Answering the Hard Questions

On his blog this morning, Hugh Hewitt says that the "anti-Miers" crowd routinely dodges the hard questions. Then he lists them (Hugh's questions in bold), and challenges her opponents to answer them. Here's my take.

Does George W. Bush deserve any loyalty from his party? From pundits identified with his party? If so, how much and why not more?

Dissent is very different from disloyalty. It is not disloyal to say that the President has failed to keep his promise to his supporters. President Bush has done many things that are worthy of admiration and respect. He has also unfortunately done many things that are not even close to conservative. Therefore he is not entitled to a free pass, and when his actions raise serious questions, he should not be surprised to see them raised by those of us who are on his side. The President is not well-served by blind loyalty and yes men. Those who check their judgment at the door are not his true friends or supporters.

Do Harriett Miers' many accomplishments count for nothing?

None of Harriet Miers' accomplishments indicate that she would enter the court as (and remain throughout her lifetime appointment) a conservative constitutionalist in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. Therefore, those accomplishments do not count as credentials to demonstrate that she is what President Bush promised his appointments would be.

Does Harriett Miers strike the commentator as a dedicated public servant?

Not particularly. She served one term on the Dallas City Council, and has followed the President up the ladder of government, but nothing she has done shows any real notable dedication to public service.

Why not wait for the hearings to at least begin?

Nothing that will be said in the hearings will be able to demonstrate a consistent pattern of conservative constitutional thought on her part. If such evidence existed, the White House would certainly have brought it forward by now. Therefore nothing in the hearings can answer the question of why what's "in her heart" should substitute for evidence of what's in her head. Further, if her nomination is withdrawn rather than defeated, the political fallout is less.

How important is it that Roe v. Wade/Casey be reversed?


Which five precedents does the commentator think are in most pressing need of reversal?

In no particular order: Lemon, Kelo, Roe, Griswold, and Rancho Viejo v Norton (just for you, Hugh!)

Does the commentator agree with George Will's assertion of Justice Lewis Powell as the "embodiment of mainstream conservative jurisprudence?"


Is a neo-Borking underway which will discredit the conservative cause's defense of its future nominees against similar, future attacks from the left?

No. Using the shameful treatment of the unquestionably brilliant and qualified constitutional conservative Robert Bork by his enemies as a description for what is happening to Harriet Miers cheapens Bork's experience. No one is lying about Miers the way Kennedy and others lied about Bork. And Bork himself, who knows a little about conservative judges, strongly opposes this nomination.

What are the political consequences of a defeat of Miers at the hands of a GOP controlled Senate?

Less than the long-term consequences of putting another Sandra Day O'Connor on the court. If Miers fails to turn out as Bush promises, the conservative base of the party will be fractured for decades. And whatever consequences might come from her defeat should be laid squarely at the feet of the man who put his party in this position--the President.


At 6:23 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Very well said, Senor. The anti-anti-Miers side keeps trying to insinuate there are no substantive arguments against Miers, that all we are saying is we don't like her choice of lipstick. Yet, you've nicely laid out points that the anti-Miers side has been saying from the beginning.

At 12:40 AM, Blogger hammerswing75 said...

Jeff says it well. Hugh seems to have made his decision to support the nominee come hell or high water. I wish that he would take a step back. He sounds ridiculous. I wish that this would end so that I could listen to him again without cringing. I respect Hugh, but he's off the edge right now.


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