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John Wayne's Holster: Are Conservatives "Misunderestimating" Bush?
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Friday, October 07, 2005

Are Conservatives "Misunderestimating" Bush?



Is there a strategy behind the nominations of John Roberts and Harriet Miers?

John Roberts has recently been confirmed – overwhelming I might add – as the 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Upon his nomination, many on the Right were somewhat dismayed. Ann Coulter refered to him as a Rorschach Blot, and many others were drawing parallels to Bush Sr.'s choice of David Souter.

I must admit that I myself was not thrilled with the choice of Roberts. Why? It is not so much because of what he stands for. It was more because I don't know what he stands for. And there were many other potential nominess with clear conservative track records that got passed over - sorta like Letterman got passed over for the Tonight Show gig.

Bush was re-elected (despite what the Left says) with the expectation that he would have one or two vacancies on the SCOTUS to fill. His political base (red staters) had hoped that Bush would send judges with a strong conservative record to the bench. Judges in the mold of a Clarence Thomas or Anton Scalia - like Edith Jones, Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown. Sure there would have been a fight in the Senate, but some things are worth fighting for. And the Republicans enjoy the majority in the Senate as well, so there is a pretty good chance that they would have prevailed.

Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard has suggested that the Roberts for Rehnquist swap was a wash. As such, the focus then shifts to the replacement for Justice O'Conner. This was Bush's opportunity to change the balance of the Court. Surely he would nominate a constitutionalist - a strict constructionist - someone with a paper trail emblazoned with a conservative judicial philosophy.

Instead, Bush nominated Miers.

Who? Don't be embarrassed, many asked the same question. Bush nominated Harriet Miers. Miers is an attorney and was the first woman to serve as president of the Texas State Bar and the Dallas Bar Association. For the last several years she has served as White House Cousel for President Bush. Miers is not a sitting judge which may have something to do with why Bush nominated her.

Because she was not a judge, she has no paper trail. Nothing for the Left to latch onto. Nothing by which they could "Bork" her. Nothing to induce the Right to exercise the "nuclear option". The lack of the paper trail is also what has the Right concened. Just what does Miers stand for? What is known about her?

Information about Miers politcal and judicial philosophies is starting to come forward. And conservatives are getting queasy. Miers donated to the political campaigns of Lloyd Bentsen and Al Gore. She is on record as supporting the establishment of the International Criminal Court and homosexual adoptions.

President Bush is trying to alleviate some of the Right's concerns. According to the President, Miers is a strict constructionist - someone who "will strictly interpret our Constitution and laws...She will not legislate from the bench." We are also being told that she is a born again Christian, and that she has turned from the "Dark Side" and embraced conservatism. Last week FOXNews reported that Miers pushed the American Bar Association to adopt a neutral position regarding abortion.

I suppose that there is something there for the Right to hold on to, but there is also a few things to turn them off. The President is essentially asking conservatives to trust him. Conservatives are hoping that Bush is right!

Perhaps conservatives should put a put more faith in the President. After all, he has made a number of judicial appoints to the Federal Courts. For the most part, those appointments have been good ones, from the conservative view point. As such, I think the President deserves the benefit of the doubt - at least for now.

I suppose there is always the possibility that one or both of his SCOTUS appointments (assuming Miers is confirmed) could end up being another Souter. However, I think it is also possible that both Liberals and Conservatives are "misunderestimating" the President. For starters, the President knows both of these appointments personally. He and/or his father has worked with them for years. Some have even leveled the cronyism charge against the President for nominating them. Speaking of Miers, Bush told a Rose Garden audience that "I know her heart." And perhaps he does. Bush Sr., on the otherhand, did not know Souter's heart. He relied on the advice of others in making the appointment. Maybe the President knows something about Justice Roberts and Harriet Miers that the rest of us don't.

Time will tell. Hopefully Bush gets the last laugh. Maybe putting forward nominess with no paper trails is part of his strategy - A trojan horse!

2 Comments:

At 6:26 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

I am starting to think that Bush is the trojan horse. I am unwilling to trust him. There are plenty of qualified conservatives to choose from. I also have trouble with him nominating his closest friends. But as Bill Crystal said, the Republicans hold the House, the Senate and the White House, if they are not willing to fight for conservative principles now, when will they be ready?

 
At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Joe Verica said...

I think you may be right about Bush. He has been highly disappointing! I am HOPING that there is more to Miers than meets the eye - but I must say, the more I hear about her, the more uncomfortable I am about her being on the SCOTUS. There are rumors beginning to swirl that she may withdraw. Apparently there is some hidden dirt about the Texas lottery and Bush Air National Guard days. I hope she does withdraw and Bush puts up somebody with more conservative credentials. As you point out, the GOP has the majority and should fight this one out.

 

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