President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has not only divided the president’s supporters generally, it has neatly divided John, Paul and me three ways. I would have thought that impossible, but there you have it.
Yesterday Paul eloquently addressed the question whether United States senators should vote to confirm Miers. I thought his Daily Standard column was the best, most fair-minded piece that has been written on the subject of Harriet Miers, period, although I would quibble with his treatment of the affirmative action question if I were interested in elaborating on the differences among John, Paul and me. I mention these differences only because I think we are representative in small of the president’s most respectful supporters.
As an observer and advocate of conservative causes, however, for me the question of whether Miers should be confirmed is less of interest than the question whether her nomination is a blunder. I think it is a blunder of major proportions.
I have been struck by the poor quality of the arguments on her behalf emanating from the White House and its spokesmen on the nomination. The whole “elitist” theme that has been used to attack her critics strikes me as an ad hominem response of the digging-yourself-more-deeply-into-a-hole variety. The problem for the White House is that, on the merits — the merits that matter to conservatives like me — President Bush is more or less left with the “trust me” non-argument. For me, it isn’t good enough.
If you disagree with me, I ask only that you stay tuned for what John and Paul will have to say in coming days.
JOHN adds: It’s noteworthy, I think, that we all agree that the Miers nomination was a disappointment. We disagree on 1) how bad was it? and 2) given that the nomination was disappointing at best, what should conservatives do now? The administration can’t be happy that these are the terms in which the Miers nomination is being discussed by its most loyal supporters.
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