Monday, October 10, 2005

Looking at the big picture: a question for conservatives

The fallout from the radioactive Miers nomination has revealed a rift on the right that was always there but was never quite so clear before (at least to me): a gap between those whose overriding focus is the war on terror/Islamofascism, and those who would throw it all over in a heartbeat for a chance to fight for a strict constructionist majority on the Supreme Court and other aspects of the conservative domestic agenda. And all this before the latter group even knows for sure whether Miers wouldn't in fact be pretty closely aligned with them in fighting for that conservative domestic agenda.

Weigh the two against each other and see which is more important. Remember, we're not talking about a gaggle of Chomskyite far-leftists who think the war on terror is a crock anyway, and who see Al Qaeda members as persecuted victims of the West. No, we're talking about people who, just a few short days ago, thought the war was of paramount importance and that Democrats could not be trusted to run it.

But, surprise, surprise; it turns out that, at least to a certain segment of conservatives, having the Supreme Court populated by an originalist is far more important, important enough to concede the next four years to the Democrats.

I don't know what percentage of conservatives feel this way. But here's one of them, a commenter at the Anchoress:

I admit that this nomination may well fracture the right for an election cycle. I’m perfectly happy to do that if it means that the right returns stronger and more resolved to integrity and the core principles the right has championed for decades. I’m more than willing to cede the Presidency to the Democrats for four years if it means that we spend that time remembering what it is we really stand for on the right.

"What it is we really stand for on the right." So okay folks, what is that? Is it the domestic conservative agenda above all? I understand that you feel that Bush's nomination of Miers has betrayed this aim, and that in his presidency he's betrayed other basic conservative principles, such as limitations on government spending.

But is all that really more important to you than the war against Islamofascism? That's a real question, not just a rhetorical one, by the way. And yes, of course Bush has made mistakes in the conduct of the war. The important issue is whether you think the Democrats would do better.

So, do you prefer to stick it to Bush and allow the Democrats to handle that, and let the chips fall where they may?

[Note: after this post I just may declare a Miers moratorium for a while.]

[ADDENDUM: Dr. Sanity, whose conservative bona fides are strong whereas mine are nonexistent, asks the same question. And the good doctor doesn't pull her punches.]


At 5:49 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous Erich Schwarz said...

I think the reason why many Bush supporters feel quite willing to flame the Miers choice may be because they don't really believe that the War on Terror is still being waged in a way that the Democrats can impair.

Specifically: we seem to be in a holding pattern in Iraq; we seem to be ignoring Iran and Syria's support for our enemies in Iraq; and we seem to have no serious plan whatsoever to carry the war to other enemies of the U.S., other than Iraq. In other words, we're mentally almost back to 9/10 -- even in how our current Administration is behaving. It's been a while since Michael Ledeen's "Faster, please" was anything other than a wan hope.

Given that apparent stasis, it suddenly matters a lot less to some people whether a Republican succeeds Bush in 2008, and a lot more whether we get a mediocre person picked for the Supreme Court because she's Bush's crony.

If Bush wants the coalition of voters who got him re-elected in 2004 to go on being unanimous in their support, he arguably needs to spend less time indulging his own worst tendencies in domestic policy (mediocre cronyism, totally over-the-top deficits, general mental slackitude) and a lot more time waging the War in a dynamic and continuous way. If he can't or won't do that, it's rather futile to expect Bush supporters like Glenn Reynolds to go on agreeing with him. That was never the basis for their support: indeed, without the War, they'd probably have voted Democrat in 2004, and we'd be arguing about a different Presidency's bad decisions.

At 6:02 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Well, without the war, I'd have probably voted Democratic in 2004 (alhthough my distate for Kerry himself might have prevented that--I might have just sat it out).

IMHO, if the right thinks the war can't be undermined by the Democrats, then they haven't read their history, or listened to the Democrats for the last four years. Not only that, if they really care that much about appointments to the Court, how on earth would a Democratic President end up supporting that agenda?

At 6:11 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger karrde said...

I am reminded of an article I saw on a libertarian-oriented blog by someone who claims to specialize in amateur sociology.

After the 2004 election, Eric published a series of articles about the election and its long-term effects on the Democratic Party. He closed it out with an article about the effects of success upon Republicans.

In that article, Eric claimed the the Republican Party was not insured against fracture. He was keenly aware that distinct forces were pushing several large groups of voters into the Republican arena and away from the Democrat arena. He also postulated that it was possible for ruptures to occur.

The one that he predicted was small gov't versus cultural conservative.

That isn't exactly the fault line we're seeing, but it is remarkably close.

At 6:16 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous meander said...

Because I care about fiscal responsibility from the federal gov't and I have concern about the casual acceptance of crudeness and coarseness in our society, I guess I have identified with conservative republicans over the past decade. But nothing trumps being steadfast in the war against islamofasciasm. All the other concerns will be for naught if we can't win this war. They truly do want our annihilation and with today's weaponry, they can probably achieve their goals if they get lucky a couple of times.For the life of me, I can't understand how many in our country and the rest of the western world can't see how important it is for us all to be united in this fight. So, the above is the gut feeling from one of your humble readers.

At 6:19 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Pastorius said...

Excellent point, Neo. I think Erich Schwarz point, about pro-war conservatives being disenchanted with the way the war is being prosecuted, is true as well.

Momentum is key in the prosecution of the war. At this point, the war is nothing but a pretty decent movie that came out last year. It was up for an Oscar, didn't win. We have it in the back of our minds that the sequel that might be on it's way, but the star is getting a little old to play the part.

The Republicans are making a grave mistake. Hilary Clinton will be President in a few years, if the Repubs don't focus.

Now here's another issue where the Republican party can, and probably will, fracture itself. I heard Michael Medved on the radio today saying that one good thing about Harriet Miers is she is for anti-Sodomy laws. His caller agreed.

The truth of the matter, I am afraid, is not that these Republicans are truly "strict Constructionist", but instead that they are simply anti-abortion, which I am as well, by the way. For many of these people, I suspect, strict constructionism is simply a mechanism by which they can overturn Roe vs. Wade. I don't think they really believe in it as a principle. A strict constructionist would not be for anti-Sodomy laws. I seem to recall our nation was founded on an idea called Liberty.

It's issues like these that show the difference between people like me, who became Republicans, because we found nothing to support in the Democratic party anymore, and the hardcore Conservatives.

At 6:19 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

I am not sure that this is an all or nothing scenario for the upcoming elections; either we get a Conservative SCJ, or we don't support Republicans at all. What I think it means is that down the road, people like Lindsey Graham, Arlen Specter, and John McCain, who undermined the ability to pick a more Conservative candidate, will not receive support. I hope we have a long enough memory to do that. I cannot imagine a scenario where Conservatives stomp their feet and either refuse to vote for Republicans over Democrats (unless it was a Zell Miller type), or refuse to show up at the polls at all. And even so, I am not sure this moderate Republican group now in power will pursue the War on Terror as it needs to be pursued anyway. Something else terrible will have to happen first. So, maybe it doesn't really matter after all. I am depressed now.

At 6:49 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

I think it’s all about the right’s disappointment that Bush himself is not as rightwing as they expected. It turns out that, lo & behold, Bush is an unapologetic Centrist & it’s not going down easy with the ideologues & the elitists.

I think Bush’s ‘liberal-ness’ has been bothering the right for some time & Miers has simply become a convenient focus for their displeasure. The woman is a conservative Republican but for gosh sakes she’s just not conservative enough, or not qualified, or uses too much makeup. If they were happy with Bush she would be fine.

You know, the Republicans have the Congress, most of the states’ important offices, the Whitehouse & will probably see a SCOTUS very right of center soon but the more people get the more they expect. They may wish someday that they had been more content & enjoyed their considerable power while they had the chance. The party in power is trashing its President because they suspect, suspect mind you, his conservative SCOTUS nominee may not be conservative enough. The Democrats must be smiling widely as they observe this disarray, these tantrums.

If Hillary moved a tad more hawkish on the WOT, it wouldn’t take much, I might be able to vote for her. The main reason I voted for Bush was the WOT. It could be worth suffering the PC frenzy of a Hillary Clinton Presidency to see the Rush Limbaughs, the William Kristols & the George Wills get punched in the nose.

At 7:49 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carol Herman, here. Not so anonymous. But I'm no blogger, either.

Anyway, your lead is EXCELLENT! And, the religious right must be drinking Koolaid, because they're mad at the president. And, they want to fight. Perhaps, they'd like to burn some crosses while they're at it. But it's a losers game.

The strength is going to go to the Internet. Where the fire's been contained. I saw this at Captain Quarters, where Ed Morrissey took a "wait and see" attitude. And, the few who post with invictive, haven't won the day at all.

Power Line, meanwhile, has come on board for Miers.

Me? I want to hear what she says during her confirmation hearings. I also know that the mainstream, in America, are very decent folk. They're going to give the president the benefit, because it is his choice.

I also notice that in Germany, Merkle just waited. And, Shroeder, with all of his bravado, is leaving. Period. In the "deal" his team fields one more minister's seat; but that's it. All the claptrap about what he wanted; And, the rage of the men who thought Merkle was a woman, a spinster, no less; undeserving of the "prize" ... They didn't win.

And, the religious right won't win, now, either.

Next up? Can Karl Rove be charged with espionage? Slate thinks so. Though it's going to be one of those "stretches." And, again, the Internet will put a big damper on the NY Times. Let alone, how this is going to need the Supreme Court, to finally show that ordinary workers don't go to jail, when they talk to journalists. Or, when they publish their opnions o the Net.

The Net's gonna grow and be absolutely amazing.

At 8:04 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous john moulder said...

Listen up, hard-core conservatives. You didn’t get power because of conservative voters. You won elections because we in the middle voted for you. A lot of us who bestowed power upon you are not very conservative. We are the Centrists & you will win few elections without us. If you cannot stand behind your own President then maybe you don’t deserve to stay in power. We Centrists are getting a bit impatient with your tantrums. We think Harriet Miers deserves a fair hearing & think you are very shortsighted to trash her because she is not conservative enough by your uncompromising & rarefied standards. You people better wise up or get used to sucking hind teat again. You can be brought down, never believe that you cant. If the Democrats were to become more hawkish you brats could become history in a short period of time. Be very afraid of Senator Clinton, she knows more about winning campaigns than all of you put together.

At 8:04 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

Ignoring the tripe in the above comment (sort of), what would have been the fallout for Bush if he had nomianteda a Rogers Brown who was not confirmed and then turned to Miers, the candidate he wanted all along?
Bush could have said "See, look, Dems/Moderate Republicans won't have it, sorry." Hindsight is always 20-20, but what would have been the harm in trying? I think it would have been a total political success as the Dems would look bad after another Borking of a Conservative candidate and the compromise candidate would have had a lower set of expectatations as a result.

At 8:05 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

Sorry, John, didn't mean your post- I meant Carol's tripe. I did enjoy your tantrum about tantrums though.

At 8:31 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger flenser said...

"But, surprise, surprise; it turns out that, at least to a certain segment of conservatives, having the Supreme Court populated by an originalist is far more important, important enough to concede the next four years to the Democrats."

This could be rewritten thusly;

"But, surprise, surprise; it turns out that, at least to a certain segment of conservatives, having the Supreme Court populated by a "moderate" is far more important, important enough to concede the next four years to the Democrats."

If the liberal Republicans did not want a fight, they should not have started one. Having started one, it is rather poor form of them to act as if they are pure and virtious. At least they might have the good grace to wipe the blood from their hands before they assume an aspect of injured innocence.

At 8:40 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Huan said...

Seems to me that the difference between 2000 and 2004 election are the 911 republicans that gave Bush a majority in 2004. 911 republicans care about waging and winning the global war against islamofascism. They are made up of moderate republicans, true liberals (who believe in freedom and democracy for all), and similarly minded independents.
True conservatives probably don't care all that much for the war and would as soon see the US isolationist. Most conservatives tolerated it as a necessity, and because it was the right thing to do. But it is not core of the conservative agendas. And many conservatives have come out against the war. When it comes to social issues, the conservatives really want someone who will pass their litmus test for SCotUS (like overturning Roe vs. Wade). Sure they talk about not legislating from the bench, but this is as long as it serves the conservative agenda.
Interesting to me that the conservatives feel betrayed, being a core supporter of Bush, but it was the 911 republicans that won the 2004 election for Bush. It will be tacking too far right that will lose seats for the Republicans in the next elections. Thus Bush went for vanilla conservative with Roberts, and stealth moderate-conservative with Miers, to appease the right without alienating the middle. And chances are, he also realize he will likely nominate a 3rd candidate for SCotUS before the end of his tenure, and with sufficient republican gains in congress to avoid a filibuster, will then nominate a hard core conservative and not worry about 2008. By then, a new face will arrive to recruit votes from the moderate base.

At 8:50 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

I am sure Moderates relish their role as the much-courted Prom date, but the lessons of Reagan remind us that going to the Right is not a deathwish for a candidate. In fact, the moderate group will go with you. But this is neither here nor there for the Miers discussion. The comments reflect the attitude that the Supreme Court is yet another legislature that needs moderate influence. It is not, or ought not be, anyway.

At 8:57 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Rick Ballard said...


The real Republican base does not appear to be split at all. This nomination was caused by Dopey McCain and the rest of the Seven Dwarves. The President has no interest in starting fights without enough solid support to guarantee a victory. Some conservatives don't consider fighting for Bork and winding up with Kennedy to be the smartest move Reagan ever made.

At 9:04 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

More crazy talk (no class today, unfortunately for you all):

When can Conservatives disagree with a President's Supreme Court nominee? Never? What reasons are valid?

Aren't Conservatives out to win the debate ideologically? Moderates seem to think the goal is to become more moderate like them. It's not. The idea from our standpoint is for Conservative ideals to win and make moderates more Conservative (liberals are hopeless). I am glad Moderates, some anyway, are along for the War on Terror (and whoever it was that posted on that- Isolationism is not a mainstay of big C Conservative thought. I think the problem is with the labels anymore. Conservative=bad connatation. Liberal=good. Tough to overcome even that notion sometimes). Self-preservation can be a powerful motivator at times. Unfortunately, they haven't been "mugged by the realities" of the welfare state- the degradation, the decay of family and community- to a large enough degree to join the Conservatives on those sorts of social issues. This is a moderate's blog so I won't criticize moderates further. I shouldn't be surprised that moderates see themselves as the lone rational voice. Each 1/3 does.

At 9:25 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

@John Moulder significantly agree

@Huan uh, that's the conventional wisdom and conservative stereotype. Not sure it holds up.

@Holmes good clarifications

Details. What people expect to have happen, they feel they deserve, often for no logical reason. If the case were put directly to conservatives: WOT vs. no SCOTUS squishes, WOT would win big. But conservatives didn't see that as the issue here. They (we) expected a clear conservative, and so felt robbed when it was "taken" from them. It's all in Screwtape, BTW. In a close election, everyone feels it was their group who put the candidate over the top.

I am disappointed in the Miers nomination. But I also know that the conservatives have been singing to the Democrats for the last few months "The president's choice should have the presumption of approval, because appointments are his right under the constitution." So we should practice what we preach -- not that we offer no criticism or analysis, but that our presumption is with the constitutional intent.

At 10:03 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous neo-neocon said...

Holmes: Conservatives can disagree with a President's Supreme Court pick any old time they want, for any old reason they want, as far as I'm concerned. I'm just pointing out some of the possible consequences of this particular disagreement with this particular candidate at this particular juncture for these particular reasons in this particular manner.

I'm a moderate--and, like everyone else, I think my positions make sense or I wouldn't hold them.
But where did ever I say that moderates were the lone rational voice? My argument, here and on other threads, is more of a pragmatic one: that elections are won, more often than not, by appealing to the moderate middle third. This is not a case of self-aggrandizement, it's just a historical fact, as far as I can see.

And this particular post was about priorities: war on terror vs. conservative domestic agenda. If conservatives push so heavily for the latter that they damage their own party in the eyes of moderates, they may lose everything they've gained, and more.

At no point did I ever entertain the notion that a conservative's goal would be to become more moderate and more like me in the ideological sense. That would be a very odd thing to think. But I would assume that a conservative's goal would be to win elections and be able to implement at least some of his/her policies, rather than remain ideologically pure but out of power.

At 10:06 PM, October 10, 2005, Blogger neo-neocon said...

To Carol Herman: If you want to post under your own name, it's actually easy. You have three choices: blogger, other, and anonymous. Just click on the "other" circle and you can fill in your name.

At 10:56 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous timmah! said...

Pastorius: I agree that "strict constructionist" is too often conservative code for "anti-Roe". By and large, Americans are firm believers in the end justifies the means, and will destroy, distort, or trample any principle or law that inconveniences them. Thus we use the Commerce Clause to overrule local laws allowing doctors to prescribe medication for their patients, etc.

At 11:34 PM, October 10, 2005, Anonymous strcpy said...

In my experience there are few republicans or conservatives who feel that way about loosing to the dems. You can always find fringe - but that is *not* a common attitude amongst bloggers, commentors, message board people, and people I meet/interact with everyday (and, being from Tennessee - lots of conservatives).

Miers is currently high on the priority list - but then that *should* be obvious why. Fiscal policy is also important.

It's hard to draw the line where to give. It's sorta like the line one goes through in chemotherapy - you do just enough to kill the cancer but not kill you (ideally). It doesn't do any good to kill the cancer but also loose the rest of your body. Likewise what good is winning the war on terror if the homefront is all pretty much poisoned? You can also look at it as why win on the homefront if you loose the war on terror? They must balance.

I'm no centrist - never have been (in fact I don't really believe there are centrist - a true centrist would have no real ideas). I've been accused of being left, right, and out there but generally I'm considered pretty hard right. For me the line is "what damage can happen" - do we appoint another supreme court judge that gives is Kelo type "Living and Breathing" decisions right and left? A judge that rules thier feelings/wants instead of strict constituional law? It's probably worth it in the long run to cede short term losses to win that - for one I don't think that any one president can destroy *that* much (especially given that much of thier work needs congress) but a 20-35 year reign of a crazy supreme court definatly can.

Mostly it comes down to what you think will cause the worst long term damage. There can be arguments for both, but basically the terrorist can not raelly win - only hurt. A rampant supreme court can bring our society to it's knees.

However, that being said, I see no reason to believe Miers is that type of person (in fact, I see no reason to believe Miers is any type of person yet). Mostly I bet people will get over it about two weeks after she is appointed or failed - it's just the hot topic for right now. Neither the dems or the repubs are going to have this massive split anytime soon (your gonna have to have someplace for them to go first). Both sides are looking at the others drooling over it - but it's not gonna happen anytime soon.

Hell, even at 30 I've seen this too many times to count to even get worked up over it.

At 12:16 AM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous thedragonflies said...

There is nothing cowardly or unconservative by picking a fight that Bush thinks he can win rather than a fight that he thinks he will lose. It is the Republican Senate that I don't trust, not the Republican president.

At 6:09 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

I am so deeply impressed with the psychic abilities of my peers in the hard-right camp. I wish I too could forsee how Harriet will judge and rule on issues. I would be very, very rich knowing too what stocks are going to rise in value. The hard-right is always talking about leftist hysteria - some of my peers need to look closely in the mirror.

At 8:29 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger Frank Wilson said...

The presumption in this debate is that Bush has somehow alienated his base. If you think that conservative commentators such as George Will are representative of the base, maybe so. But according to a piece by Donald Lambro in the Washington Times -- the only piece I've seen that actually inquires into what rank-and-file Republicans think on the matter -- it would seem it is the commentators who are out of touch with the Republican base. So a bunch of self-congratulating scribes are offended that the President didn't pick someone they approve of? So what?

At 9:33 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger Call Me Jack said...

Frankly, the only split I see in the Republican Party is between the Bushies (for whom W can do no wrong) and the true conservatives.

This administration has been adrift from true conservative principles for some time - the Miers nomination was simply the last straw.

Not only that, but conservatives have grown weary of the cronyism and incompetence of this administration. Eventhose of us who have supported our efforts in Iraq from day one have grown tired of our ineffective and middling strategies there.

This is simply true conservatism trying to say, "Enough".

At 9:40 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger troutsky said...

Of course the fracture isn't about Meirs at all. A few conservatives who still have cognitive abilities are worried about Kristol and his Project for a New American Century, worried about having Asia own over trillion dollars of our debt, worried about Christian-fascists hijacking their party,worried about the rumblings from Latin American social movements pissed off about failed neo-liberal economic policies, worried about what's left of manufacturing jobs and the middle class they created dissapearing. They are worried about the corruption and cronyism .The ones who have quit thinking and only react want to channel Tom Jefferson and go back to powdered wigs and snuff boxes.

At 9:44 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger Holmes said...

Commenters are right in that we have no idea how Miers will really rule on issues- either now, or after the nomination process. We don't really know that about Roberts either. It's a shame so much is at stake for a judicial body that is supposed to merely interpret the Constitution (according to its own ruling in Marbury v. Madison, of course).

Neo, I addressed the practical considerations of this "split" in an earlier post. I don't think this hurts the War on Terror or that there is any real trade-off there. It is moderates who seem to be saying "We're turned off by this hard-right stuff, we may bolt and go Dem!" It seems more like negotiating their supposed swing-vote leverage.

At 9:56 AM, October 11, 2005, Blogger David said...

Some Republicans need to grow up fast. There have been too many arguments lately that things couldn't be any worse under the Democrats, and indeed might be better because a split between Presidential and Congressional parties would inhibit spending programs.

Consider just one example. The UN is attempting to get control of the Internet. I don't have much doubt that Gore or Kerry would have gone along with this, and so would Hillary or any other likely Dem nominee.

Is (insert issue here) really worth giving up global freedom of speech for?

At 10:12 AM, October 11, 2005, Anonymous erasmus said...

Well, is it possible not to take this Miers nomination seriously? Maybe to compare it to Bush, as president of the DEK fraternity at Yale, sneaking one of his frat brothers on to the undergraduate judicial board? Something like that?
With all the legal talent out there, and legal accomplishments, Bush gives us Miers, and after frumping and frooing, she'll be approved.
This is serious governance? It's fun, and it may turn out to be "good politics." But isn't it a bit of a frat joke on the highest court in the land?

At 4:55 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger Roy Lofquist said...

I find ideology to be both tiresome and naive. Human beings and human society are so complex as to be beyond the ken of mere mortals.

The founders provided us with a few simple rules.

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal...".

They provided a structure that made government the servant of the people. We go to the polls every two years to vote yea or nay.

This system is not perfect. We suffered a terrible civil war to preserve this gift to humanity. We have experienced fits and starts on our long glorious road to the most just society in history. We are not at our destination. It is a journey that does not have an end.

We must trust the system. It has served us well. The President appoints and the Senate approves. Save your breath for the next election.

At 9:06 PM, October 11, 2005, Blogger terrye said...

True conservatives need to keep in mind that they can not win elections and remian pure.

I find the tantrums and the whining annoying and absurd.

When I said the president deserved his nominee and his nominee deserved an up or down vote, I meant it.

When the socalled pure conservative said it I guess he should have qualified the statement with a "when I like him/her."

The Constitution makes it plain that the Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President and the Senate advises and consents.

there is no popular vote.

When I said that I thought judges should not legislate from the bench I meant it. When the pure conservative said he meant unless they legislate the way I want them to.

So who is being dishonest here?

Thanks to Bush Roberts is the Chief Justice and Luttig, Brown and Owen are on the bench. They may not be in the Supreme Court yet, but he did get them confirmed.

And as for the big ideological battle, the pure conservative will lose it because most Americans do not belong to the Federalist Society and would find Ms Brown's statements comparing the New Deal with programs such as Social Security to socialism to be very weird.

They might be willing to let her be a judge because after all everyone has a right to an opinion, but they have no intention of doing away with all social legislation for the last several decades. none. nada. zip. Ain't gonna happen.

I think Kristol and the rest of the condescending talking heads out on the Beltway are getting to big for their britches and if any conservative out there is really prepared to abandon the war for spite, then you people deserve to be out of power.

BTW, I am a centrist and I voted for Bush because I love my country more than I love getting my own damn way all the time. So I put up with a lot of stuff that I really did not like about Republicans because I thought this was more important and you guys better remember that is how you got where you are.

Sit it out in 2006 and the Democrats will be the ones picking those judges not any self righteous purist.

At 8:20 AM, October 12, 2005, Anonymous bruhaha said...

Carol Hermann wrote:
the religious right must be drinking Koolaid, because they're mad at the president

I don't know who it is you're reading or listening to. Of all the conservative groups the "religious right", despite its initial (and very understandable) disappointment, has been the most supportive of the nomination.

Look, for example, at who's saying what on talk radio -- it's the Hugh Hewitts and Michael Medveds, folks who have always been front-and-center on the importance of their faith, who are calling for the nomination to be supported.

I'm not putting down the personal faith of those who disagree (including the folks at National Review who have been so good about so many things), but I note that the vocal opponents are NOT those who have tended to highlight the importance of religious values. Are Krauthammer, Will, Frum --to name a few of the most frequently cited opponents-- suddenly spokesmen for the religious right??

In fact, many of the nastiest Miers' critics have directed much of THEIR fire at the evangelicals they think ought to be joining their side in the fight --and the commenters on countless blogs are busily castigating the religious right for 'drinking the KoolAid' by SUPPORTING the President!

So it looks like folks for and against the nomination BOTH want to demonize religious conservatives!! Gives new meaning to "damned if you do. . . . "

At 2:48 AM, October 13, 2005, Blogger Cutler said...

I support the war entirely, and generally think the Democrats are completely nuts. I am also a strong libertarian/conservative who thinks the Surpreme Court is important enough to [whether or not it should be as important as it has become is a bigger question] hold the President accountable.

It is important to note that this rift didn't just appear out of thin air. It has not been happy times for a good number of conservatives on the domestic front, especially those who are not big on religion. We're talking about the guy who stuck “Compassionate” on his title because he needed to back away from mean old Goldwater/Reagan Conservatism.

Illegal immigration, affirmative action, CFR - on any other number of issues the conservatives have been swallowing unpopular decisions for the war. Frankly, I wouldn't want George Bush himself on the Supreme Court, so his personal lawyer does not appeal to me too much.

Yeah the war is the #1 issue, but watching the remaining sane political party morph into its former enemy is not exactly something conservatives are going to take sitting down. When we've got two big government, politically correct parties, where exactly are they going to turn to?

At 10:47 PM, October 13, 2005, Blogger Rich Casebolt said...

IMO, the anti-Miers contingent may have picked a battle that they shouldn't win.

The knock-down-drag-out nomination process they seem to want ... in the process framing this nomination in terms of the the total spectrum of conservative ideology, instead of focusing on the originalist/activist dichotomy alone, may end up muddying the waters of public debate ... and turn off many who would otherwise join us on the side of good, but are reluctant to empower "ideologues" of any stripe.

Don't misunderestimate this President.

At 11:05 PM, October 13, 2005, Blogger Rich Casebolt said...

Also consider that there are some other, GOOD reasons Bush has not been as "pure" a conservative as this independent would like to see in the oval office.

>Just like Reagan, the President has had to deal with an obstructionist opposition by "buying them off". Yes, the GOP has the majority ... but the Dems still have the fillibuster, and are not afraid to use it ... and this President needed to IMPLEMENT a lot of new legislation to support the GWOT -- and quickly! This explains some of the increases in spending ... along with Congresscritters of BOTH parties seizing the opportunities to procure some pork for the folks back home, the national interest be damned.

(And, if you think that this will get better under Democratic control of any branch of government, think again ... even though I would like to see BOTH parties rendered obsolete, the Dems have repeatedly shown they would take us back to their failed social experiments of the 1970's if they are given the chance. Therefore, I'll have to back the lesser of two evils for now.)

> Regarding the borders, I think there may be a reason this President has not acted more strongly to close them off ... I think that perhaps both the President and Vincente Fox believe that the combination of socialism and corruption in Mexico has produced a working class that is primed for the Mexican analogue to Hugo Chavez to "lead" them ... and that tougher border enforcement would ignite that primer. I'm not saying that keeping the borders pourous is the right response to this ... however, it might be the response of reasonable men, especially if Fox et. al. can't change the dynamics of governance and economics inside Mexico to defuse the situation.

At 8:37 PM, October 17, 2005, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The problem with Bush is that he buys off all of his opponent's, not just some.

And in addition to that, the people he has bought (Kennedy via No Child) don't stay bought. Now that's the stupid part.

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