Democrats & Liberals Archives

Revenge Of The 'Campaign Conservative'?

Who would’ve thunk back on November 3rd, that given two vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court, George W. Bush would be forced to leave it just the way it is?

Or was he forced?

On MSNBC's Countdown recently, John Harwood of the Wall Street Journal suggested that this shows Bush was just a 'campaign Conservative'. Confirming rampant suspicions that, like his father, he was truly a moderate Republican - except this time, Karl Rove helped him play the nutty and principled Conservatives for suckers.

To have this long sought chance to tip the High Court their way, made Conservatives like Andrew Sullivan put up with the homophobic hypocrisy, John McCain would be ostracized for sticking to his hawkish fiscal principles, and William Kristol would even tolerate the Dobson Gang. Impatient that the Conservative Revolution battle plan would take too long (30 years?), DeLay and Bush skipped the Ethics and competent governance electives, and achieved it for them in 10 years.

The real possibility that a Justice Miers could be the ideological twin of a Sandra Day O'Connor, has devastated an Evangelical Right fully expecting, at least, a Judge Roy Moore in drag. And, by failing to trigger the Scalia-Thomas Option - thereby giving the embattled, embarrassed Right the all-out political/faux ideological throw down they so desperately wanted - now, the Bush White House has gone and done it.

Barring the unlikelihood of Miers getting caught with a dead Mary Cheney or a live Jeff Gannon/Guckert, Bush will never withdraw her nomination, no matter how much the Right squawks. The snipping by the likes of Krauthammer, George Will and Pat Buchanan is a false debate centered on her apparent lack of judicial experience and their newfound objection to White House cronyism. But, what really has their ideological undergarments in a bunch is that there was no sufficient wink wink/nod nod that Miers is the stealth Janice Brown or William Pryor nominee that emphatically tilts the High Court to the Right.

The cacophony of outrage by Conservatives has been so palpable, that Fox News is not just their sole MSM portal this time around. Which also begs the question, of why such wattage has not been expended in defense of the man almost single-handedly responsible for ushering their movement into power?

For obvious reasons, the Bush White House could not afford another dust up over a controversial judicial nominee. He's battling to stave off early second term lame duck status, and further aggravating the GOP's diminishing prospects in next year's Midterms. And, right along with him are enough politically astute Senate Republicans who know now's not the time to grow an ideological backbone.

While Bush oversaw the greatest expansion ever of the federal government and record deficits, replete with corporate giveaways and absurd waste, nary a peep was heard from Krauthammer & Co. And, if similar outrage had ever been expressed by principled Conservatives over such betrayals, Bush's veto count would not still stand at zero.

So, why should Bush do their bidding now?

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at October 9, 2005 2:22 AM
Comment #84518

Bush is a puppet with a host of others pulling his strings. That is how he could end up withdrawing her nomination. However, Bush Jr., has an inferiority complex, (as many short, bowl legged men with tall powerful Daddies have) and that will likely stand in the way of his allowing the puppetmasters to pull his strings on this one, since it would make him look he made a Mustake!

Or, and this is just as likely, his puppetmasters have absolutely NO desire to see Roe V. Wade overturned, as that would very likely cost the GOP majority status for another few decades to come. Either way, when it comes to privacy rights, the liberals have found a secret ally in the Whitehouse. In every dark cloud, there is a silver lining.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 9, 2005 2:49 AM
Comment #84520

Indeed. Roe vs Wade is to the Religious Right what Segregation is to Blacks. Both will keep each group slavishly loyal to their Party. It is really a masterstroke by Rove. This move will guarantee the Holier-Than-Thou Gang being Republican for all eternity!!!

Posted by: Aldous at October 9, 2005 4:24 AM
Comment #84526

This post is dripping with so much dislike for the right that it cannot get its own story straight. First, the “real” reason that the right is upset about Miers is not her credentials, but that she is not conservative enough. Then, when a brilliant conservative like George Will gives actual, substantive reasons for the opposition of PRINCIPLED CONSERVATIVES to Miers nomination, that is dismissed, by grouping all those who are not liberal democrats as evangelical, unthinking partisans.

As someone who is a proud member of the federalist society (and president of the Georgetown Law Federalist Society), the overall gloss of this post is insulting. If you really want to understand what is fueling the opposition of those like Bork, George Will, David Frum, Randy Barnett and many others to this nomination- I will tell you:

Since the early 1980s, conservatives intellectuals (not the religious right) have fought a long struggle to rescue the courts from the misguided “this feels good, so this is how we shall decide it” of the Warren/Brennan/Marshall types. It was an APPROACH to constitutional law that they were championing (because they disagreed on outcomes a lot of the time).

By nominating someone who not only did not fight in this intellectual shift, but openly disparaged it; By passing over qualified individuals to appoint one of his buddies from Texas- Bush has really attacked the heart of this movement. If it makes you feel better to trash people like Will based on your notions that the only true intellectuals who care about our country are on the left, thats your right. But I think its very misguided indeed.

Posted by: Misha Tseytlin at October 9, 2005 10:33 AM
Comment #84530


“Or, and this is just as likely, his puppetmasters have absolutely NO desire to see Roe V. Wade overturned, as that would very likely cost the GOP majority status for another few decades to come.”

I would submit that the “Puppetmasters” don’t want Roe v Wade overturned is that it is a subject that keeps the populace stirred up and therefore easier to control.

Posted by: Rocky at October 9, 2005 12:07 PM
Comment #84532

Interesting article, although I’m not sure if I agree with your characterization of Bush as a campaign conservative. I think the jury is still out on both Roberts & Miers. They may BOTH turn out to be stealth appointments.

Thanks for pointing out that the extreme right believes that government should ONLY do what the constitution EXPLICITLY says it can do - like censoring the internet and intervening between a husband and the wife when the wife is dying. Yup, the constitution is really specific on stuff like that.

Once again you have resorted to telling everyone what the left thinks. Putting words into your opponents’ mouths is intellectual dishonesty of the worst kind, and if you’re hoping to be a lawyer, you’re gonna have to do better than that.

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 9, 2005 12:14 PM
Comment #84541

Call me paranoid, but I think the right doth protest too much.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 9, 2005 5:26 PM
Comment #84543
However, Bush Jr., has an inferiority complex, (as many short, bowl legged men with tall powerful Daddies have) and that will likely stand in the way of his allowing the puppetmasters to pull his strings on this one, since it would make him look he made a Mustake!

I think you mean men with tall powerful “Mommies”

Posted by: Pat at October 9, 2005 6:11 PM
Comment #84550

“Conservative intellectuals”, didn’t know any existed except for the ones that have recovered from what I perceive to be nothing more than a disease, born of fear and ignorance.

No wonder the conservatives and fundamentalist share common ground.

Posted by: dtom21 at October 9, 2005 8:37 PM
Comment #84553

its awesome when people respond to my posts and prove my point exactly. First one assumes he knows my views on particular issues, and gets it wrong on both his examples, then the other one actually implies that the left has a monopoly on intellectuals. too funny, and too sad all at once.

Posted by: Misha Tseytlin at October 9, 2005 9:05 PM
Comment #84563

Liberals do not have to imply the left has a monopoly on intellect, objective history does.

The conservatives or the “great defenders of traditional thought” haven’t been right about anything since recorded time began, beginning with their moral defense of the flat earth through the most current application of rational traditional thought, the justification for the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: dtom21 at October 9, 2005 11:00 PM
Comment #84570


Did you read anything that Misha posted?

You have proven her point and shown your myopic tendency. Your prejudice is showing.

Posted by: Cliff at October 10, 2005 12:03 AM
Comment #84575

This about the Miers nomination.

From Ann Coulter of all people.

” I eagerly await the announcement of President Bush’s real nominee to the Supreme Court. If the president meant Harriet Miers seriously, I have to assume Bush wants to go back to Crawford and let Dick Cheney run the country.

Unfortunately for Bush, he could nominate his Scottish terrier Barney, and some conservatives would rush to defend him, claiming to be in possession of secret information convincing them that the pooch is a true conservative and listing Barney’s many virtues – loyalty, courage, never jumps on the furniture …

Harriet Miers went to Southern Methodist University Law School, which is not ranked at all by the serious law school reports and ranked No. 52 by US News and World Report. Her greatest legal accomplishment is being the first woman commissioner of the Texas Lottery.”

I don’t know. If Ann Coulter dislikes the pick sooo much…..

BTW, did anyone mention that Miers thinks that Bush is brilliant?

Posted by: Rocky at October 10, 2005 12:12 AM
Comment #84606

dTom is right, there are very few conservative intellectials. That’s why conservatives are under-represented on College campuses.

But what Bush understands and some conservatives don’t, is that Harriet doesn’t need to be a grand thinker. She only needs to peek at Scalia’s paper and see how he’s voting.

Posted by: Ms Schwamp at October 10, 2005 7:58 AM
Comment #84630


virtues: loyalty, courage, never jumps on the furniture

Love the last virtue ;-)

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 10, 2005 9:52 AM
Comment #84674


Responding to repeated requests to clarify her position on issues facing the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers today promised to explain her views, just as soon as she is able to consult with the president.

Posted by: Verax at October 10, 2005 2:50 PM
Comment #84682

What’s laughable is your egotistical belief in your intellectual superiority. You’re apparently so filled with hatred and vitriol for all things liberal that you can’t even read a simple declarative sentence objectively. If you misinterpreted what I wrote, that is your problem, not mine.

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 10, 2005 3:19 PM
Comment #84942

If George Will, Pat Buchanan, and Ann Coulter are all against her, she must be a really good person. It sounds like cronyism might do a good thing after all, but I think he was just looking for a woman to nominate, and she was the first one that came to mind.

Posted by: ray at October 11, 2005 2:25 PM
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