Thursday, October 06, 2005

Miers: Time for Conservatives to "Cowboy Up"

That means to stop whining, roll up your sleeves, recognize reality and get on with the job at hand.

Does anyone agree with me that to see conservative Republicans strategically leaking, to the Washington Post, off-the-record meetings with the White House is both depressing and shameful?

Read Hugh Hewitt's thoughts and consider them carefully. Excerpt:

The recriminations now being hurled at the White House are delighting the MSM and their friends on the left. There's a reason why the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times are running huge stories on this fight, and it isn't because
the fight is good for the conservative movement.

Now the complaints have all been aired, and everyone has put their marker down. Continuing the assault on Miers means committing to her defeat, an event that would be one of the more remarkable exercises in political self-destruction in memory. Though the GOP is poised to pick up seats in the Senate in 2006 --in Florida, West Virginia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington State, to name just six possibilities-- the decision to turn on the president is decision the injure those chances.

Let's cowboy up, guys and gals.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit that, initially, I had serious misgivings about the wisdom of President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. Like many conservatives, I had hoped for an intellectual, conservative powerhouse, with a clear, originalist theory of interpreting the constitution and a weighty academic background.

Personally, my favorite justice on the court is Clarence Thomas.

After reading more articles and blog posts than I can even count, both in support and against the nomination of Harriet Miers, my initial impressions have changed: I think that Miers could potentially turn out to be exactly the kind of justice that I want--a justice like Clarence Thomas. Much depends on her answers during the hearings, but I am now cautiously optimistic.

Instrumental in changing my mind was a recent post by Ken Masugi on The Remedy  (the blog of the Claremont Institute) entitled "Noonan, Miers, and Conservative Constitutionalism."

I have long loved the following quote from Thomas Jefferson:

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding, and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties, which may make anything mean everything or nothing, at pleasure. "

While he does not cite this particular quote, Masugi argues, using a similar quote from Joseph Story, who was one of our nation's very first Supreme Court Justices, that we neither need or want more intellectual justices with weighty academic credentials on the court. In keeping with the sentiments of Jefferson and Story, Masugi asserts that,

"the Constitution is not a narrow code of law whose meaning cannot be understood without years of professional practice, scholarship, or experience. Nor is it a document that is unintelligible to ordinary citizens.
Ms. Miers has read and studied the Constitution. She has worked with the President in analyzing, clearing, and preparing many judicial nominees. (Bush as appointed well over 200 by now, virtually all excellent conservative choices.) What Ms. Miers has not done has been to spend years in the practice of constitutional law or in publishing scholarly articles in law school journals.
There is good reason to believe that what a Justice Miers will give us will be interpretations of the Constitution according to her “common understanding” and “plain, obvious, and common sense,” and not the “recondite” sophistries we get from the “credentialed” practitioners.
As a conservative I have yearned for a Supreme Court that would see its work of constitutional interpretation as bound by ordinary common sense. Precisely because she lacks the usual judicial “credentials,” the Miers nomination holds great promise that we can have a Court that breaks through the sophistries that have bedeviled constitutional interpretation, to restore the plain meaning of the text.

Of course, in the upcoming hearings I may find that Harriet Miers's approach to understanding the constitution is not one that I can support, but for now I am now taking a cautiously optimistic, wait-and-see position. I hope that anyone who is still upset by the nomination will read Masugi's post on The Remedy in its entirety. 

Posted by J. Max Wilson

Thursday, October 06, 2005 1:55:00 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Right on!

Thursday, October 06, 2005 4:02:00 PM  
Blogger Cordeiro said...

Amen, Lowell. The SCOTUS is a huge issue for me. I can't say the nomination of Miers gets me too excited, but then again, I'm not the POTUS. This is the person W's chosen to fill the seat. He's the Man, that's his job.

Time to Toe The Line, or Cowboy Up as you said, and get the job done. Leave the quibbling for the pundits. 

Posted by Cordeiro

Thursday, October 06, 2005 6:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask not what you can do for your country; Ask what you can do for your cowboy. 

Posted by Lee

Friday, October 07, 2005 2:41:00 PM  
Blogger steveegg said...

With all due respect, conservatives have been asked to shut up and take it time and time again. This approach has given us, just over the last 4 years:

- The McCain-Feingold anti-speech law, already upheld once by SCOTUS
-The largest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ in the Medicare prescription-drug program
-Arlen Specter as the Senate Judiciary chair after President Bush campaigned for him in the 2004 Pennsylvania Republican primary against a conservative Pat Toomey
-Essentially nothing done to choke off the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico, despite evidence that, in a time of war, our enemies are using that border to enter the US

I'd like to believe President Bush when he says that Miers is a judicial conservative, but the body of evidence, as well as the historical record, suggests that we're getting a "like-for-like" replacement for O'Connor. That is not what conservatives signed onto his campaign in the 1999-2000 primary season for.

If there is to be a backlash against the moderates (and unless Miers somehow turns out to actually be a judicial conservative, I sure hope there is) let it be in the primaries and then remain there. The general election is the time to "cowboy up", not now, and not (despite the "lesson" of the Pennsylvania primary) in the primaries. 

Posted by steveegg

Saturday, October 08, 2005 7:15:00 AM  

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