Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, October 03, 2005

What was he thinking?

Harriet Miers is such a bland, boring candidate, I can't even raise a scintilla of excitement that Bush nominated her. Indeed, I'm in the Michelle Malkin "Utterly Underwhelmed" camp. Mr. Bookroom, the unregenerate Democrat, read about the nomination in today's NY Times and the first word out of his mouth was "crony." Okay, cronies can be useful, but why such a nonentity? It is true that other Supreme Court judges have been drawn from outside of the judiciary, but most (at least in recent memory) had distinguished public careers before their nominations. Whether you liked him or not, for example, Earl Warren had earned his stripes as Governor of California. Miers is just a political hack -- and a suspect one, at that, given her Democratic affiliation throughout the 1980s, and the fact that she backed Gore against Bush's own father. Of course, I too was a lifelong Democrat before I had my epiphany and crossed to the other side. However, I'm not a Supreme Court candidate, so you really don't need to sniff out my motives and beliefs too closely. Also, I give all the signs of the converted zealot, while Meirs seems to be a cipher. I'm tremendously disappointed that Bush should be spending so much of his time lately pandering to the Left. His ravenous appetite for government spending is antithetical to the core issue that binds all conservatives: smaller, cheaper government. His promise to rebuild N.O. -- a promise based on stunning inaccurate reporting from N.O. -- runs the risks of having tax payers contribute billions to rebuild a city below sea level that is run by the most corrupt local and state government in the U.S. And now, when it comes to the Supreme Court, he promotes a buddy whose political belief system is unknown, and suspiciously weak, and he almost certainly did so to avoid a big fight in Congress. What the heck happened to the unwavering warrior of of the post-9/11 days? It's almost enough to make one believe the tabloid claim that the President fell off the wagon. The fact is that those on the Left will go to their graves hating him, no matter what he does, while he risks serious alienating those on the right, and destroying his party. In the inestimable Stratfor report I get by email (and I can't find a copy of the web to link to), George Friedman writes about the main problem that brings down a second term President -- and it's not the obvious things like a failing economy or war. Instead, it's alienating the base:

The failed presidents, on the other hand, all failed not because their opponents reviled them or even because those opponents became a majority, but because their own base of political support lost basic confidence in them. Wilson had suffered a revolt among the Democrats. Truman no longer could get the Democratic nomination. It is doubtful that Johnson could have won his party's nomination had he sought it. Nixon collapsed when Republican senators turned on him. On the other hand, no matter what attacks were launched against FDR, Eisenhower, Reagan or Clinton, their base held like a rock. Even when FDR was outgunned by the isolationists, he held his base, and he was never broken. Bush's problem, therefore, is the war in Iraq. But the issue is not his Democratic opposition, nor even whether his opponents swell to become a majority. The threat to Bush's presidency will come if, and only if, his own political base breaks. By all polls, that base -- which historically has been at about 40-42 percent -- is holding. If that continues to be the case, he will be able to execute foreign policy effectively. If that base is shattered, he fails.
Bush, whose base held together in large part based on the promise of a strong conservative Supreme Court, by this nomination may have irreparably harmed his support. That in turn creates a lame duck presidency, which can be of no use in getting another Republican in the White House. UPDATE: I just read at American Thinker Miers belongs to an evangelical church in Dallas, and the astute Thomas Lifson sees this as a good sign and the harbinger of a good fight:
Blue state fundamentalists tend to hate evangelicals the way that Islamists hate Jews: viscerally. It will take enormous willpower for many of them to avoid saying that one who believes in the literal word of the Bible should not be allowed a place on the Supreme Court. They played footsie with the position that a devout Catholic would be disqaualified. To partially quote my earlier post: this is a battle the Democrat left can't win with a majority of the American public, which sees religious faith as a good thing. As far as I am concerned about the coming attacks, Dirty Harry summed up my feelings: "Go ahead - make my day." By offering bait to the most flamboyant wing of the cultural left base of the Democrats, President Bush has once again demonstrated his poker playing skills. They will see his bet and raise. They are so convinced that the hand they hold is right, true, and just, that they must win, that they will bet the Upper East Side co-op (few of them own a farm).
Laer, at Cheat Seeking Missiles, is also cautiously optimistic. Powerline, however, suspects backroom deal-making may have had a hand in the nomination, as evidenced by the Senate Democra's peaceful response to her nomination (and Harry Reid's approval). If that's true, let's hope that Miers proves to be a Trojan Horse who horrifies the Left with her staunch judicial conservatism, rather than a Trojan Horse in the Kennedy/Souter mode who once again hews Left, abandoning her conservative supporters.