Who Will Be the Standard Bearer?
The reaction across the web to President Bush's selection of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has been almost universally negative. There are certainly a few loyalists who want to reserve judgment, but I think it is fair to say that this selection is a colossal failure for conservatives.
Harriet Miers may be a fine lawyer, but she is, by all counts, completely unqualified for the Supreme Court and her selection means that perhaps hundreds of other more qualified conservative candidates are being passed over. Luttig, Owens, Brown, McConnell, Estrada and others whose views are both known and consistent have been brushed aside in favor of someone whose only qualification for the job seems to be that she knows the President. Warren Harding would certainly be proud.
To me, the strength of Ms. Miers' conservative ideology is not the issue. Those who follow the court know very well that there is a great deal of difference between political philosophy and judicial philosophy. Ms. Miers has no record of judicial thought upon which to stand. As a result, she is supremely succeptible to being swayed by the activist leanings of her colleagues, who have a great deal more training in justifying those legal arguments than she does. Further, effective jurisprudence relies not upon an understanding of political issues, but rather an understanding of constitutional principles and the rules of governance that are derived therein
As I said before, the message that the President has sent with this pick is that it is not acceptible for a nominee to the Supreme Court to be an open conservative. By bowing to political pressure, poll ratings, identity politics and whatever else, Bush has essentially given the Democrats a blank check to oppose any nominee whose judicial philosophy is openly conservative. Bush has sold his base down the river, and it would behoove us not to forget it.
Looking back, this administration has done absolutely nothing for conservatives. Let's review the score:
- Massive deficit spending
- Enormous inflated budget
- More pork than ever before
- Temporary tax cuts
- Bureaucracy on top of bureaucracy
- No Child Left Behind
- Expanded Socialized Health Care
And that's just the beginning. Conservatives have given President Bush a pass on many issues in anticipation of this moment. We've been snookered.
So my question in this post's title remains. What conservatives will step up and challenge the President on these issues? Who will take up the mantle for conservatives? Who will have the backbone to stand on the strength of their convictions? Who?