Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Letter To Hewitt

Just stumbled across this:

This is a letter I sent to Hugh Hewitt. But it applies equally to Beldar, the Anchoress, and others who are supporting the Miers nomination...


Mr. Hewitt,

I have a great deal of respect for you. I regularly visit your blog and have purchased your books. But I feel you are currently advocating a position that will do the party more harm than good. The position I'm referencing is your party-line stance on the nomination of Harriet Miers.

President Bush has made the biggest political blunder of his Presidency. This utterly bizarre nomination has only succeeded in ripping his party apart. Worse, the rift is not one that has come from the slash of principle, as would be worthwhile(or at least understandable). Rather, it came from an act of weakness. It has come from a betrayal of the common beliefs and goals of the Conservative movement.

The White House was reportedly "caught off guard" by the reaction to this nomination. That is also not very promising. It demonstrates just how out of touch they are with their base, and how little they really understand the depth of concern over this issue among movement Conservatives. How they didn't see this reaction coming is completely mystifying.

So now the solution? You have advocated sticking with the President, trusting him, and towing the party line - all to avoid catastrophe in 2006 and possibly even 2008. This position is understandable, and even admirable. However, I think it is completely misguided and counterproductive in this present circumstance, and will only serve to produce the opposite result to the one you profess to desire.

The level of rage and anger among so much of the activist Conservative movement in this country cannot be wished away. It will not subside out of force of will, nor will it diminish with entreaties to do what's right "for the party". We support the party for a reason - the advancement of our beliefs about what will be best for this country. We do not support the party for its own sake. So even if most of us do our best to "calm down", it will be difficult to defeat the demoralizing effect of this action by the President. We may calm our rage, but we cannot shake our disappointment. And that will certainly lead to less money given, less phone calls made near election time, less grassroots campaigning.

I have already cancelled my monthly RNC contribution. Many others have done the same. The wind has been taken out of our sails, and it will be very hard to get back under the present circumstances. We have worked extremely hard for this President. I gave thousands of dollars, made phone calls, pounded pavement, and on and on. We have stood with this President and this party through countless difficulties and frustrations - including lax immigration enforcement, campaign finance reform, uncontrolled govenrment spending, the Medicare Entitlement, tarrifs, the Farm Bill, the federalizing of education, and on and on and on. This President and this Congress have been among the most "liberal" in the latter half of the twentieth century, with only tax cuts and an agressive foreign policy setting them apart from Carter or LBJ.

We endured it all, hoping that the fight for a larger majority in Congress and the President's re-election would ensure a movement toward more Conservative policies in the second term. This has not happened. And this pathetic nomination is now the last straw. Why should we continue to work so hard for this party when we get no results for our efforts?

There are only two possible solutions to this current Bush-caused disaster in the Republican party:

1. Miers is confirmed, gets on the Court, and immediately starts issuing opinions rigidly in line with Scalia and Thomas.

2. Miers is withdrawn as a nominee, or drops out herself.

Either of these two options WOULD repair the damage this President has caused in the party. But these are the only things that would.

Option number one seems very unlikely, given what we are now finding out about Miers. She is a squishy O'Connorite, according to most of the evidence now out there. She certainly has nothing in her record indicating the kind of rigidity of principle that sets a Scalia or Thomas apart from the others on the Court. Even dismissing the information that has come out about Miers, option number one is still very unlikely, considering the history of judicial appointments to this court and their record of behavoir. They usually drift Left. Why should we gamble that Miers will be any different, especially when the information out about her now is already discouraging?

Option number one is not only unlikely, but it is also not something that we can afford to cross our fingers and hope for. No individual should gamble with something so important, and a movement certainly should not. This nomination signals our chance to finally start remaking the court. What a waste if we blow it...

Option number 2, on the other hand, is completely viable. If Miers is withdrawn or drops out herself, and Bush nominates a proven Conservative in her place, all will be forgotten and forgiven. The rift will repair itself, and the movement will once again be whole. The base will be energized and happy yet again. There will be a week or two of negative media coverage, but so what? We get that anyway, and the next nominee would then wipe the slate clean in every respect, as the back and forth begins anew.

Any other option is not very desirable. Nobody wants to see the President's weak-kneed nominee go down on the Senate floor, as that makes any future nominations difficult(a strong nominee going down at least gives one the option of then picking a weaker choice, such as a Miers, next - which would've been fine with the base, had Bush at least TRIED a proven Conservative first). And the other alternative, Miers getting confirmed and then turning into O'Connor, which seems very likely, would be a complete catastrophe for the future of this party.

Reagan and Bush the elder got a pass for their bad appointments - because the base wasn't nearly as focused on this issue as it is now, with "Men in Black", Limbaugh and the internet all dominant forces on the scene. This is a new era of scrutiny and passion.

Bush II will not get that pass, and neither will Republicans if this nomination goes forward into Confirmation. This is the kind of event that gets third parties started...

I fear your "cross our fingers and support the President" strategy is the one most likely to lead to disaster. It is based exclusively on wishful thinking, rather than the evidence at hand, and nothing good will likely come if your wants are fulfilled. A Miers confirmation would be just as disastrous as the Miers nomination - even more so, as it will involve not only the split of a party, but also the specter of actual squishy decisions being handed down on the Supreme Court - affecting us all for generations.

You are seeking unity. But unity of that kind - "let's all sink together" - is not what I or many other Conservatives seek. The unity of "let's stand firm and force this nominee out", is a far better option that gives us the only real way to get out of this mess relatively unscathed. Miers being dropped WOULD result in the party coming back together, and little harm being done, providing Bush nominates a proven Conservative in her stead. No other course of action is nearly as certain in its positive result.

Also, ask yourself this question, Hugh - if Miers was dropped or left the process voluntarily, how happy would that make many Conservatives? The base? Very much so. And how upset would you, Beldar, and others really be if she was replaced by a Luttig or somebody else with proven Conservative credentials? I suspect you guys would be happier as well. So if Miers leaving would upset virtually noone, but her staying threatens to rip the party apart, why on earth is anybody on the side of her sticking around?

The party is in a perilous position right now, as I know you are aware. Why then, advocate a course likely to keep the movement Conservatives angry, and possibly split the party for years to come?


Posted by: David at October 10, 2005 04:20 PM

Also, take a look at this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I too am disappointed. And I think the anger is justified. A lost opportunity. Instead, the court moves to the right but not too far and too fast.

So, independents aren't spooked, which benefit the 2006 and 2008 elections. A conservative, gun-tootin, evangelical is confirmed to the Supreme Court and MSM story line is "Dems relieved". "Repubs mad as Hell".

Please, please don't throw me in dat brier patch"

A conservative, gun-tootin, evangelical is confirmed to the supreme court and MSM story line is "Dems relieved". "Repubs mad as Hell".

Kinda reminds me of Brier Rabbit.