10.06.2005

On Loyalty

"Loyalty is great. Loyalty to principles is really great." --Laura Ingraham

If there's any agreement at all regarding President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers for supreme court justice, it is that no one knows much about her right now.

There's one more thing that is apparent: the President opted to not have a fight. That's not, in and of itself, a negative. However, it raises important issues on both sides of this issue.

Why avoid the fight? What happened to the promise of nominating justices in the likeness of Thomas and Scalia? The next justice appointed will be, in effect, the "swing vote" on the Court. This one would be worth the fight.

It's no secret that the president hasn't received the best PR lately, with the handling of Iraq and Katrina (regardless of how much of that PR was warranted). It hurt his numbers. While I'm sure that strategists, like Karl Rove, would take this into consideration, my hope is that it would not be the highest priority. Where does loyalty lie? Did popularity and the Democratic plea for "unity" and "bringing the country together" win out?

We're told that we need to "trust" and be loyal to our president. Yes, I believe that Bush can be trusted. He is a good man, a good president. However, he has not always acted like a conservative one. So, "trust" and loyalty are not enough right now. That is what struck me about Ingraham's quote. Conservatives are not being disloyal by questioning the president's choice. They're actually being loyal to the principles and the values that led us to voting him into office. THAT is true loyalty.

I understand the concern on behalf of conservatives like Bill Kristol, David Frum and Laura Ingraham that in the moment many of us would say was the very reason Bush was elected he balked. It does appear, whether or not it is, to be a cowardly choice.

That said, I think there is such a thing as going overboard and doing more harm than good in the type of criticism of the president and Miers. I heard Stephen Bainbridge on Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday. By the end of the interview, Hugh asked the professor about how productive it is that some have proposed that Barney would have made a better choice for the Court. Bainbridge missed the opportunity to rise above that kind of unproductive, insulting rhetoric. I believe that level of conversation is simply mudslinging and infighting cloaked under the guise of "loyalty" to principles.

Though I am bothered by Bush's opting to not fight, I am more concerned that this nominee will do the job and do it well. We have seen too many unelected, unaccountable judges dishonoring and re-writing the constitution. I don't really care whether she is a political conservative or not. All I care is that she would be loyal to the constitution of the United States.

3 Comments:

At 10/05/2005 07:17:00 PM, Anonymous Jets said...

I think that conservatives do have a lot to be concerned about with the actions of Bush and the congress lately.

First off with this selection which puts who you know above merit. A belief in merit selection is a basic conservative value, as an example as it is used in arguing against affirmative action. I don't think there is any way to argue that Ms. Miers is the best, most qualified for the job and thus does not merit it.

The second thing in my mind that conservatives have a right to be alarmed about is the out of control spending. One of the arguments during the decades of democratic control of congress was the spending and now the Republicans in control are making them look like misers.

Now is the time for a fight not only with the democrats on the course of the country but also it seems with political leaders to get back to our core conservative values and actually live them.

 
At 10/05/2005 10:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gut tells me that this nomination is cast in the image of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Diversity. All three are buzz words in Federal service to mean appointing women and minorities to positions of power. Having sat through more than one session of “Diversity Training” I am familiar with the spiel.

If there is any merit to this argument, I then have to wonder why he didn’t choose a black woman. I think it boils down to a simple point, Harriet Miers is replacing O'Connor and they look alike. This seems overly simple and slightly sexist, I know, but the mantra is Miers is taking O’Connor’s chair. Therefore, I submit to you that she was chosen because of all the old white ladies Bush knows, this is the one he trusts the most.

The thought of this makes me feel just a little uneasy. Trust eh?

 
At 10/06/2005 04:57:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

I didn't decide to endorse Miers because I trust Bush. I listened to all the arguments for and against and i noticed that the people who actually know and have worked with Miss Miers, were overwhelmingly in favor of her nomination. The ones that don't know her are the ones with reservations.

They know her. If anyone can say how she will rule, besides her, it is the people who know her best.

 

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