The “Barbara Bush Principle”

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

Papers Offer Peek at Miers’s Views
Washington Post
Miers, President Bush’s nominee to the Supreme Court, said in her 1995 letter to Bush that the legislation was a blatant attempt to protect a “handful of greedy, but immensely rich and powerful” trial lawyers.
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DKo: The legislation in question protected the use of a lawyer’s “contingency fee.” The idea here is that if you think you have been damaged, and can’t afford to hire a lawyer to sue, you can offer a lawyer 1/3 of the awarded compensation, in the event that you win.
This bumps right up against what we may now call the “Barbara Bush Principle”: We needn’t worry too much about the living conditions of people who were already “underprivileged” anyhow.
Similarly, if you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you must not have much that could suffer worrisome damage.
We see this too–except when publicity bears down–in the wealthy who avoid prison, because “they have suffered enough already,” in lost prestige, social standing, etc. Since the poor already lack these things, they must be sent to prison, if they are to suffer more.
Barbara Bush deserves a ton of props for exquisitely crystallizing this principle in her post-hurricane remarks. And it is reassuring to see them so lovingly preserved across the generations of Bush Family Values, soon to be personified again by an old friend on the new Supreme Court