Thursday, October 27, 2005

Conservatives Left at the Altar

By Mitchell

Here's another one from Jimmy Akin, linking to a terrific op-ed by Rod Dreher on the Harriet Miers fiasco. Unlike some conservatives who viewed Bush through rose-colored glasses, I don't believe Miers was a wake-up call for Rod - I think he had things in perspective all along.

This presidency has been one thing after another for conservatives - increased spending, higher deficits, loose borders, campaign finance reform, endorsing pro-abort Republicans, the mishandling of Katrina, the sellout to pork legislation; but somehow, through all of this, there were a lot of conservatives who were able to look the other way, to make up some sort of excuse as to how none of this mattered, that W was still their man - and anyway there was still the big one out there - the chance to remake the Supreme Court.

(Full disclosure - I believe I've said it before, but I did vote for W in the last election, gladly so. And I'll still say that I'm not sorry about that vote, nor that Bush won - not when you measure him against the man he was running against. That does not mean, however, that I looked at Bush through the starry-eyed gaze of a lovestruck teenager. As I said, I've found it rather entertaining to watch the reaction of these jilted lovers.)

Anyway, Dreher really nails it with his analysis, especially here:

Mr. Bush has alienated both a significant portion of his base and all of his opposition, so he cannot hope to triangulate his way out of this one. With his political blood in the water and toothsome challenges making ever-tighter circles around his presidency, Mr. Bush should give his mutinous mates a reason to toss him a life preserver.

(Notwithstanding the corrections Jimmy provided.)

This was never entirely about the Harriet Miers herself; I don't know the woman (apparently not many people do, even those who've worked with her), and for all I know she might be a real peach. The fact is, I firmly believe she is unqualified for the Supreme Court, and her appointment reeks to high heaven: of cronyism, of quotas and pandering, and of taking conservatives (and what they stand for) for granted, with a wink-and-a-nod. It's the worst kind of political arrogance, and Bush's failure to realize this and withdraw the nomination is not only stubborn, it's destructive in so many ways. Rod's conclusion:

Conservatism is in an unhappy place now, but the movement is still bristling with intellectual ferment and ideological confidence and is beginning to look past the Bush era to new leadership.

Truth to tell, Mr. Bush needs conservatives a lot more than conservatives need him.

Let's hope the president takes this to heart. The Miers nomination It's not too late for him, for the conservative movement, or for the country.


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