October 23, 2005

GEORGE VIGUERIE (via Matt Murphy):

Defending The Indefensible (George F. Will, October 23, 2005, Washington Post)

Such is the perfect perversity of the nomination of Harriet Miers that it discredits, and even degrades, all who toil at justifying it. Many of their justifications cannot be dignified as arguments. Of those that can be, some reveal a deficit of constitutional understanding commensurate with that which it is, unfortunately, reasonable to impute to Miers. Other arguments betray a gross misunderstanding of conservatism on the part of persons masquerading as its defenders. [...]

As for Republicans, any who vote for Miers will thereafter be ineligible to argue that it is important to elect Republicans because they are conscientious conservers of the judicial branch's invaluable dignity. Finally, any Republican senator who supinely acquiesces in President Bush's reckless abuse of presidential discretion -- or who does not recognize the Miers nomination as such -- can never be considered presidential material.

As so often, George W. Bush resembles Ronald Reagan, who the wacky Right likewise read out of the conservative movement during his presidency.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 23, 2005 8:42 AM

This was the bombshell some conservative pndits and websites warned George Will was about to unleash on the Bush Administration? A warning to GOP Senators that if they cosy up to Harriet, then George is filing seperation papers? What's the next bombshell disclosure -- that the sun rises in the east every morning?

This really is an example of the New York-Washington echo chamber at its fullest effect. All those people talk among themselves so much and infer such importance on such minor actions they actually lose track of the real situation (the left is currently involved in the same thing in relationship to placing way too much faith in the inept Ronnie Earle and his prosecution against Tom DeLay).

Posted by: John at October 23, 2005 11:59 AM

Read Hugh Hewitt's take on the Wills column. One of the finest takedowns I've ever read. Hugh leaves Will rotting in the sun like a gutted fish. It won't matter, the NRO crowd is alrady saying Hugh is wrong, and elitest (irony). It is a great piece anyways.

Posted by: Bob at October 23, 2005 12:05 PM

John - agree. I reread this several times trying to figure out why it was the bombshell that NRO and other bloggers said it was going to be.

There certainly is a conservative echo chamber going on (the Boston-Washington Axis of Elitism as Hugh Hewitt calls it).

However, the Senators voting on Miers (if she gets that far) are also part of the this NY-DC echo chamber. Therefore the question remains whether the Senators vote down Miers to satisfy the NY-DC pundits but alienate the rest of the base or vote for Miers and alienate the NY-DC pundits? It appears too close to call right now.

Posted by: AWW at October 23, 2005 12:09 PM

Will is just upset that the White Sox won the pennant, while his beloved Cubs hit the golf course at the All-star break and never returned.

I suggest Will switch to a high-fober diet.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at October 23, 2005 1:24 PM

So Orrin, I guess this means you won't be having a pool on the date of the Miers nomination withdrawal?

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 23, 2005 1:52 PM


She'll retire sometime in the 2020s/30s

Posted by: oj at October 23, 2005 6:14 PM

As I wrote in my email to OJ:

Note that Mr. Will says that it is "imperative" for Ms. Miers to be given the opportunity to refute skeptics like himself, namely by asking her tough questions about specific legal decisions. In other words, he wisely floats the idea that he may be wrong about her. A couple of paragraphs later, he says flat-out that any senator who votes for her should never again be considered presidential material -- her potentially impressive answers notwithstanding, apparently.

I like George Will but I'm starting to wonder just what kind of crazy gas is being pumped into the conservative Beltway bubble.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at October 23, 2005 8:41 PM


I think everyone thought Bush would choose a 'hard-line' conservative who would go in and slug it out with Schumer, Kennedy, Durbin, and the rest. I don't think the reaction is so much the fear of another Souter as it is the disappointment that Janice Rogers Brown or Edith Jones (or whomever) won't be pole-axing the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

The "Right" has been looking for this battle since 1987, when Bork was rejected. I actually think abortion (i.e., Roe) is less the reason for all the hysterics than the seemingly missed opportunity to watch the last bastion of liberalism get smashed. Why else all the snide emphasis on Miers' qualifications and background? In the view of someone like George Will or Krauthammer, she just doesn't have the juice to either crush or finesse the Democrats into abject surrender. Others (like Mark Levin and Rush) seem to feel the same way.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 23, 2005 11:27 PM

The goal isn't to get the Dems to acknowledge they've been beaten. The goal is to beat the Dems. Once that has been accomplished, the acknowledgement will come on its own. The screechers are mad because they didn't get the fight they've been craving for years.They aren't mad because they are losing, they haven't lost anything yet, and there's little indication they are going to lose.

I have yet to see one of them lay out what they think happens after they win this fight, what they think will happen next, or what they think will have been accomplished, or even who they think will be (or should be) the replacement nominee. Do they really think that Bush will congradulate them and ask for their list so he gets it right this time?

And these are the self-styled intellectuals who want lead conservatives to take on the Dems in just this type of fight? Thanks, but no thanks.

(And isn't George Will a fan of that Northside Team? Another reason to Go White Sox!)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 24, 2005 2:03 AM

Raoul - similar point - you have Frum, NRO, Kristol, etc. blithely asserting that the GOP would have crushed the Dems. What if Bush did the count and a Luttig, Brown, etc would have faced a filibuster by the Dems and the Gang of 14 wasn't willing to go to the nuke option? What if Bush knew that the pundits choice(s) would lead to a big drag down fight that the GOP could lose and damage the GOP going forward? The pundits screaming about Miers seem to have no sense of any tactical issues there were regarding this fight.

Posted by: AWW at October 24, 2005 7:15 AM


Why would anyone think that after he chose a cipher like Roberts the first time?

Posted by: oj at October 24, 2005 8:56 AM

AWW: But they would've gone down to defeat without giving up their 'principles'! That's the important thing you know, not actually winning. Sorta like Pat Buchanan and how he tilts at windmills.

Posted by: rps at October 24, 2005 9:05 AM


Some of the initial reaction to Roberts was the same, although it was only Ann Coulter who really screeched (and I suspect her opposition was just for show). And Roberts wasn't really a cipher to the 'in' crowd - after all, he worked for Reagan for a number of years and had been held in limbo by the Dems before.

However, Roberts' pedigree prevented a lot of what we have seen with Miers.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 24, 2005 3:03 PM
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