Monday, October 10, 2005

Harriet Miers and the Conservative Backlash

Several things have become apparent to me during this nomination process so far.

1) Religion is fair game for the right even though they have always said it is not

2) The president is too isolated from the real world.

3) Karl Rove will do anything, and I mean anything, to get what he wants

First, since Harriet Miers has no paper trail, the only thing that Bush can do to sell her to the fundi right is to tout her devotion to Christianity. This is a complete flip-flop from the Roberts nomination where they claimed a persons religious views are off limits in a judicial nomination. Now, with nothing else to sell her on, they have removed the last taboo from the nomination process, and in fact, made it their central selling piece. This is a huge political blunder on the part of the Bush machine. One, because religion should not be an element of anyone's nomination. Two, it opens the door that cannot be closed. By trying to sell Miers to the right on religious grounds, it opens up the left for questioning Miers on the same grounds without fear of being called on partisan grounds. Additionally, it precludes this president from ever being able to say that religion is off limits for any future nominations that may arise during his presidency.

Second, many believe that Bush nominated Miers due to fear of a fight with the Left. I completely disagree with this assertion. As best summed up in this piece "Be It Confidence or Hubris, Bush Nominates Boldly," I think Bush was overly confident in his support from the right, not cowed by the left. Because Bush likes to surround himself with sycophants, he does not get good advice. Miers nomination is a reflection on the type of person he takes advice from.

Third, James Dobson, the head of Focus on the Family, has reported that he has had assurances directly from Karl Rove weeks before Bush made the nomination public, that Harriet Miers would vote in accordance to how James Dobson would want. The fact that a political advisor would make this promises to a political interest group is not only scary on so many levels, but also quite an indictment on how this White House runs its affairs. This may also backfire for the Bush administration. Arlen Specter is threatening to call both Dobson and Rove before the judiciary committee to testify about what was said and what promises were made. The fact that Rove is "leaking" judicial positions to a prominent special interest group not only taints the White House and its history of other leaks, but it taints Harriet Miers herself. If Harriet Miers has already disclosed how she would vote to either Bush or Rove on any specific issue, not only opens up Miers to the same questioning on the floor of the senate, but also go against the entire philosophy of separation of powers.

The White House has painted itself in to a tiny corner on this nomination. I don't think it has time to wait for the floor to dry and may very well end up pulling the nomination opposed to enduring the mess that this is sure to become.


MaxedOutMama said...

Dingo, I don't think many people care about a person's religion, or the lack of it. I am sure there is a fringe who do, but my bet is that it is less than 10 percent.

Whatever else the constitution involves, it has nothing to do with religion.

This is an odd one, to me.

Dingo said...

I don't think the majority of Americans care about a nominees religion. I know I don't. But due to the lack of support from the fringe right (Bush's base) that is the only thing to sell her on. They don't care how she would vote on some corporate matter, only abortion.