Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Miers update; the 'code'

There's been speculation that President Bush reassures parts of his supporting coalition - while not offending others - by speaking in "code." And no doubt it's tough to balance that kind of diverse political support. The New York Times writes that this is getting difficult with the Miers nomination, for which "the administration relied on subtle clues about her evangelical faith and confidential conversations with influential conservative Christians..." In this case, it would seem that the "code" is meant to satisfy the conservative base while not alarming the president's liberal detractors. But Marvin Olasky says that "the left is picking up the signals. They are starting to get alarmed."

If the "code" were a bit clearer, I'd be more comfortable about this nomination. But as I wrote in an earlier post, I think Miers will be a good justice. And if - God forbid - she isn't, we'll know who to blame for his disastrous mistake.

This liberal group has notes from a conference call among conservative leaders in support of Harriet Miers. Also, here's a conference call with RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman and some bloggers.

Here's a report of a speech Miers gave to the Federalist Society. Horace Cooper defends Miers and says she's no David Souter. And Hugh Hewitt has a lot here.

Update: A few more notes...

Hugh Hewitt talks to Karl Rove about the nomination.

This piece reports that the judicial confirmation process is so broken that Justice Scalia would likely not be confirmed if he were nominated today.

Dr. Dobson clarified things this week about his conversation with Karl Rove.

Also, Hewitt summarizes Miers' conservative supporters and opponents:
On Miers' side to date: Ken Starr, Lino Gralia, Thomas Sowell, James Dobson, Jay Sekulow, Marvin Olasky, Chuck Colson, Michael Medved, William Rusher, R. Emmett Tyrrell and of course Fred Barnes. Against her: The Corner, Tucker Carlson, Bill Kristol, Robert Bork, Mark Levin, George Will, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, and Charles Krauthhammer. I like those odds.

Add Hewitt himself and George W. Bush to the Miers side.

And David Limbaugh writes very reasonably about the debate over Miers. This is an important point to make:
Conservative critics of the nomination might need to be clearer about the applicability of their objections. There is a difference between criticizing the president's pick and actually advocating Senate rejection of Miers' nomination.

It is perfectly legitimate (and healthy) for conservatives to register their disapproval of the president's selection. They (we) can bellow against it to their heart's content. But they best not advocate that the Senate reject Miers just because they believe she may not be the
most qualified for the position. If she is qualified and of good character, the Senate must, as a matter of constitutional law, defer to the president's prerogative and confirm.

Accordingly, conservatives, unless they truly believe Miers to be unqualified, should specify that their objections are directed at the president and not the Senate, lest they run the risk of lending legitimacy to the liberal practice of rejecting nominees for extra-constitutional (including political) reasons.

I'm afraid that some conservatives have gone overboard and risk making fools of themselves.

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