Since Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination to the Supreme Court, Democratic senators such as Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durbin—i.e. all the people who had absolutely nothing to do with Miers’ withdrawal—have been blanketing the airwaves with demands that Bush must now accede to their commands. So it’s good to see Democrats are still working on getting in touch with reality.
The Democrats didn’t utter a note of disagreement with the Miers nomination. But now they say her withdrawal is their victory, which Bush must be forced to acknowledge by nominating a candidate to their liking. I believe that’s what got Bush in trouble in the first place: Listening to Democratic Senator Harry Reid, who recommended Miers for the Supreme Court.
Although the circumstances were unfortunate—we prefer fighting liberals to fighting our President—the Miers withdrawal is an unparalleled victory for conservatives. Liberals were never able to do this to Clinton when he hosed them. It will be a long time before the White House thinks it can use and abuse conservatives again.
Until Miers withdrew, the Bush White House was turning into the Nixon White House—complete with Harriet Miers as its Rosemary Woods, with an 18-year gap in her credentials.
As President, Nixon imposed wage and price controls, created the Environmental Protection Agency, initiated race-based hiring schemes, signed SALT I with the Soviets and instituted rapprochement with the Red Chinese. All of this resulted in liberals’ despising him even more!
After five years of Nixon’s ignoring conservatives—where else would they go?—when liberals came after him for Watergate, conservatives ignored Nixon. (As the details of Nixon’s “dirty tricks” came out, conservative columnist Stan Evans reportedly told Pat Buchanan: “I want to apologize for all my attacks upon your administration. I would never have done that if I had known you were into all that good stuff we’ve been hearing about lately.” )
For five years, Bush has initiated massive spending programs, obstinately refused to protect the borders and signed restrictions on political speech into law. His veto pen remains unopened and unused in its original shrink-wrapped case. Bush treats conservatives like the Democrats treat the blacks (which is to say, pretty badly) .
Conservatives were unhappy, but we were confident Bush would never let us down on the two issues that mattered more than anything else: the war on terrorism and the Supreme Court.
Although Bush has been bold and strong against the terrorists, with the Miers nomination it was beyond question that he had betrayed conservative hopes for the Supreme Court.
The way Bush had been attacking his base lately, he had to count on liberals’ starting to love him because there weren’t going to be a lot of conservatives left to defend him if someone in the White House got indicted or something.
When conservatives erupted in pain and rage that the President had thrown away a Supreme Court seat on his personal lawyer—because she’s a girl and Laura wanted a girl—administration flacks snippily informed right-wing activists that they didn’t get a vote. Only senators vote on judicial nominees (that is, whenever Democrats allow it).
Next, the Bush White House accused conservatives of elitism and sexism for opposing the former Texas Lottery commissioner for the Supreme Court.
Then it seemed that the White House actually believed everything liberals say about conservative Christians—that we are “uneducated” and “easily led.” After administration officials snookered a few evangelical leaders into supporting Miers, they sat back and congratulated themselves on a job well done. But evangelicals are, at best, split down the middle on Miers. Apparently, Christians aren’t so easily led. (That’s what you get for believing The Washington Post!)
Next, the White House began threatening Republican senators who were thinking of voting against the former lottery commissioner. To deliver this message, Bush chose Tom Rath, a liberal Republican functionary in New Hampshire who brags on his Web page that he “actively assisted in the U.S. Senate process that confirmed David Souter as Supreme Court justice.”
At least Bush found a man with impeccable credentials to promote the Miers nomination. Note to the promotions department: You can stop printing up those “Trust Me!” T-shirts. I don’t think we’re going to need them!
Finally, to throw us totally off balance, Bush did something weird and scary this week: He nominated Ben Bernanke for Fed chairman—A MAN WHO’S TOTALLY QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB. The White House has yet to explain how this happened.
Politicians and Fox News analysts afraid of upsetting the White House keep saying we need to wait for the hearings to see if Miers is qualified. In fact, the only two people who would have derived any benefit from the hearings are Democratic Sen. Joe Biden, who would finally look like a constitutional scholar, and Harriet Miers, who might have learned something about the Constitution from him.
Far from opposing Miers, Democrats were delighted with the mess Bush had stepped in by nominating her. They didn’t dare help Bush by opposing her. The NARAL ladies were told to take a back seat to Democrat dreams of an impotent George Bush. Yeah, maybe Miers would have voted to overturn Roe, but that still wouldn’t have created a majority to overturn it.
But if Miers got on the court, Democrats could have had their way with Bush. His armies would be gone. This isn’t a game of kick the can in which Republicans fight for any idiot with an “R” on his shirt. We support Bush because he is a Republican, not whether or not he is a Republican.
With Miers’ withdrawal, Bush has us back on the team, ready to cheer for him unreservedly. All we ask is that you please not listen to Harry Reid next time.