Friday, November 04, 2005

The World According to Broder, Noonan, and Blankley

David Broder thinks recent events (notably the Miers fiasco) prove that GWB is "President Pushover," because he is so in thrall to his conservative base:

[T]he Alito nomination inevitably looks like a defensive move, a lunge for the lifeboat by an embattled president to secure what is left of his political base. Instead of a consistent and principled approach to major decision making, Bush's efforts look like off-balance grabs for whatever policy rationales he can find. The president's opponents are emboldened by this performance, and his fellow partisans must increasingly wonder if they can afford to march to his command.

Aside from giving the impression that Mr. Broder was in a bad mood when he wrote this, the column suggests that he needs to get out more. In a vacuum his argument might be plausible, but it sure seems to me that conservatives are happy and energized by the Alito nomination. I know I am. Just listen to Rush Limbaugh for 5 minutes any day this week. I don't see anyone wondering if they can march with this president, not right now. The Democrats' stunt in forcing the Senate into closed session was not the action of a party "emboldened" by Bush's problems; it was a desperate attempt to change the subject back to the war.

Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan and Tony Blankley are very, very pleased with themselves and their fellow conservative pundits. Ms. Noonan answers Mr. Broder:

Mr. Broder says Bush got "rolled" by his own supporters in the Miers fiasco. But he did not. He got defeated by them. He made a bad choice, and they resisted. The White House fought back; conservative thinkers fought back even harder;
Republican senators did not back the White House; the White House retreated,
rethought and renominated.

I suppose this is substantially correct. Instead of saying "conservatives" resisted and fought back, she says "conservative thinkers." I guess by that she means the elite conservative commentariat, because, as this Gallup poll documents, a majority of plain old conservatives were unhappy that Miers withdrew. In their triumph the commentariat doesn't want to acknowledge these very inconvenient polling data. I do wonder sometimes if writers like Noonan, Frum, Fund, Krauthammer, and the rest really believe that any conservative views besides theirs matter, but that's a topic for another time.

Tony Blankley is also very, very pleased with the conservative commentariat's recent work:

The successful opposition to Harriet Miers was not a triumph for just some faction of the conservative movement. If it used to be said that the Church of
England was the Tory Party at prayer, then it also could be said that the conservative opposition to Miss Miers was the entire conservative movement on the hunt, at full regimental strength.

The entire conservative movement? Really? Well, you've got to read the whole thing to understand fully just how pleased Mr. Blankley is. He clearly believes that he and his anti-Miers allies represented all conservatives. If only that silly Gallup poll were not out there, undercutting his entire column! Mr. Blankley needs to get out more too.

Anyway, all this is excellent dinner table conversation for my kids, who are learning that even though an opinion may be expressed eloquently, and by a highly-placed and widely-respected person, it still ain't necessarily so.


Anonymous saveliberty said...

They are behaving badly and have the added misfortune of being inaccurate.

It would have been better to have been gracious in victory.

Not to mention that it would have been smarter to give the supporters of Harriet Miers having her day in court the benefit of the doubt. 

Posted by saveliberty

Friday, November 04, 2005 9:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ramsour said...

So are we that championed a hearing "conservative non-thinkers"? 

Posted by Mary Ramsour

Friday, November 04, 2005 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

Mary, I'm afraid that's all we can conclude from Ms. Noonan's comment. At least she didn't use "sheep." But, of course, the "thinkers" are definitely not being elitist about any of this--and adamantly so. Any of that would be beneath them! 

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Friday, November 04, 2005 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

This Bush supporter did not participate in "rolling" the President. Of course, I'm a dolt. 

Posted by Ralph Carlson

Friday, November 04, 2005 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Peggy said...

Absolutely, the commentariat believes no one's opinion matters but their own. They also believe (and said) they elected Bush....the millions on polling days didn't count. They have no interest in or concern about the opinions of conservative American voters. They turned into liberal tacticions so quickly mere conservative voters are left agape at the rottenness when the (thoughtful, constitutionalist) masks dropped. 

Posted by Peggy

Friday, November 04, 2005 6:39:00 PM  
Anonymous DL said...

"It would have been better to have been gracious in victory."

True, perhaps, but being gracious in defeat without sour grapes is equally a sign of good character.

Isn't it time to drop the intra-team squabbling and
get to writing about the real enemy?

This is one of the few conservative sites that refuses to let the Harriet Miers controversy go. 

Posted by Anonymous

Saturday, November 05, 2005 1:56:00 PM  
Blogger The Hedgehog said...

DL: It was Noonan and Blankley who were crowing, ungraciously, in victory. I was simply responding to them. Why don't you lecture them about how to be gracious? And you might ask yourself how gracious you and your side of that debate would be if Bush had stuck by his guns? Perhaps every bit as gracious as the leaders of your side were in their attacks on Miers? 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Saturday, November 05, 2005 2:03:00 PM  
Anonymous DL said...

Two wrongs dont make a right. Because they do it, shouldn't you show some class and let it die. Keep your eye on the brass ring, not the horse next to you.
Why do you only see this finished thing as "two sides?"  

Posted by DL

Sunday, November 06, 2005 3:58:00 AM  

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