The Miers Conversation Continues

In a long and thoughtful post, John from Blogotional has responded to what I wrote yesterday. (I've added him to my blogroll, and highly recommend you include him in your daily reading.) I want to say at the outset how much I appreciate his careful approach, kind tone, and the considerable time he is investing in this conversation.

Let me address first a couple of things we agree on. John wrote:

But what is the goal here? The goal is to get a court that is strictly interpretive, not evolutionary.

...we are in a better position now than we were when Clinton was in office.

I'm 100% with him on those. Now on to the disagreements.

I know it's heresy to disagree with Sun Tzu (who John cites), but I don't think his maxim about winning while avoiding battle is true--either politically or militarily. Can anyone seriously doubt that our situation in Iraq would be better had the Iraqi Army stood and fought and been defeated (and their numbers permanently reduced)? We won quickly by avoiding battles, but that set the stage for the protracted struggles of the last two years. I think the same thing is true in politics. I'm not sure it's possible to truly win anything of lasting significance without a real struggle. In her Opinion Journal column today, Peggy Noonan said:

The president would have been politically better served by what Pat Buchanan called a bench-clearing brawl. A fractious and sparring base would have come together arm in arm to fight for something all believe in: the beginning of the end of command-and-control liberalism on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Democrats, forced to confront a serious and principled conservative of known stature, would have damaged themselves in the fight. If in the end President Bush lost, he'd lose while advancing a cause that is right and doing serious damage to the other side. Then he could come back to win with the next nominee. And if he won he'd have won, rousing his base and reminding them why they're Republicans.

John also said that the Democrats have no place to attack Miers except for her faith. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. John Roberts demonstrated outstanding and unchallenged credentials. Miers' resume is nothing of the sort. She has never done anything to demostrate outstanding intellectual achievement. Six months as White House Counsel? The Texas Lottery Commission? Please. There is plenty for the opposition to fix on...including the charge of Bush appointing unqualified cronies. I'd like to defend him, but Michael Brown, Julie Myers and now this don't exactly give me much to work with. This is a charge that can (and I expect) will find a good deal of traction.

Then John wrote this: "Now, we have yet to establish that this woman is a compromise on the essential issue -- which is getting a court that rules as we would like it."

It may not be established, but there are numerous disturbing signs that she is exactly that. From The Corner's Stanly Kurtz: "I note a worrisome report in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education. It seems that Miers was a key figure behind the establishment of a lecture series in women’s studies at SMU." From John Yoo: "She did not win a reputation as a forceful conservative on issues such as the administration's position on stem cell research or affirmative action." More Yoo: "She also apparently urged that the White House preserve the ABA's privileged role in reviewing the qualifications of judicial nominees."

Miers may be pro-life (but then so is Harry Reid, and I wouldn't want him on the court!), although I don't think we even know that for sure, but I have yet to see a single shred of evidence that she is a constitutional conservative in the mold of Scalia and Thomas.

In closing for this round, let's talk for a second about the role of conservatives in the Republican party--specifically religious conservatives. I argued here that we have been used and abandoned over and over again, and that will not change until we stop saying, "Please sir may I have another." If we do not stand up and make sure we are heard, we'll continue to be taken for granted and have nothing to show for our blind loyalty.

Oh, one more thing. John cited Reagan's spending as proof Bush isn't so bad---but Reagan never had control of both houses of Congress either!


At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was not too sure about Ms. Miers actual record, but the post at Beldar is quite impressive and informative--I think her record cannot be dismissed quickly. Take a look at http://beldar.blogs.com/beldarblog/2005/10/a_westlaw_romp_.html


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