Which Way Does the Arrow of Responsibility Point?

It's no secret that I oppose the Miers nomination. By naming Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, President Bush has sparked a firestorm of disagreement and rancor within the Republican party--or at least the conservative part of it. My hope is that after she either withdraws or is defeated that the President will nominate a proven and unquestionably qualified conservative to replace O'Connor on the bench. But I want to step back from that disagreement for a moment and look at a crucial aspect of the underlying picture.

When it comes to the subject of loyalty and support, who owes whom? To what degree does a President owe his supporters the fulfillment of his campaign promises? To what degree do a President's supporters owe him their support when he does not (or appears to not) fulfill those promises? Who bears the responsibility for a split in ranks--the leader or the followers?

I am asking a number of bloggers from both sides of the issue to weigh in on this, and I'll be sharing their responses with you as they come in. In the meantime, please feel free to throw in your two cents in the comments. And of course I'll be throwing in my thoughts as well on which way the arrow of responsibility points.


At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Voyle Glover said...

Campaign promises are typically, to the candidate, mere advertisements directed to a specific audience, designed to produce a feeling of kinship which ultimately translates into an electorate base. The candidate owes those who elect him to office honesty. He does not always owe them the fulfillment of his campaign promises, since circumstances may arise so as to create conditions where, to keep one's promise would be to betray truth or jeopardize national security or in some other way make the keeping of a promise implausible.

Supporting one's President is, in my opinion, unrelated to his keeping of promises made to his supporters. I will, in general, support President Bush for the following reasons: (1) the alternative is to support the other side or someone who has no power; and (2) my support of him is with a realization that he's going to disappoint me; and (3) my support is based less on party affiliation and more on righteousness and the assumption that I've made, to wit, that God placed him in that position and He will take responsibility for all "mistakes" made /smile

Finally, a split in ranks is seldom good. A house divided cannot stand is true. Better to stay in a house with a leaky roof and busted windows than one built on shifting sand (which is where the Democratic Party has built their new home).


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