Why I Support Harriet Miers
It's really quite simple. I cast a vote on November 2, 2004 for George W. Bush for President of the United States of America. I did not cast a vote for the conservative movement (although I support most of its goals), I did not cast a vote for conservative bloggers (although I agree with them most of the time), I did not cast a vote for David Frum or George Will (dittos).
How many times did we hear in the last year or so (particularly during the discussion of the nuclear option) that Bush had been elected president and deserved to be able to nominate his choice of judges? I'd guess that every conservative blog made that point at one time or another.
But what some of us meant was that only the liberals couldn't object to the president's choices. Apparently every conservative blog forgot to mention that they reserved the right to exercise a veto in the event that Bush nominated someone insufficiently acceptable to the commentariat.
Bush has been terrific on judges; any objective ranking of his appointments to the federal bench would conclude that he has done an excellent job. The only clunkers were a couple holdovers from Clinton that he renominated in an effort to change the tone. Once it became obvious that would not satisfy the scorched earth partisans like Tom Daschle, he's been rock solid.
He's done a terrific job as well for the party. It's well-known that the 2002 election was a solid mid-term for Republicans, and 2004 wasn't too bad either. For the first time since the 1920s the Republicans have held control of the House, Senate and Presidency for two consecutive elections (three if you ignore the Jumpin' Jim Jeffords incident which thwarted the will of the voters in 2000); not even Eisenhower was able to accomplish that feat.
More than that, I see danger signs ahead. If the conservative blogs, which I'll admit are largely against the Miers nomination, win this round, then who gains power and who loses power? President Bush loses, and that power won't flow down to the blogosphere. It will go to Congress. Which will mean Denny Hastert and Bill Frist (and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi) benefit. They have one thing in common with George Will; I didn't vote for them.
And it fits in with the larger media story of the collapsing Bush presidency, which we all know is mostly a bogus concoction, but a least it gives the Democrats and their fans in the scribbling class something to crow about.
It's easy for a party to fracture like this during the second term of a presidency; the Democrats only avoided it in 1998 because they had the specter of an impeachment and conviction of the president facing them. But second-termers are called Lame Ducks for a reason, and if the Republicans succeed in laming their own early on despite majorities in both houses they just might deserve the butt-whipping that the Left is increasingly convinced is coming in the 2006 elections.
Despite the furor in the punditocracy over the Miers nomination, the rank and file of the party is largely behind President Bush and not the talking heads. This was brought home to me by reading the comments in this recent post
You probably are aware that the conservative blogosphere is largely hostile to Miers. What you may forget is that some of the major bloggers opposed to Miers (Instapundit, Michelle Malkin) do not allow comments. Check out the comments from some of these folks responding to Polipundit, who does:#1
Why don’t you make a sign - and stand in front of the White House until they give in to your demands?
Maybe you can share a tent with Cindy Sheehan?
Comment by Von Aras | Email | Homepage | 10/24/2005 - 4:38 pm
Ouch! That's gotta hurt.#4
When the anti Miers crowd depends on Time Magazine, Chuck Schumer, New York Times, and all the rest of the liberal news media for their information, it is a sad day. For 5 whole years, we have all agreed that these organizations have been so biased against us and our policies. They have produced lie after lie about us. Yet, you anti Miers guys are now making them your bible as you try to further your points and agenda. You are becoming the Moveon.org of the right.
Comment by n.c. voter | 10/24/2005 - 4:45 pm
again with miers.
Comment by j.foster | Email | 10/24/2005 - 4:46 pm
My point is not that these people necessarily raise terrific arguments, just that even major blogs like Polipundit (which is a group blog much like Lifelike where there is disagreement between the bloggers on the nomination) are encountering significant resistance from their readers on throwing Miers under the bus.#11
these constant anti miers post are really annoying, I’d go to du/kos if really wanted to be annoyed.
Comment by JPNiner | 10/24/2005 - 5:02 pm
After that the comments diverge into various debates, but any notion that the large bloggers or pundits are really swaying or even representing public opinion within the party seems overblown.
What I would like is an agreement on a bet with the folks who are opposing Miers. I'll bet you a public apology in the blogosphere than if confirmed as I expect, in two years Harriet Miers will have a closer voting record to Justice Thomas and Justice Scalia than will Chief Justice Roberts.
Let me specify here as well, that I am trying to distinguish between the arguments raised against Miers and those who are raising them. One of the more dismaying aspects to George Will's rant the other day was his adamant refusal to acknowledge that honest Republicans can disagree on this nomination. I'm glad that most conservative bloggers are willing to accept the integrity of both sides' arguments.
For the contra opinion, read the Fatman's post
on why he opposes the Miers nomination. And Paul Deignan analyzes Harriet Miers' life choices
and why they indicate to him that she should be rejected. Paul makes some good arguments, but this strikes me as unfair:Miers’ fifth life decision was to idolize George Bush, a man whose philosophy on Roe is that it will only be overturned when “hearts are changed”. Since Bush has not spoken out against Roe, it is fair to assume that his heart is also among those that must be changed. Indeed, his wife Laura attests to the correctness of this observation.
Actually, IIRC, Bush's comment about changing hearts was about ending abortion in general, and not about Roe. Because Roe has been the focus for decades, many forget that when Roe is overturned (as it will be), the number of abortions in this country will not decline significantly. At that point, it will be up to the individual states to decide whether to ban abortion. My read is that very few states will do so. In Arizona we had a ballot proposition about 10 years ago to ban abortion with exceptions for rape and incest. It was understood that this would be a potential test case to send up to the Supreme Court.
The measure failed by a 2-1 margin. In Arizona, where the population has voted for the Republican candidate for President in every election since 1952 save one. And guess what? Abortion, which had been a constant issue down at the state house, has disappeared as a local issue. This is what President Bush meant by changing hearts on the issue. Overturning Roe may give a brief surge of energy to the pro-life movement. But it is unlikely to result in the significant reduction in abortions that they desire.