October 5, 2005

HIDDEN?:

BRIT HUME (Jonah Goldberg, 10/05/05, The Corner)

Tonight on "Special Report" he advanced the thesis that opposition to Miers by conservatives is simply an example of conservative Ivy League elitism. I am an enormous fan of Hume's but I think he's doing himself a real disservice here.

IS THIS BUSH'S HIDDEN AGENDA? (John Podhoretz, 10/05/05, The Corner)
A friend, one of the wisest analysts of politics I know, asks the following fascinating questions: Did the president pick Harriet Miers because she is an evangelical Christian?

After Miers, Bush Promises Big Fight with Dems (Scott Ott, 2005-10-04)
President George Bush, in an effort to calm the Republican party's conservative base after his appointment of the relatively-unknown Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, today promised that he would "make things right by picking a fight" with Congressional Democrats in early 2006.

"I know my fellow right-wingers were hoping for a big ideological brawl over this nomination," said Mr. Bush in a letter to supporters. "I guess for some of us, this feels like winning a baseball game by forfeit when the other team doesn't show up. You still get the win, but it doesn't get your blood going."

The president assured conservatives that he has ordered White House staff to "identify an issue where it's more important to stage a public fight with Democrats than to accomplish our strategic goals."

"When we find that issue," Mr. Bush told the party faithful, "I'll just walk up to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and spit in his eye."


Hyperventilating Over Harriet (JAMES LILEKS, 10/05/05, Newhouse News Service )
[I]t shouldn't bother the administration that hard-core conservative pundits aren't happy. They're never happy nowadays.

These were the people who caught a whiff of Souterism in John Roberts' nomination, and wouldn't be happy unless a nominee announced his intention to back Souter into a corner in the cloakroom and give him a turbo-wedgie every day.


It's easy enough to make a fool of yourself, but demonstrating a lack of self-knowledge is especially deadly. Then the rest of us just pile on.

MORE:
Gods vs. Geeks: GOP evangelicals fight intellectuals over Harriet Miers. (John Dickerson, Oct. 5, 2005, Slate)

The debate within the Republican Party over Harriet Miers has quickly devolved into a simple question: Is the nominee qualified because of her religious faith, or unqualified by her lack of intellectual heft? On the one side, James Dobson, Miers' fellow parishioners at Valley View Christian Church, and President Bush speak for her heart. On the other, George Will and William Kristol and others who swooned for John Roberts decry her unimpressive legal mind.

In this battle, the White House has clearly sided with the churchgoing masses against the Republican Party's own whiny Beltway intellectuals. The Bushies have always mistrusted their own bow-tied secularists, but the rift has never before been so public. "This is classic elitism," says a senior administration official of the GOP opposition to the Miers nomination. "We often blame the left for it, but we have it in our own ranks. Just because she wasn't on a shortlist of conservatives who prepared their whole life for this moment doesn't make her any less conservative … and just because she hasn't penned op-eds for the Wall Street Journal doesn't mean she hasn't formed a judicial philosophy."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2005 7:40 PM
Comments

The president assured conservatives that he has ordered White House staff to "identify an issue where it's more important to stage a public fight with Democrats than to accomplish our strategic goals."
So, apparently, Bush doesn't believe that eliminating the filibuster of judicial nominees, making the nomination of non-stealth candidates possible, is a strategic goal, one worth fighting for. That's certainly revealing.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2005 8:09 PM

The filibuster is gone. Owens, Brown and Prior are federal judges.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 8:13 PM

JD: "an issue where it's more important to stage a public fight with Democrats than to accomplish our strategic goals" is a big Texas FU, and a knife thrust worthy of a master.

As for the filibuster, W can't go to war unless the troops are willing to fight. That's not a problem with any actual war, but precludes war in the Senate.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 5, 2005 8:23 PM

Is someone taking Scott Ott seriously? Jeebus.

Posted by: ghostcat at October 5, 2005 8:29 PM

Limbaugh madde the same point yesetrday(no troops) and then came out agaist. Hypocrite.

Posted by: jdkelly at October 5, 2005 8:33 PM

No troops? No fight. The filibustered nominees are judges now.

Posted by: oj at October 5, 2005 8:39 PM

"When Kerry emerged from giving a series of satellite broadcasts to rally the faithful, his principal campaign advisor, Bob Schrum, buttonholed him, he wanted to be the first to call him Mr. President. Of course, that was not to be......

Bush won largely by mobilizing the Right Nation - the sort of people waiting for the phone-in at Ohio State. The Bush campaign took precisely the opposite approach from the Democrats. Rather than outsourcing the grass-roots campaign to paid canvassers, the Republican machine relied overwhelmingly on local volunteers; the people who believed in the man and his message and who had roots in the local community. By November, for instance, Bush had only about 200 paid staff in Ohio, but he could claim 80,000 volunteers. Nationwide, this army exceeded 1.4 million - and it proved decisive."

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge
The Right Nation

Memo to the whiners at Red State, the Corner and the Standard. Get over yourselves, you are not the base. WE are the base and Ms. Meirs is tailor made for the base that got the President re-elected. He hasn't forgotten and neither have we.

Posted by: Jeff at October 5, 2005 8:40 PM

The huzzahs that George Will's column was greeted with on Tuesday by the same people claiming shock today at being dubbed elitist should be a sign they should stand up, move away from the keyboard and come back after a good night's sleep and actually re-read some of the stuff that they've posted since the Miers choice was announced Monday morning.

Fred Barns had it right tonight when discussing the elitist label: When the debate was over their anxiety about going with an unknown in the wake of the Souter debacle, they were on relatively solid ground. But when the complaints changed to her lack of having the proper credentials -- highlighted by the Will column and by David Frum's declaration that no matter how Harriet votes, she will forever be a bad choice -- it's hard to deny there's a certain sense of intellectual superiority at work, in regards to Miers, but even moreso in regards to Bush, as if they've taken Molly Ivins' 1999 views about him to heart, but kept that to themselves for the past six years.


Posted by: John at October 5, 2005 9:15 PM

Why is everybody so worked up about Harriet Souter?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 5, 2005 9:50 PM

Read NRO now. They are so shocked at Brit Hume. "I'm not an elitest, I went to (insert non-Ivy league school) so how can I be an elitest." Like its not possible to be a snob without going to snob school. Have they heard of the term "wannabe".

By the way, Robert S., you've made the same comment about "Harriet Souter" about 30 times now. Marginally funny the first time, not so much now.

Posted by: Bob at October 6, 2005 10:58 AM

Bow-tied secularists? George Will is a secularist? Gee, my little ghetto is getting more crowded all the time.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 6, 2005 11:16 AM

Will wrote just recently defending Darwinism in the schools.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 12:09 PM

Harriet Souter? If only. Say bye-bye to Roe v Wade once that nice southern lady charms ol' man Kennedy into the 5-4 anti-Roe majority.

Posted by: Casey Abell at October 6, 2005 1:09 PM

Good for him! Doesn't make him a secularist, though.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 6, 2005 4:50 PM

Yes, it does.

Posted by: oj at October 6, 2005 5:21 PM

OJ:

Huh? His previous columns indicate that he's very much a religious believer. He's certainly not the type of person who has a problem with, say, prayer in schools either. He greatly admires C.S. Lewis and his 1998 Christmas column (I can't find it online, but parts of it are quoted here) was one of the finest pieces of its kind I've ever read.

Sheesh, if I were Robert Duquette I'd be damn irritated that you'd thrown Will into my corner.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 7, 2005 2:49 AM

Matt:

Just as Supreme Court Justices may "go Washington" so may a columnist. Remember, these guys social lives revolve around Beltway cocktail parties with liberal elites. Got to try and fit in.

Posted by: oj at October 7, 2005 7:15 AM

Matt,
In a way it is comforting - better to be part of a majority than a minority. But you are correct, we do have to water down our standards to accomodate such nominal secularists as Will.

This also gives me comfort to realize that a true theocracy could never get off the ground in the US. None of the religionists could agree on anything long enough to make policy, and the heresy trials would end up sweeping everyone into the dock, a la the French Revolution.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 7, 2005 9:58 AM

It is a theocracy:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Posted by: oj at October 7, 2005 10:23 AM

You call that a theocracy? Where are the inquisitions, the heresy trials, the witch burnings, the stonings? Where are the religious tests? Where are the mandatory creeds?

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 7, 2005 11:51 AM

We exterminated the heathens, persecuted communists, etc. Every President has beenm a Christian. Elected officials wear to protect and defend thos rights given us by God. You're just upset that our theocracy works rather well.

Posted by: oj at October 7, 2005 11:56 AM

OJ:

I don't deny that he may feel pressure to fit in (although his conservatism is prima facie evidence that he's not a squishy type), I just don't see -- in light of the information I posted above -- how he can be labelled a secularist.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 7, 2005 3:23 PM

OJ:

I mean, opposing ID in schools is one thing: when he starts penning odes to Huxley or Dawkins get back to me.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 7, 2005 5:32 PM

It's Stockholm Syndrome.

Posted by: oj at October 7, 2005 5:56 PM

We exterminated the heathens,

Where? When? I'm a heathen, and I have as many political rights as you. Accounts of my extermination have been highly exaggerated.

persecuted communists, etc.

That's not a religious issue, it's a political one. At that we've done very little, just cost a few playrights and actors some unemployment for a decade or so.

Every President has been a Christian.

So? That's not theocracy, just cultural hegemony. No law prevents a non-christian president.

Elected officials wear to protect and defend thos rights given us by God.

No, they swear to protect and defend those rights guaranteed us by the Constitution. Where those rights originate from is a matter of philosophical debate.

You're just upset that our theocracy works rather well.

You just bend the truth to be able to have your way. You call a secular democracy a theocracy, you call evolution creationism, you call big government entitlement programs "compassionate" conservatism. I'm sure that you're now calling the White Sox sweep of the BoSox a "compassionate" victory for Boston.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 8, 2005 10:22 AM

Indians

Godless Communists

It's a popular Theocracy

Blessings of Liberty

It's Chicago's turn.

Posted by: oj at October 8, 2005 10:28 AM

Indians

That wasn't a religious purge, it was a land grab.

Godless Communists

Again, wasn't much of a purge. Godlessness wasn't the focus, noone went after Madeline Murray O'Hair.

It's a popular Theocracy

It's popular because it isn't a theocracy.

Blessings of Liberty

Is Liberty our God?

It's Chicago's turn.

You wuss! Turn in your cap, you're no Red Sox fan. A true fan would be contemplating suicide right now.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at October 9, 2005 9:24 AM

We had her whacked.

No, Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness are God's Blessings to us. The Constitution attempts to create a Republic that will secure them:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed

Red Sox fans love baseball, not the playoffs.

Posted by: oj at October 9, 2005 10:00 AM
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