Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Harriet, Who?

I'm mystified by Bush's selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. I think my complaint, like so many on the right, is two-fold. First, Republican presidents have horrible track records when they get too cute and try to nominate "stealth" candidates, viz. David Souter. They promise conservatives and we get liberals.

Second, with so many top notch conservative talents out there, W bypasses all of them and nominates his personal lawyer? I don't think it speaks well of the president. Look, Dick Cheney was head of the team put together to pick his vice-president and, surprise, the best candidate was Dick Cheney. Harriet Miers was head of the team to find and vet Supreme Court nominees and you know the rest...

A third, minor point: If Harriet had been Harry Miers, he wouldn't have been considered. We live in the age of affirmative action, like it or not, and if George hadn't picked a woman, any woman, the media and dems would be having a field day. But for pete's sake - what was wrong with Janice Rogers Brown?

George Will nails Bush:

The president's "argument" for her amounts to: Trust me. There is no reason to, for several reasons.

He has neither the inclination nor the ability to make sophisticated judgments about competing approaches to construing the Constitution. Few presidents acquire such abilities in the course of their pre-presidential careers, and this president particularly is not disposed to such reflections.

Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that Miers's nomination resulted from the president's careful consultation with people capable of such judgments. If 100 such people had been asked to list 100 individuals who have given evidence of the reflectiveness and excellence requisite in a justice, Miers's name probably would not have appeared in any of the 10,000 places on those lists.

In addition, the president has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution. The forfeiture occurred March 27, 2002, when, in a private act betokening an uneasy conscience, he signed the McCain-Feingold law expanding government regulation of the timing, quantity and content of political speech. The day before the 2000 Iowa caucuses he was asked -- to ensure a considered response from him, he had been told in advance that he would be asked -- whether McCain-Feingold's core purposes are unconstitutional. He unhesitatingly said, "I agree." Asked if he thought presidents have a duty, pursuant to their oath to defend the Constitution, to make an independent judgment about the constitutionality of bills and to veto those he thinks unconstitutional, he briskly said, "I do."
Pat Buchanon (contrary to appearances, I'm not a huge Pat fan) sums up a lot of the disappointment on the right in a commentary on

What is depressing here is not what the nomination tells us of her, but what it tells us of the president who appointed her. For in selecting her, Bush capitulated to the diversity-mongers, used a critical Supreme Court seat to reward a crony and revealed that he lacks the desire to engage the Senate in fierce combat to carry out his now-suspect commitment to remake the court in the image of Scalia and Thomas. In picking her, Bush ran from a fight. The conservative movement has been had -- and not for the first time by a president by the name of Bush.

My feelings are that the Republicans believe that conservatives have no place else to go. We have to support this nominee and we don't like it, tough. But it was the conservative base that delivered the presidency, house and senate to the Republicans and we do have someplace to go.

We can sit out the next election (our votes don't really buy us anything, so what the hell) and the Republicans can watch their majority status go away. The last time a Bush betrayed the conservative movement ("read my lips: no new taxes") he lost the White House. This time his legacy will be to lose the Senate and, maybe, the House.

But, like Dennis Miller used to say, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.

No comments: