Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush Screws "Values Voters"... Again

Despite a nudge-nudge-wink-wink campaign to make the GOP’s evangelical base believe its last Supreme Court nominee was a social fundamentalist, we now know Roberts is a social moderate. And despite Vice President Cheney’s assurances to drug-addled radio host Rush Limbaugh that their second nominee “has a conservative judicial philosophy that you would be comfortable with,” it turns out Miers was endorsed by Democratic leader Harry Reid and made campaign contributions to the DNC and Al Gore. I guess “values voters” never tire of getting played.

As Thomas Frank puts it in his book, "What's the Matter with Kansas?",

The trick never ages; the illusion never wears off. Vote to stop abortion; receive a rollback in capital gains taxes. Vote to make our country strong again; receive deindustrialization. Vote to screw those politically correct college professors; receive electricity deregulation.

Vote to get government off our backs; receive conglomeration and monopoly everywhere from media to meatpacking. Vote to stand tall against terrorists; receive Social Security privatization; Vote to strike a blow against elitism; receive a social order in which wealth is more concentrated than ever before in our lifetimes, in which workers have been stripped of power and CEOs are rewarded in a manner beyond imagining.

I have no idea what Republican leaders really stand for, and given the constantly shifting excuses for every screw-up, I have no idea why they do what they do. I am so proud to be a Democrat.

Posted by American Pundit at October 4, 2005 10:38 AM
Comments
Comment #83468

How do we “now know that Roberts is a social moderate?” This sounds like wishful thinking on your own part. If he’s a social conservative (as Republicans believe) did you expect him to announce the fact in his hearings?

True, the pro-life Democrat Harry Reid has endorsed Meirs—but what does that have to do with “values voters” getting played?

It sounds like you’re saying that Democrats have no values and that any cause a Democrat endorses is necessarily repugnant to anyone with values. What a fine attitude toward your own party! Could it be—gasp—possible that a Democrat and a Republican have actually agreed about something having to do with values?

As I understand it, fifteen years ago—before she became a Born Again Evangelical Christian—Meirs made a few contributions to moderate to conservative Democratic candidates, including the Clinton-Gore campaign.

For the past fifteen years, approximately, however Meirs has donated quite heavily to Republicans.

The much publicized donation to Gore in 2000 turns out to have been from Meir’s 92 year old mother.

Miers is a 100% assured anti-Roe vote for the Supreme Court, and not only are Democrats not going to block her, they’re going to support her.

Wow. Another master stroke by Bush.

Posted by: sanger at October 4, 2005 11:24 AM
Comment #83472

LOL! That’s pathetic, sanger. :)

If he’s a social conservative (as Republicans believe) did you expect him to announce the fact in his hearings?

Yes. Didn’t you? You sound like you think Roberts actually did lie and dissemble about his convictions — and that you’re proud of him pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Is that a value Republicans admire, the ability to lie with a straight face?

BTW, did you see how Judge Roy Moore waited until he was sure President Bush wouldn’t tap a real social conservative for the job before announcing his candidacy for Alabama Governor?

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 11:37 AM
Comment #83473

Lying is not the same thing as refusing to discuss certain issues—which is exactly what Roberts did. He didn’t take any socially conservative positions in his hearings, but he certainly didn’t take any liberal or moderate ones either. He pretty much clammed up.

Posted by: sanger at October 4, 2005 11:40 AM
Comment #83477

Bush screwed evangelicals by appointing an evangelical to the Supreme Court? You’re going to have to explain that one to me, AP.

Posted by: TheTraveler at October 4, 2005 11:54 AM
Comment #83478
He didn’t take any socially conservative positions in his hearings

Maybe he doesn’t have any. :)

No, he pretty much said he wouldn’t overturn Roe v. Wade. In any case, a lie by omission is still a lie. And you still sound like you think he misled everyone and you’re proud of it. That’s not a value a Democrat would be proud of.

A real man bares his convictions for the world to see. Robertson says he’s not an ideologue. Either he is what he says he is, or he’s a liar. You seem to think he’s a liar. I thought he was a fairly straight shooter — as did many Democrats.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 11:55 AM
Comment #83479

Traveler, I’m just saying you’re going to be disappointed if you think Roe v. Wade will be overturned. Miers and Robertson are both pro-business and anti-labor — they’ll make sure the rich get richer — but they’re not going to win the culture war for you.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 11:58 AM
Comment #83485

A real man may show his convictions in some settings, but a judge’s chair isn’t one of them.

Robert’s made perfectly clear that a judge’s personal convictions should be kept to himself and out of the law. In no way is this lying, and it’s exactly how a nominee is supposed to respond in a confirmation hearing.

Posted by: sanger at October 4, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #83494

AP,

My guess (my hope, anyway) is that Roberts will be a swing vote, voting on the law and the evidence rather than his beliefs. Of course, none of us will know until he actually makes some rulings.

I don’t know enough about Miers (and neither do you) to make a guess on how she will rule, but she seems qualified. As long as she says during the hearings that she will vote on the law rather than her personal beliefs, I’ll be happy.

Miers and Robertson (sic) are both pro-business and anti-labor — they’ll make sure the rich get richer.

Pure guesswork.

They’re not going to win the culture war for you.

Who knows? Maybe they’ll win it for you. But seeing as how they were appointed by Bush, you’ll still complain about them. ;-)

Posted by: TheTraveler at October 4, 2005 12:32 PM
Comment #83496

Sanger: “Robert’s made perfectly clear that a judge’s personal convictions should be kept to himself and out of the law. In no way is this lying”

1st; How do you know he wasn’t lying?

“and it’s exactly how a nominee is supposed to respond in a confirmation hearing.”

2nd; Are you saying that responded appropriately with a truthful answer or are you saying that he gave the right answer, irrespective of his actual beliefs?

Posted by: Dave at October 4, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #83497

Traveller,

They are both very pro-business, Roberts almost fantically so. There is no guesswork.

Posted by: Dave at October 4, 2005 12:39 PM
Comment #83500

Dave,
That doesn’t mean it will affect how they rule.

Posted by: TheTraveler at October 4, 2005 12:47 PM
Comment #83504

Good op-ed:
Cronyism and the Court

Posted by: Adrienne at October 4, 2005 1:12 PM
Comment #83515

Adrienne,

Try the link again.

Posted by: Rocky at October 4, 2005 1:51 PM
Comment #83535

Whoops! Sorry about that…
Cronyism and the Court

Posted by: Adrienne at October 4, 2005 2:39 PM
Comment #83545

Both seem pro-business. That is great. Roberts worked for Ronald Reagan, the most popular president in the last fifty years. He supported the policies that helped this country regain its competitive edge. Better. What is not to like?

It doesn’t bother me if some Democrats like a Bush nominee. But I bet 22 will still vote against her, no matter what.

You can’t have it both ways. Either the Bush is in the thrall of the evangelicals or he is not. I never thought he was. In fact the only people who thought so were liberals.

And people who vote on “values” are not stupid. They know they will not get everything they want. Nobody does in politics. A president is rarely anybody’s first/ideal choice. Democracy requires compromise. But they also know that the alternatives to the Republicans are worse.

Posted by: Jack at October 4, 2005 3:08 PM
Comment #83608

Ronald Reagan? Isn’t he the guy who increased deficit spending to new highs? Heh. No wonder you Republicans like Bush. Being in debt is Nirvana for you guys.

Posted by: Aldous at October 4, 2005 8:20 PM
Comment #83610

First of all, why would Bush have ever chosen a moderate in anything? He has never moderated anything he has done so far, its really always been all-or-nothing. However, in nominating Roberts and Meirs, Bush does get to defuse Democratic resistance because of the serious lack of evidence of how conservative these judges really are. Compromise is not in keeping with the Bush mentality, and his SEEMING concession to Democrats are in reality a master-stroke (and thus obviously orchestrated by someone other than him) to disarm Democratic opposition by removing their ammunition and promoting a “reverse Souter.”

Second, experience. Neither candidate has much experience at all, not in being a judge, which is a far different thing than being a lawyer. Miers is much worse so than Roberts. While Roberts at least has experience with constitutional law in his Supreme Court practice and his short tenure on the DC Circuit, Miers has none that I am aware of. If I am wrong about this, I would be happy to see some examples of how she has, I have just yet to see any.

Lastly, judicial philosophy. The notion that judges EVER “make law” is simply untrue. In some instances it is an understandable mistake to those who are unfamiliar with politics and legal theory, but to those who are “in the know” it is inconceivable. Judges have to decide cases that are before them. One side has to win. If there is an ambiguity, then the judges have to resolve that ambiguity in the way that best serves our nation’s ideals and constitution. The Constitution itself is simply too ambiguous to serve as a perfect guide to how every case should come out. What exactly is “due process of law?” When the Constitution says “no law shall abridge the freedom of speech,” what exactly is constituted in freedom of speech? For Bush to say “legislate from the bench,” he is in effect claiming that his nominees will not break the centuries-old tradition and imperative to create law, but to interpret it, which is what EVERY Supreme Court justice and every othee judge has ever done.
Furthermore, the Supreme Court is an interesting branch of the government as it cannot positively do anything. Its power is purely negative. Therefore, the Supreme Court can never say the people MUST do something. THey can only say the government cannot do something to the people. In a nation of limited government and liberty, the proper role of the Supreme Court is to check the powers of the legislature and executive, not to merely rubber-stamp them. To ask anything else is to destroy the system of checks and balances, as well as submitting anyone who falls into a minority viewpoint in any aspect of life to be faced with the possibility of rebuke or oppression.

Posted by: Libertyman13 at October 4, 2005 8:37 PM
Comment #83645
You can’t have it both ways. Either the Bush is in the thrall of the evangelicals or he is not. I never thought he was. In fact the only people who thought so were liberals.

Not so, Jack. Since 2000, and especially after the last election, the religious right believed Bush was in their pockets.

But, like you, I never thought he was. The whole point of this article is to take a poke at the Christians who thought Bush would put values above the GOP’s pro-business elite agenda. The fact is, our Christian values are better served by Democrats, and always have been.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 11:23 PM
Comment #83648

AP

Depends on what you mean by Christian values. The problem for many Democrats is that they are cultural relativists. They can’t bring themselves to believe than any values are better than any other values or accept those who do.

There are many ways to do most things, but either you believe in God or not. If you do believe in God, you have to think eveyone who doesn’t is wrong. You don’t have to dislike them or bother them, but they are wrong.

If you believe in Heaven and Hell, and you believe that people need a personal savior to get to Heaven, it follows perfectly logically that those who don’t will not get to Heaven. Again, you don’t have to hate them, but it is like someone is trying to find places in New York using a map of Chicago. He just can’t get to the destination.

That - BTW - is not my belief, but it doesn’t bother me if others think that even about me. It bothers most Dems in my experience. I always found that curious. If you don’t believe in Hell, why should it bother you if someone thinks you are going there.

Posted by: Jack at October 4, 2005 11:40 PM
Comment #83696

Jack, I have no idea what Democrats you’re talking about.

Sure, we’re more tolerant of differences — in race and culture as well as religion — but we’re not strict relativists. That’s just GOP bunkum.

For example, I believe in God, but I couldn’t care less whether you do or not. If you want to go to Hell, that’s your business. Democrats respect liberty, freedom and privacy.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 5, 2005 3:09 AM
Comment #83697

And I’d never have the bad manners to tell someone that they’re going to Hell because they’re not a member of the one true faith of Catholicism. That’s just rude. ;)

Posted by: American Pundit at October 5, 2005 3:12 AM
Comment #83753

AP

I don’t really believe that they are. BUT if I did believe in the one true path, I would believe they were. Again - like trying to find your way around NYC with a map of Chicago. And if I really liked the person, I would feel bad that he was going to Hell and might try to warn him of his error. Just like if my friend thought he was driving along Lake Michigan and it was actually the Hudson River.

Posted by: Jack at October 5, 2005 10:22 AM
Comment #83765

Jack, I just figure my friends are adults and know what they’re doing. If they’re happy with their religion (or lack of it), it’s their business.

To put it in terms of your analogy, if they ask directions, I’ll help ‘em out. But if they have a map of NYC that’s different from mine — well, that’s why they call it faith.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 5, 2005 11:43 AM
Comment #83766

Jack,

Let me just take a stab at describing why the “one true path” approach bothers THIS democrat. First of all, the notion of “one true path” is hardly a universal approach to religious belief. Take the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh regarding Buddhism and the doctrine of “non-attachment.” Basically, this teaching holds that they should never hold any belief (even Buddhist beliefs) so strongly that it interferes with their ability to have or show compassion.

The difficulty I have, personally, is with an approach to religion that says that proper belief (basically, being able to pass a chatechism test) is the path to salvation. I’ve known too many people who believe “the right things” and then go home and beat their wives.

The Christianity that I know, that means something to me, places the “Love Commandment” as central — rather than demanding strict doctrinal compliance as a precondition to salvation. Well meaning or not, well intentioned or not, to do otherwise is flawed theology and a generally crummy way to deal with people.

On a historical level, the notion of “one true path” to salvation has been used to justify all manner of atrocities — witness the crusades as just one example. People have used religious beliefs to justify slavery, segregation, and the subjugation of women. In short, religious beliefs have been used to justify hatred and closed-mindedness — which is (or at least should be) the opposite of what religion should promote, IMHO.

Democrats — or, again, at least THIS one — don’t have a problem with religion or religious belief. It’s a problem with hatred, intolerance, and bigotry being rationalized, supported, and justified by so-called religious thought.

Posted by: Steve Westby at October 5, 2005 11:47 AM
Comment #83775

Steve, that’s a good point. I think conservatives like Jack tend to mistake tolerance and compassion with “cultural relativism”.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 5, 2005 12:13 PM
Comment #83787

George W. Bush is a lier and a theif and a murder and the sooner you all realize that the better off we will be.
JERRY

Posted by: JERRY H. STEPP at October 5, 2005 1:41 PM
Comment #83800

We can sit here and discuss and speculate on values of the two candidates all day and get no where. No one know what these people will do. All you need to know is Bush nominated them, and for me that is enough. Anyone he would suggest will not suit. If you think they will, then you still believe there were Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Nothing Bush says can be trusted and nobody that he puts in any office is any better.

Posted by: kkg at October 5, 2005 2:36 PM
Comment #83857

Thank you Jerry. Not just a liar and a thief, but a cold blooded sadistic murderer guilty once, twice and three times over. What I cannot understand is why ANYONE of sound mind still supports this Texas madman, who, as a young man derived pleasure from sticking firecrackers up the asses of frogs, lighting the fuse, tossing the frogs into the air, and delighting in the explosion of frog guts all over the place. We have a certifiable sadistic war criminal running this country. God help us. The only chance America has is to throw those Democrats and Repuks OUT OF OFFICE in 2006 who are afraid to take a stand against the Shrub. WE THE PEOPLE STILL HAVE THE POWER, let’s use it in 2006 to restore the dignity, honor and moral standing of America that this Texas meglomaniac has almost totally destroyed.

Posted by: T.L. ROBBINS at October 5, 2005 10:56 PM
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