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10/10/2005
FORMING THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD FOR MIERS
CATEGORY: Supreme Court

I’ll admit to being extremely ambiguous about the Harriet Miers nomination to the Supreme Court. That said, I have no intention of joining the crop of conservatives who insist on quaffing kool-aid over the nomination by hoping to either block her or, more problematically, have the President break down and actually withdraw her name from consideration.

Admittedly, the President has left most of us pragmatists with very little choice. The consequences of a Presidential defeat over the Miers nomination at this point in the Bush Presidency cannot be overstated. Fairly or unfairly, the perception of the Bush Presidency has taken several huge hits over the last few months causing his approval ratings (and thus the true measure of his influence) to tumble precipitously. While it is true that Presidents cannot govern via the public opinion polls, it is equally true that those polls are watched closely both by the political opposition and Republican legislators for signs of gross Presidential strength and weakness. And the quickest way to emasculate the President and make the rest of his term an irrelevancy is to have conservatives gather around in a circle and open fire at the nominee.

Conservatives never would have pulled this crap with Reagan. I say that because anyone who has studied Ronald Reagan with an unemotional and critical eye would realize that the Gipper was never one to place ideology above pragmatism. True, he governed in much more civilized times when after a day-long session of partisan name calling, he and the ever entertaining but completely clueless Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill could sit down and throw back a few scotch and sodas while swapping stories. But Reagan also had a keen sense of what was politically possible. When it became clear that his original tax proposal to cut marginal rates 30% over 3 years wouldn’t fly, he negotiated a 25% cut over 4 years with the now defunct conservative and moderate wing of the Democratic party. So despite a huge Democratic majority in the House, Reagan’s proposals squeaked through and became law all because of his recognition and reading of the correct political environment in which he was working.

George Bush may have nominated Miers in hopes of forestalling a filibuster by Democrats over a better known and more conservative jurist. But judging by this Washington Times article that suggests fully 1/2 of Republican Senators may oppose her nomination and John Hawkins unscientific but thorough survey of most of the top center-right political blogs (sorry John…mine must have fallen through the cracks) there is immense dissatisfaction with the Miers choice with some of the President’s natural allies. In the end, I suspect most of those Senators will bite the bullet and vote to confirm but only after much hemming and hawing about the President’s judgment, etc.

More of a problem for the White House are conservative activists who are heavily represented on the web and are actually writing about some kind of bloody coup d’etat to either defeat the nominee on the floor of the Senate or put enough pressure on the White House to withdraw the nomination.

To quote the great country crooner Dierks Bentely, those folks should be asking What was I thinking? Just what do my friends on the right hope to accomplish by weakening the President at exactly the moment when his Administration is balanced on the knife’s edge of irrelevancy? Lame Duckiness is staring George Bush right in the face and here comes a bunch of conservatives running toward this particular gasoline dump trying desperately to keep the match lit long enough so that they can experience the deep and abiding satisfaction of self-immolation.

It’s nuts.

First, if successful, just what kind of nominee do they think they’d get to replace Miers? Bush would have to come up with someone quickly, someone who has already been vetted for high office. How does Justice Alberto Gonzalez grab ya?

I thought so.

So while I’m not quite with Hugh Hewitt and Thomas Lifson that this is a great choice, that Miers is a stealth conservative whose very ordinariness is a huge plus I’m also not with those who are calling on Bush to recall the nomination or worse, actively work to defeat the choice either at the committee level or on the floor of the Senate. That last especially would be ironic indeed. I wonder if Grover Norquist would consider a joint ad campaign with Moveon.org?

By: Rick Moran at 6:34 pm
14 Responses to “FORMING THE CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD FOR MIERS”
  1. 1
    Chris Said:
    7:29 pm 

    Unfortunately, this is where we are. The President has made his choice, and he will undoubtedly stick with it. Given the constant negativity of the MSM over the last 5 years, I don’t think he will back down because a bunch of electronic critics don’t like his decision. And how many people get offered a lifetime gig with the Feds at the absolute pinnacle of your profession, especially when the most powerful man in the world offered it?

    This is truly becoming a make the best of it, swallow your medicine scenario. Conservatives can only hope they don’t get burned, with the emphasis on hope. This may be a tempest in a teapot, or it may be a colossal blunder. Here it is, and likely here it is to stay.

  2. 2
    Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator Trackbacked With:
    8:05 pm 

    Conservatives spar over Miers nomination

    The nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court drew testy comments Sunday from conservati

  3. 3
    anon Said:
    10:21 pm 

    If the antis have their way we face three years of McCain’s ego unleashed! It would be enough to keep me from the polls.

  4. 4
    Santay Said:
    7:05 am 

    All of Bush’s judicial appointments so far have been solid. Like all presidents, he’s concerned with his legacy. I’m sure he’s watched his Dad with Souter hanging around his neck like a big ugly albatross and is not eager to emulate him.

  5. 5
    The Strata-Sphere Trackbacked With:
    10:54 am 

    Fly By 10/11/05

    To start off with something fun and interesting we have the invisibility cloak by way of No Such Blog. Here is the video – wild! Here’s the story.

    On the more serious side, the earthquake in Asia was devastating. The latest news from the W…

  6. 6
    Stop The ACLU Trackbacked With:
    2:00 pm 

    A House Divided

    Rightwing News did a poll of right of center blogsabout Miers nomination. The results were overwhelmingly that they hate the pick. We voted in this poll, that we didn’t know yet. There is plenty of negative coverage around the blogosphere, a…

  7. 7
    Timothy Birdnow Said:
    2:27 pm 

    If conservatives want to retain control of the Republican party we have to assert ourselves. President Bush has given us plenty of lip-service, but has, by and large, failed to deliver a conservative agenda. Perhaps his largest promise was to put a strong originalist on the Court-then he first nominates a stealth candidate (Roberts) who has been around the beltway for 30 years but nobody knows his views, then he nominates his personal attorney who happened to be endorsed by Harry Reid, and who appears to have been a moderate Democrat.

    We have absolutely no reason to believe that Harriet Miers will be, and will CONTINUE to be, what the President claims. She most admires Warren Burger, she displays a love of collegiality (according to Frum), she donated money to Democrats and is well like by them, and she was allegedly pushed by moderate Andrew Card. Why should we think she will be anything other than an easily influenced moderate-especially since Roberts will be new on the Court so the ``in group`` will be the liberals?

    Rick, the Bush presidency is a means, not an end. If the Republican party is being undone, it is Bush who is undoing it by trying to force it to the center. We have a right and a duty to fight this fabian liberalism, and we are doing a disservice to our movement if we roll over yet again for a country club republican who used us to get elected.

    So what if Bush is weakened? HE`S NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION! He has made little effort to advance our agenda anyway. We have to consolidate control of our party. If we continue to allow the centrist drift we will certainly end up with a Rino like McCain.

    I agree; the President will not withdraw this nomination. In the end, we have most certainly lost because we are either stuck with a moderate on the court or we will have to oppose her confirmation. This damage was done BY THE PRESIDENT. HE chose to break his word, or at least leave us hanging at a time he could ill-afford it.

  8. 8
    Stop The ACLU » Blog Archive » A House Divided Pinged With:
    3:05 pm 

    [...] ady been vetted for high office. How does Justice Alberto Gonzalez grab ya? I thought so. Rightwing Nuthouse What’s very frustrating t [...]

  9. 9
    Der Tommissar Said:
    3:37 pm 

    To quote the great country crooner Dierks Bentely, those folks should be asking What was I thinking? Just what do my friends on the right hope to accomplish by weakening the President at exactly the moment when his Administration is balanced on the knife’s edge of irrelevancy?

    I guess they figure the term of the next Supreme Court justice will be much longer than the remainder of Bush’s presidency.

  10. 10
    BBoot Said:
    4:03 pm 

    So, as I understand it, you are arguing that pragmatism calls for support of an placing an incompetent on the Supreme Court. Hmm, are you also arguing that the war in Iraq is also really peace? And that throwing people in jail indescriminately is freedom?

    I think it is obvious that your logic and your values have taken different roads and are unlikely to arrive in the same place. Abandoning values in the face of practical limits, or making bad choices seem like good ones for the simple reason that one doesn’t want to admit being wrong, sees like a fine way to confuse everyone.

    Should all leaders be given the same blind support?

  11. 11
    Rick Moran Said:
    4:15 pm 

    There is nothing “blind” about my support for anyone. Only a fool bites off his own nose to feel good. Practical politics dicates that the alternative to Miers would be the virtual end of the Bush Presidency. If that is your goal, come out and say it. Don’t give me any of this sanctimonious baloney about “values” when the alternative is the probable election of a Democrat in 2008 and the naming of more Ginsburg type justices.

    The fact is you are as ignorant of Harriet Miers as anyone else. Let’s put it this way; she can’t be much worse than Stevens or Ginsburg. Beyond that, if she’s a reliable conservative vote on the court, fine with me.

  12. 12
    BBoot Said:
    8:55 am 

    Ah, but it is blind. You are willing to place the future of the nation’s justice system hostage to your near term political desires. That seem ultimately risky with only a short term benefit to you and your dearly held fears.

    There is no evidence that she will be a reliable conservative vote since it is not at all clear she understands what ‘conservative’ means except in blind loyalty to Bush, who will no longer be at here side. Much more likely is that, if approved, she will fade into obscurity and further damage the right side legal reputation with another incompetent dogmatic ideologue. That would be useless.

  13. 13
    Right Wing Nut House » THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME: Politics served up with a smile… And a stilletto. Pinged With:
    9:06 am 

    [...] ) Middle East (14) Moonbats (30) Open House (1) Politics (90) Science (8) Space (6) Supreme Court (9) War on Terror ( [...]

  14. 14
    swissreplica2 Trackbacked With:
    6:54 am 

    very good post from our team

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