The Right Coast
October 17, 2005
John Fund column
By Tom Smith
Here's the link. Looks like scoop city for Fund and the WSJ.
What a mess. Fund's characterization of Miers as a "superstealth" candidate is fair. To all appearances, Miers looks exactly like a liberal pretending to be a conservative. If the assessment of the Texas judges is correct, she is a conservative who just looks like a liberal pretending to be a conservative. However, if the Texas judges are just covering for her, then she would be a liberal who friends just say she is a conservative who looks like a liberal pretending to be a conservative, when in fact, she either is a liberal pretending to be a conservative, or would shortly become one, before she became just a liberal, which is my best guess at this point.
AND Frum has this to say:
Fund reports that the White House arranged for surrogates to guarantee a group of prominent religious conservatives that Miers would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Can we pause to absorb the full magnitude of this catastrophic misjudgment?
1) Conservatives have argued for years that it is utterly improper for senators to probe nominees' personal views on religion and abortion. With this stunt, the White House has not only invited but legitimated a line of questioning that conservatives have opposed for almost two decades.
2) If Fund is right, the White House was acting in such a way as to persuade a group of religious leaders that they were being given more information on a nomination than would be given to the US Senate. Congress - and yes Republicans in Congress - already feel that the White House treats them with contempt. Now congressional-executive relations have been damaged even further, with potentially lethal consequences for everything that remains of the president's legislative agenda.
3) The stunt also threatens Republican relations with religious conservatives. The assurances offered to the Arlington Group were almost certainly empty. Newsweek is reporting that the White House has also recruited New Hampshire politico Tom Rath to threaten to oppose the presidential bids of any senator who opposes Harriet Miers. But Rath is as responsible as anyone for putting David Souter on the court. What on earth did they say to him? And if those assurances were contradictory, why should anybody believe either?
This is a deeply troubled nomination and will only get worse. For his own sake, for the sake of the party, President Bush should withdraw it now. If you agree, I hope you will consider clicking on that tally button above and adding your name.