Image: Robert Bork
Charles Tasnadi  /  AP file
Former President Gerald Ford, left, introduces Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987. Bork's failed nomination spawned the verb “borked.”
updated 10/27/2005 6:41:36 PM ET 2005-10-27T22:41:36

Is “miered” the new “borked”?

Robert Bork’s failed nomination to the Supreme Court in 1987 spawned the verb “borked,” defined loosely as getting rejected in an unseemly, even unfair, manner.

Now there is talk online about whether Harriet Miers’ withdrawal of her nomination to the high court will give rise to the term “miered.”

While liberals led to the opposition to Bork, it was conservatives who brought down Miers’ nomination.

A contributor to The Reform Club, a right-leaning blog, wrote that to get “borked” was “to be unscrupulously torpedoed by an opponent,” while to get “miered” was to be “unscrupulously torpedoed by an ally.”

S.T. Karnick, co-editor of The Reform Club, elaborated.

“If you have a president who is willing to instigate a big controversy, the prospect of being ‘borked’ will be the major possibility,” he said. “But if you have a president who is always trying to get consensus, then it’s much more likely that nominees will get ‘miered.”’

On The National Review Online, a conservative site, a contributor suggested that “to mier” means “to put your own allies in the most untenable position possible based upon exceptionally bad decision-making.”

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