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October 04, 2005

Trusting Dubya

I'll admit it. I trust the President.

With that out of the way, and with all due respect to Jim and his well-written post, I have two words for anyone who'll support Harriet Miers simply because she's an evangelical:

Jimmy Carter

It may turn out that Ms. Miers reveals herself to be such a wonderful justice and original constructionist that James Madison and Edmund Burke both rise up to pat her on the back. But if she doesn't, evangelicals will have no one but themselves to blame.

I've suggested before that evangelicals - as a body of people - have not yet, with clarity and consistency, articulated any clear political ideology. Evangelical votes have centered on two things: gay rights and reproductive/life issues (abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, cloning). When these points are gone, where does the evangelical leadership stand? Is James Dobson going to have a Justice Sunday rally to fight the Court's outrageous ruling on eminent domain? I doubt it, though it can be easily established that abusing eminent domain is a grave evil. It seems as though the evangelical grassroots can be pacified on the grounds that Ms. Meirs is "one of us," but the problem is that when abortion and gay rights aren't on the table, how will evangelicals vote?

Yes, the President knows and trusts Ms. Meirs, but then again his own conservatism is often dubious, as witnessed by his reckless spending, his disaster-in-waiting immigration policy, his refusal to veto the campaign finance reform bill and his basic belief that government should help instead of get out of the way.

I trust the President, but I don't trust politicians. And the simple truth is that evangelicals who cannot explicitly identify themselves as conservatives have now fully established themselves as the biggest interest group in the country. I'm sure the President understands the importance of the Court, but for my money, I care more about a nominee's judicial philosophy than where she goes to Church. I'll take David Frum over Marvin Olasky any day of the week. And I'll take Ramesh Ponnuru. And Ronald A. Cass. And Randy Barnett. Then there's this: Jay Sekulow is a team player? Yuck. And Jonah nails the evangelical theory.

If Dobson thinks I'm going to support Meirs because she's an evangelical, then he is mistaken. And he's in serious danger of becoming the Jesse Jackson of the Christian Right.

We should know better.

Posted by Matt at October 4, 2005 12:14 PM

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» Required Reading/Late Night Rambling from VodkaPundit
The most brutal savaging George Will ever gave a Republican President was to the first President Bush, back in 1989... [Read More]

Tracked on October 5, 2005 12:49 AM

» Supreme Court Nominee Miers and Abortion from ProLifeBlogs
After the President announced Harriet Miers' nomination to the Supreme Court I posted an article titled, "Bush Picks Stealth Candidate for the Supreme Court" and expressed a certain disappointment. Although many pro-life bloggers shared my initial reac... [Read More]

Tracked on October 5, 2005 04:10 AM

» The Right's Religious Test for Harriet Miers from The Debate
John Dickerson writes in Slate about how the Miers nomination has made the rift between the religious right and the secular-intellectual right all the more obvious. Prominent conservatives like James Dobson of the evangelical organization Focus on the ... [Read More]

Tracked on October 10, 2005 10:46 AM


I'll take David Frum over Marvin Olasky any day of the week

Frum over Olasky? Surely you jest, sir. I'm a big fan of Frum but he isn't so keen on evangelicals nor is he pro-life. I suspect that what you (and I) would want to see in a nominee's judicial philosophy are far different from what Frum would want.

Posted by: Joe Carter at October 4, 2005 02:16 PM

Look on the bright side.

By choosing Miers, the President avoids having a knock-down-drag-out with liberal opposition to an openly conservative ideologically driven nominee. We still get a Supreme Court justice with unquestioned partisan loyalty, and that's all that matters.

You get the overturn of Roe vs. Wade. You get the whole rest of the Texas GOP platform. You just have to watch your politicians be evasive and deceptive about their intentions to do it. As long as nominees for Supreme Court seats continue to be unable to stand up and say OutLoudAndProud™ that they would be champions for a reactionary judicial philosophy on the bench, it will be a sure sign that the Left continues to control the language.

If you can't wrest control of the language from the Left when you control the media and all three branches of government, then maybe you never will.

Posted by: s9 at October 4, 2005 05:39 PM

For once, s9, I have to agree with you. It's a pity, though, that it's all about the language, rather than the qualifications.

Posted by: Doug Payton at October 4, 2005 06:09 PM

Wow. You couldn't be more wrong, s9. We have no - I repeat, NO - proof that Meirs will be a conservative voice on the court. Not one piece of proof.

Posted by: Matt at October 4, 2005 06:21 PM

"Not one piece of proof."

Since when is proof a necessary or sufficient qualifier? Do you want to wait until the "proof" you need is delivered in the form of the metaphorical equivalent of the proverbial "mushroom cloud," i.e. a signed affadavit?

I realize you were hoping against hope that you'd see a nominee who was not only reliable on the question of overturning Roe v. Wade and a collection of ancillary matters, but who could also deliver the symbolic victory of showing once and for all that liberals are powerless to stop the packing of the high court with reactionary party loyalists.

The President is too weak to give you the smackdown you want. You should be happy with what you do have the power to get. Is there no limit to your demands? When is enough enough?

Posted by: s9 at October 4, 2005 07:56 PM

Having a nominee of "unquestioned partisan loyalty" is all that matters? What about justice? What about the Constitution. Personally, I'm quite pleased to see Mr. Bush flail about so at the nadir of his presidency. And I'm also happy to see the "conservative" wing of the Republican party reveal their true hypocritical stripes. They've used the evangelical community, which should know better, to further a political agenda which is, to put it mildly, at variance with Christianity as articulated by Christ in scripture. Face it, Bush is an intellectual lightweight surroundedby machievellian political hacks who will do anything, absolutely anything to advance the interests of corporate America. This includes posing as and seducing evangelicals into blind obsequiousness. Remember, Bush's struggle with alcoholism and subsequent conversion is part of his political biography, a story designed to sell himself as a candidate. I don't believe he has a sincere bone in his body. How can people be so naive?

Posted by: edward strandberg at October 5, 2005 06:28 PM

That's the most absurd thing I've ever read.

Posted by: Matt at October 5, 2005 06:40 PM