Oct 28 2005

Fly By 10/28/05

Published by at 9:12 am under All General Discussions,Fly By

Happy Birthday Dad! 84 years young today. He is where I get my WVA roots. WW II veteran of the North Atlantic, Invasion of Africa and Pacific Campaign. I see now I will never fill your shoes. But I am proud to walk behind them.

Hugh Hewitt has an Op-Ed in the NY Times pointing out how much the republicans and conservative movement lost when the punditry on the right panicked in their fear of the unknown. Those who torpedoed Miers using tactics we hoped only erupted from the left now want the whole mess they started to go away. Unfortunately for them, those of us who wanted civility and a chance to hear from Miers instead of all the wannabe Vulcan mind readers were just as adamant regarding our positions. Yes, quieter and with a lot less lashing out personally at people, but just as motivated. So now that you are done embarrassing us with the vitriol, do you mind not insulting our intelligence as well?

This triumph of the conservative punditocracy will have lasting consequences, and I hope my fears are misplaced. The first returns will come in the decision on parental notification statutes that will be argued before the Supreme Court in late November. Absent a miracle of Senate efficiency, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will cast one of her last votes on the most important abortion-rights case in a few years. And then the accounting will begin in earnest.

Yes, indeed it will. As if on cue, E. J. Dionne weighs in as well.

In picking such a vulnerable nominee, Bush single-handedly undercut the conservatives’ long-standing claim that the Senate and the rest of us owed great deference to a president’s choice for the court. Conservatives displayed absolutely no deference to Bush when he picked someone they didn’t like. The actual conservative “principle” was that the Senate should defer to the president’s choice — as long as that choice was acceptable to conservatives. Some principle.

Back in July The Post disclosed a planning document circulated among Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. The document said nominees for the Supreme Court should avoid disclosing “personal political views or legal thinking on any issue.” Liberals were terribly gauche and inappropriate for wanting to know someone’s opinions before awarding that person life tenure on the nation’s most powerful court.

But it was neither gauche nor inappropriate for conservatives to demand that Miers clarify her views on a slew of issues, notably Roe v. Wade . When liberals asked for clarity, they were committing a sin. When conservatives asked for clarity, they were engaged in a virtuous act. Thus are conservatives permitted to alter their principles to suit their own political situation.

What an inglorious day it is. Want to know when the Liberals began losing elections? When their elitist echo chambers had finally blocked out the views of the masses and they determined they could circumvent processes and decorum to rule the country they way they saw fit. Did we see a repeat of that with Miers? Did the punditry block out the voices against their tactics and ram something through the masses did not want?

How is the anti-Miers crowd going to repair this rift? Now that they got their pound of Miers flesh, what are they going to offer to the moderates (those who wanted more process and less name calling) in return for this civil war they called for? My guess – nothing.

President Bush’s nomination of Harriet Miers on Oct. 3 was made from a position of weakness by a White House beset by political problems and eager to avoid a fight over the Supreme Court. Twenty-four excruciating days later, the supposed safe choice crashed, exposing the president as even weaker than before.

Bush now has an opportunity to recover from one of the biggest political miscalculations of his term, the failure to anticipate the backlash Miers would cause with his own conservative base. But in repairing that breach, he risks a new confrontation with Democrats and further estrangement from the political center — precisely the situation he hoped to avoid when he tapped his loyal and unassuming personal lawyer in the first place.

Drunk with new found power, I doubt the right will reach out to anyone. Us mudbloods have simply been taught a lesson. BTW, how am I doing? Do I need to get more personal, or should I start reading their hearts from my keyboard and wail about all the possible scary scenarios of doom I see? Should I try and arrange a group of like minded people to run ads on TV calling into question the mentality of these people? ;)

All kidding aside – I do not expect the anti-Miers crowd to offer up any compromise or peace offering to the rest of the conservative base they dissed in this debate. They want us to move on. This is why we did not want this civil war in the first place. We now have winners and losers inside the conservative movement, instead of all winners on our side with the losers on the liberal side. And once you win, it get’s sort of addictive.

Well, back to the Plame Game watch.

UPDATE:

I have been meaning to post on this for a while – the ever expanding UN corruption scandal on the Oil For Food program. I guess I have become numb to it all now. The numbers are scope are staggering.

The former Federal Reserve chairman’s team found that more than 2,200 companies and individuals, or about half of all those involved in the humanitarian program, paid kickbacks and illegal surcharges to win lucrative contracts while Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein pocketed $1.8 billion — at the expense of his people who were suffering under U.N. sanctions.

I am just wondering why we are chasing reporters who leaked Plame’s name and not focusing in this stuff more.

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