Barnettic, and Rovian, Reasons to Oppose Miers

“Base “uprising” gives “spine” to R Senate – Meirs withdrawals,” by a reader, private email, 9 October 2005.

Miers Remorse: Conservatives are right to be skeptical.,” by John Fund, Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2005, http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110007384 (from The Corner).

The tough choice on Miers: competency versus ideology (as in, be careful what you wish for),” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 10 October 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002440.html.

The blogosphere has been awash in criticism of Harriet Miers, Bush’s impossibly bad choice for Supreme Court justice. Now, the post that took me from skeptical of Harriet to outright hostile

The problem is, of course, that Miers seems to have so little to recommend her. Hell, Bush picks Oprah tomorrow and she sweeps in with HER real-world experience, but Miers comes off as a non-judge David Souter, picked for the doubleplusgood attributes of being both Bush loyalist and having no written legal record of note. Not a great combo.

Justice nominees usually get rejected in a fit of pique, and Bush has certainly earned his from both Left (for all the usuals) and Right (for disappointing them with both Roberts [whether most realize it yet or not] and–far more so–with Miers). What the opposition to her nomination have going right now is powerful: a passionate out-of-power party and too few in-power-party stalwarts to stand at the nominee’s defense.

This could get really ugly, but I am loathe to wish for something better, because I feel that, in Miers’ defeat, we’ll set the stage for a truly right-wing justice in her place. In my mind, centrists and Dems the country over were lucky to see O’Connor and Rehnquist so “moderately” replaced. Roberts will be a good herder of cats, I believe, and Miers was unlikely to do much harm, being an intellectual lightweight.

If Miers goes down, and I now believe it is entirely possible (when the Wills and the Kristols abandon you and the Left is gearing up, you’re in real trouble), we may all end up being happy with Roberts’ tendency to rule as a real centrist (which I believe he will), because what we end up with post-Miers may be fairly hardcore.

So two TPMBesque reasons to support Miers

  1. Miers can’t do the job well.
  2. Whoever comes after Miers will be more conservative

Listen to Thomas Barnett! Defeat Miers!

Of course, maybe it’s a conspiracy…

It is traditional for nominees to remain silent until their confirmation hearings. But previous nominees, while unable to speak for themselves, have been able to deploy an array of people to speak persuasively on their behalf. In this case, the White House spin team has been pathetic, dismissing much of the criticism of Ms. Miers as “elitism” or even echoing Democratic senators who view it as “sexist.” But it was Richard Land , president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who went so far as to paint Ms. Miers as virtually a tool of the man who has been her client for the past decade. “In Texas, we have two important values, courage and loyalty,” he told a conference call of conservative leaders last Thursday. “If Harriet Miers didn’t rule the way George W. Bush thought she would, he would see that as an act of betrayal and so would she.” That is an argument in her favor. It sounds more like a blood oath than a dignified nomination process aimed at finding the most qualified individual possible .

So is the White House setting Miers up for a fall? A tdaxp reader thinks so, echoing Barnett…

Is this another “Rovian” move? It is the Republican Senators that don’t have the stomach for a knock down fight to get “true” conservative on the SCOTUS.
GW isn’t running again, but they are. If Miers withdrawals then it will not be Pres. Bush forcing this fight on the “gentleman’s club”. (Sadly, the Republicans have expanded the definition of gentleman to include wimp.)
What could Arlen do then?
Several columnists/bloggers have written that it was clear that the Senate did not want the all out war necessary for passing the “Constitutional Option”.
Well, now the base has spoken.

Hopefully it’ll turn out that way, but I don’t think so. Bush is too loyal to his friends. Sadly.

2 thoughts on “Barnettic, and Rovian, Reasons to Oppose Miers”

  1. I have thought both Roberts and Miers have been pretty decent candidates. I was willing to even let Roberts go until he stonewalled Democratic and Republican questioners alike in his hearings. Nominating Miers didn't surprise me. Bush already appointed a fresh face as the Chief Justice, as opposed to someone who'd been there for a while, but maybe there's no implicit heirarchy there.

    What I don't understand is the far Right and Dan's desire to see her as a harbinger of a TRUE CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE. Much like I wouldn't approve of the nomination of Clinton's jogging buddy or the head of the NRDC, I would oppose someone who comes in pro-life-guns-blazing. As we have seen with Souter, even a leftist can vote in asinine directions, so maybe the trick is to get a strict constructionist in with a kick of human rights / civil rights blood, and leave this messiness alone.

    I think it's centrism that's getting us anywhere. Clinton danced with the left and the right pretty frequently, trying not to leave any woman scorned. I think Kerry would've been pretty centrist as well, except for his socialized healthcare which seems to be working for most other countries… But that's a tangent for another time, leave it alone Dan.

    I don't understand why everyone's eagerly awaiting this TRULY CONSERVATIVE moment. Then what? Bush & Co. have rightly realized that when the religion vs. secularism / religion vs. abortion / religion vs. non-whites fights go away, they have no way to energize their base. Why wouldn't they just leave things status quo and let greed continue to slowly push the country Right as it has for the last 20 years?

  2. Aaron,

    Thank you for stopping by.

    I like your defense of Bush against charges of cronyism. Miers “insideness” certainly balances Roberts' “outsideness.” Still, Bush is very loyal to people around him.

    America's government is defined by a seperation of power into three brances at the federal level (executive, legislative, and judicial), plus the fifty sovereigns at the state level. This makes it very hard for movemens to seize the govnerment, thus making Victories when they do occur all the more impressive.

    On the global political economy front, I agree that US policy is marked by an “enlightened moderation” that extends back at least as far as GH Bush, and would have been carried on by Kerry. Indeed, a fusion of Center-Right and Center-Left economics known as “neoliberalism” has taken over most of the Core, former Senator McGovern not withstanding ().

    But I don't think such moderation would be effective culturally. There is not a political consesus to social issues that mirrors the neoliberal Washington Consensus on economics issues. On the left, abortionist dead-enders seemed determine to destroy their party to save lawful infanticide, while a rising faction of homosexualists sees what damage it can do (). On the right, Christian Conservatives have fused pre-modern and ideological politics () to change the world.

    If political economics is marked by mutual subversion (everyone eventually agreeing on major points), political culture is marked by mutual subdueing (everyone trying to conquer everyone else). When life is genteel, the proper man will mingle about the room. When life is not, animals that live in the middle of the road are roadkill.

    The reason the Right is not content to let time solve its problems is that it is smart — it knows the Left opposes it and will use whatever tools are available. To Win — let alone Survive — the Right believes it must also.

    As to your religious diads: America may be more religious than she ever was before, and the trendliens imply a continuation of this trend. Purely “secular” parties can expect trouble. Opposition to infanticide is almost universal, as seen by Europe having stricter laws than we do. As for the strange “religion v. non-whites” angle, perhaps you could tell me which way Latino Catholics have been trending?

    Glad to see you got the site moved and running at http://aaron.groundrocket.org ! I missed it!

  3. Interesting that TPMB and I have come
    to same conclusion but from totally different
    pov's.

    I want conservative SC justices, he doesn't.

    His post is a warning to those Dems that may
    oppose her, to let her be confirmed.

    My Email was to say that Bush put her up as
    challenge to the wimps that are part of the
    Republican majority. The Rovian part is that
    the problems with the appointment rile all and
    have everyone delving into the reasons for this
    “outrageous” selection. The deeper they delve
    and the more they scream, the more leaks will
    come to light, that the Senate would not have
    fought for a “known” conservative justice.

    So, when the very bright but politically mislead
    TPMB is concerned that Miers will not be confirmed, I am heartened.

    And if this outpouring does not put some steel
    in the Rinos, I am sure that there will be some
    true conservatives in their states to give them
    a run next time they are up for election. This
    is something that will not be forgotten.

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