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October 25, 2005

Question of the Day

From Hugh Hewitt:

Question: Well into his second term, mired in scandal and obvious unending lies and deepening crisis, did any senior Democrat turn on Bill Clinton? One year into his second term, and days after a huge and historically significant election in Iraq and a month after yet another unfair savaging at the hands of the MSM over Katrina, George Bush surveys his allegedly supportive pundits and the GOP Senate majority that he made, and he finds what?

Is the GOP incapable of governing as a majority?"

Principle over party, Mr. Hewitt. We are conservatives first, Republicans second. George W. Bush alone did not make that Senate majority. One should not throw a party, insult the guests and then be surprised when they are offended, annoyed and, indeed, angered. Mr. Bush has done just that.

Posted by Matt at October 25, 2005 01:43 AM

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Matt, I have very little time for the internet these days, but I am enjoying your recent posts tremendously. Keep it up brother!

How far is Alabama from New Orleans?

Posted by: Rick Brady at October 25, 2005 06:49 AM

I recall with a smile folks who used to say that Republicans walked in lockstep like a bunch of jackbooted thugs. That virtually no Democrat spoke up about Clinton, while Republicans aren't afraid to have a policy debate, speaks to who is really in lockstep.

(Jackboots optional.)

Posted by: Doug Payton at October 25, 2005 08:43 AM

While perhaps many Democrats supported Clinton blindly, I know of very few of my progressive friends who did.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at October 25, 2005 08:59 AM

My part of Bama is about four hours from NOLA, up Interstate 20/59.

Posted by: Matt at October 25, 2005 09:45 AM


I still don't understand the 'principle' you are standing on. I stand on the principle of the rule of law and order. We elect the president. The President picks the candidate based on the advice of the Senate, his own advisors, and his own personal standards. Then he makes the nomination. We went through these steps. So you are disappointed with the results. So what. Next, the hearings are to be held in the Seanate. Then a Senate vote. That's it.

You are attempting to kill the nomination before the hearings. Your 'principle' seems to be 'Bork any candidate that doesn't meet your own standards' and start the process over. You have it backwards. This 'Borking' you are doing is a trick of the partisan, not a lofty conservative principle. The higher ground says it is more principled and conservative to advocate following the process.

The irony remains: Those that claim to have a lock on principles and constitutional understanding are advocating extremem partisanship and deviation from the constitutional process.

Posted by: bruce at October 25, 2005 10:41 AM

Bruce, I'm getting tired of your argument. Have you read any Constitutional history? Any at all? The President does not have carte blanche to nominate anyone he wants. It's a rather simple concept.

As for your definition of "Borking," that term denotes personal attacks of a rather vicious nature. What was done to Robert Bork has not even been suggested towards Harriet Miers. Read your history and we'll talk.

Posted by: Matt at October 25, 2005 11:28 AM

Hi Again Matt,

The Republican Party is the vehicle or method for applying conservative principles to government decisions and actions. The conservative members and leaders of the Republican Party are the stewards of the conservative movement. Without the Republican Party, there is no conservative voice in government.

Ideologues need to understand the difference between advocating a cause, and the implications of advancing the cause in our form of government. There is nothing wrong with a conservative being hard core in their beliefs, but pragmatic in advancing those beliefs inch by inch.

Therefore, we need to care just as much about our vehicle that advances our beliefs, as we do about our beliefs. We need to be stewards of our party, not just ideologues.

Posted by: David M. Smith at October 25, 2005 12:05 PM

David, with all due respect, the conservatives who are responsible for making the GOP what it is today would disagree. I feel quite confident in that. Yes, you advance inch by inch in Congress but a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is a completely different matter.

Posted by: Matt at October 25, 2005 12:21 PM

Hi Matt,

I don’t have a problem with anyone arguing against Ms. Miers. Disagreement within any organization including the family, the Church, and the Republican party is healthy and good.

Families and Churches that don’t have any disagreement become dysfunctional, just as do families and Churches that don’t have respectful disagreements. Churches and families that don’t find a way to have civil disagreement end up splitting.

It is healthy and good for conservatives and Republicans to have different views about Ms. Miers. There are legitimate reasons for opposing the confirmation of Ms. Miers. The conservative movement will survive Ms. Miers whether on not she is confirmed. I don’t expect the Republican Party to split, but I do expect those on the fringe to stay home in the next election because of the unnecessary and hard rhetoric by pundits.

However, the conservative movement will not survive if conservatives create enemies out of allies. Ms. Miers is probably not Antonia Scalia, but she is almost surely better than Sandra Day O’Connor. The opposition to Ms. Miers needs to be more temperate, not more inflammatory. I’m not surprised by much, but I have been a bit surprised by how many conservatives are sounding just like Air America.

It could be good for conservatism if Ms. Miers is voted down in the Senate, but it won’t be good if President Bush or Anti-Miers Republican Senators dig in their heels and start playing hard ball within the party. This nomination is off to a bad start, partly because of the President, and partly because of those who jumped all over the nomination without even taking a breath. Withdrawing the nomination now will make President Bush look weak and indebted to the most partisan in our party. The solution is to tone down the rhetoric and let the nomination take it’s course.

Posted by: David M. Smith at October 25, 2005 01:29 PM

I have no reason to believe that Miers will be better than O'Connor on any issue other than perhaps abortion. On affirmative action, I have every reason to believe she will be just as bad, if not worse. Witness her advocacy of quotas in the ABA, her feminist ties at SMU and her work within the Bush administration to support the University of Michigan's affirmative action policies in the 2003 Supreme Court case.

Care to provide a counterargument? With proof, please.

Posted by: Matt at October 25, 2005 03:46 PM

There were many Democrats who were quite open about their view that Clinton deserved censure rather than impeachment.

Republicans would hear none of that. They still won't, which is why we are continuing to be treated with spurious claims that Democrats march in lockstep with "full support" for Clinton.

Nevertheless, it was true that Democrats wanted Clinton censured whether Republicans wish to pretend otherwise or not.

Posted by: s9 at October 25, 2005 08:46 PM

Article 2, section 2, clause 2 : The President shall have the power, ... by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, ... (to) appoint Judges of the supreme Court ...

Matt, I agree that it is rather simple - just as I've outlined above. Not carte blanche, just the president and the senate. No constitutional mention of pundits. Sorry - you and the gang at the corner aren't part of the constitutional process. No amount of condescending insults from you will change this.

By 'borking', examples are everywhere. For instance, above you claim "Witness her advocacy of quotas in the ABA" This is untrue and inflammatory. 2 points here: 1) The reference resolution of the bar specifically states "goal (not a quota)". 2) The Bar is a private sector organization. My conservative view of the constitution says that private organizations can have any hiring practices that they want. As a leader of an organization, it is not uncommon to have a goal to increase representation of an underserved sector. My church recently planted an urban church because they saw that area as underserved. The goal is that this is a diverse church, not the usual Sunday morning segregation. Does this make my church 'quota queens' in your view? Are we now all unqualified to serve on the SCOTUS? Did SCO have a goal to have a female contributor before the current two joined? If so, great! Private quotas are a completely different issue than Government quotas, which we as conservatives all certainly oppose.

Matt, although I'm not a lawyer, I am familiar with the Constitution and the court. I also have a close conservative Christian friend who teaches constitutional law. He is also disappointed in that there were better 'Scalia-type' choices. However, he claims there is no way Miers will be worse than O'Connor.

Posted by: bruce at October 25, 2005 11:44 PM