Don't Go Breakin' My Heart
It seems the conservative consternation over Harriet Miers isn't going away. And past hurts, the greatest of which are named Souter, Stevens, and to a smaller degree, Kennedy, are foremost on their minds. They've been hurt before, and their hearts can't take another let down. And I'm not in the mood for one either.
The Washington Post reports on a few fairly ugly exchanges between conservative leaders and Ken Mehlman and Ed Gillespie.
I hear Bush on the "trust me", because that's all I can do, short of having him ask her the litmus-test questions. Of course, Bush could pull her nomination altogether, causing people to lose confidence in him (and thereby political ammo), replacing her with a very qualified conservative originalist, just in time for a firefight with the Senate minority. Not to mention the fact that it would be very easy for the Senate Dems to declare that the pulling of the nomination was the result of pressure from the "far right", and that the replacement would have been hand picked by (insert name of disfavored conservative activist here).
We are in a position of sitting and waiting. To pull back is to signify weakness. To demand answers on specific matters is to give the Senate Dems free information on Miers that may actually change their minds if she is the sleeper conservative that I am beginning to believe her to be.
I've said this before, but it bears repeating:
I would have loved Luttig or McConnell, but they would have generated a bitter fight. Remember, Bush is aware that any blowback from this nominee will likely begin while he remains in office, forever clouding his presidency and affecting the degree to which he could draw on conservative support for the remainder of his term. It's not that Bush fears a fight, but rather that if the Dems put one up, they have an excuse if Miers is confirmed by the Senate. But if radical Democrat voters and special interests, especially the ACLU, the abortion lobby and the gay lobby, see their Senators allowing two conservatives into the Supreme Court in two successive walks without anything more than a little hot air and a few "nay" votes, Bush wins twice. Most obviously, he puts another conservative on the bench, tilting the balance away from the left. But in a cruel twist, the Senate Dems will be accused of betraying their ideological constituents by allowing two unacceptably conservative judges past their watch, and shutting the court down to the left's agenda for at least a generation. Aside of the bone-chilling screams, checkbooks will close and voters will likely stay home in 2006 and 2008.
Friends, regard this as an investment.
I don't know what this gentle lady brings to the Court, but that is not our call. It is the prerogative of a President who has shown himself to be a very shrewd strategist to pick these people. And while I'd like a little more information, for now, we just have to trust that the President knows the gravity of this appointment and the disaster it can cause if this goes wrong, and that he is appointing someone who will strictly interpret the law.