Ms. Miers' reputation was largely built on her work ethic and personality while engaging in relatively routine legal matters — disputes over bank notes, fraud allegations against insurers, class-action lawsuits."