October 13, 2005

"'You're a sexist snob' isn't a case; it's an insult."

Peggy Noonan thinks there is no case to be made for the Harriet Miers nomination and the efforts at defending it have become embarrassing and harmful:
An essential White House mistake--really a key and historic one--was in turning on its critics with such idiotic ferocity. "My way or the highway" is getting old. "Please listen to us and try to see it our way or we'll have to kill you," is getting old. Sending Laura Bush out to make her first mistake as first lady, agreeing with Matt Lauer that sexism is probably part of the reason for opposition to Ms. Miers, was embarrassingly inept and only served to dim some of the power of this extraordinary resource.

As for Ed Gillespie and his famous charge of sexism and elitism, I don't think serious conservatives believe Ed is up nights pondering whiffs and emanations of class tension and gender bias in modern America. It was the ignorant verbal lurch of a K Street behemoth who has perhaps forgotten that conservatives are not merely a bloc, a part of the base, a group that must be handled, but individuals who are and have been in it for serious reasons, for the long haul, and often at considerable sacrifice. They don't deserve to be patronized by people they've long strained to defend.
Over Harriet Miers, the "serious conservatives" have identified themselves and now demand recognition. What would motivate them to back down now?

10 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...

Many of the anti-Miers crowd tend to critise before listening. They say no case has been made for Harriet Miers yet at this point I know more about Ms. Miers than almost any person in government.

The case that has been made by the White House is that Miers is a different kind of pick than the ususal. Many who don't like this "case" strike back with the argument that a case hasn't been made for Ms. Miers. An easy argument to make.

Accusations fly that Miers is like Souter or a closet lefty, however, I cant find anything that Souter and Miers have in common other than that each are unmarried and both appear to be stealth candidates. In fact a close examination of the two shows that they are quite the opposite of each other in most matters (beginning with their home states).

Perhaps litagators should be asked the question about how they may prepare their cases differently with someone like Miers on the Court. You might get strange answers. After all, Miers has spent most of her life living in Texas and not Washington, DC.

Critics of Miers are falling into group-think... I am unconvinced.

All this is good for liberals, in the short term at least. By December, Miers will be on the court - never saying a word and ruling to the right of Clarence Thomas. Liberals will be wondering what happened.

Hans Gruber said...

Sloanasaurus,

So you're willing to try one more throw of the dice with the old stealth candidate?

That's worked so well for us in the past, you know. I guess that's why we should try it again.

I was appalled when this nomination was announced, without talking to anyone or reading any blog. I am more appalled today, after being accused of everything from sexism to elitism. So far I have seen only one conservative make comments which I regard as elitist, and that is Coulter. I have criticized her on my blog.

The "trust me" theme doesn't hold water when one considers this is the same president who was itching to appoint Gonzales to the Court. The same president who signed McCain-Feingold after campaigning on a promise to veto it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Aren't we throwing the dice on every supreme court candidate?

Freeman Hunt said...

Aren't we throwing the dice on every supreme court candidate?

Not if we had Janice. /longing sigh

David Leftwich said...

It’s interesting that Noonan is criticizing Bush for his characteristic tenacity:

"My way or the highway" is getting old. "Please listen to us and try to see it our way or we'll have to kill you," is getting old.

I thought that was supposed to one of the good things about Bush, his steadfastness in the face of criticism, especially on the war – it’s why I voted for him (at least on the war issue). He got cheers for statements like, if you are not with us you are against us. But now that some conservatives don’t like something he does, they want him to cave. That’s never been Bush’s m.o. Bush's tenacity is one of his strengths and its probably also his fatal flaw…King Lear anyone?

However, it’s probably liberal’s who should be more concerned than conservatives. She is a stealth candidate, but I wager a stealth conservative candidate.

Hans Gruber said...

"Aren't we throwing the dice on every supreme court candidate?"

Yes, nothing is ever guaranteed. But one thing you should have learned by now is that stealth nominees are especially bad.

What little is known about her--her ABA ties, former Democrat, support for affirmative action--suggests she is nothing more than Gonzales in a skirt.

Would you have jumped for joy if Gonzales was nominated?

Sloanasaurus said...

"...Not if we had Janice. /longing sigh..."

Maybe you should step back and consider Janice Rogers Brown. She is a quality judge, but she also tends to be a libertarian. In my opinion, this makes her more risky than appointing Miers. Do you want a libertarian judge? Do you want a judge who thinks its unconstitutional to regulate drugs? How about war on terror issues. Would brown be a reliable conervative on these issues.

Someone like Brown could end up voting with the liberals far more than people would expect because of her libertarian views.

Chris said...

"agreeing with Matt Lauer that sexism is probably part of the reason for opposition to Ms. Miers"

No, the First Lady said it was possible, not that it was probable! Conservative critics of the nomination are just making themselves look foolish when they twist the facts like this.

XWL said...

I am more a Libertarian than a conservative, and I believe the U.S. Constitution as written is a libertarian document, so if a Supreme Court Justice is being an honest reader of the document rather than a political actor looking for an excuse to validate their world-view they will more often than not make libertarian leaning decisions.

That's why I personally think Judge Brown would have been a brilliant choice for nomination, but I also understand why those qualities I admire are also the qualities that most likely will prevent her from being chosen for any future vacancies.

as far as the hullabaloo surrounding the characterization of the opposition to the nomination of Miers, I don't think their are very many people paying all that much attention and noone will remember this fuss 6 months from now.

Jacques Cuze said...

Over Harriet Miers, the "serious conservatives" have identified themselves and now demand recognition. What would motivate them to back down now?

A tax cut? Gutting the environment? War on Iran? 2006 and 2008? Paybacks to their industry?