October 31, 2005

On Harriet Miers

Now that the whole Harriet Miers fiasco is over, and a replacement Supreme Court nominee has been put forward, there were two things that struck me.

The first was that as soon as Miers withdrew, all of the people who initially came forward issuing statements expressing disappointment were Democrats and liberal groups. Generally speaking, the theme of the comments dealt with the fact that President Bush's decisions were being dictated by the extreme right of his party. Specifically, Senator Harry Reid, Democratic Minority Leader stated, "The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination."

Now, with the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito, who Reid had previously warned President Bush not to pick said, "I think it would create a lot of problems."

That should tell you something. All issues aside, politically speaking Miers obviously was not a smart choice. People from the opposing political party were on your side and members of your own are against you. Bad decision. And now, with the new guy nominated, the leader of the opposition party opposes your decision and your own party supports it. Good decision.

If your party has a solid majority in the Senate, your really shouldn't need to condede anything. If the tables were turned, and we had a Democratic president with the Democrats controlling the Senate and the Republicans were significantly opposed to the president's selection, should the Democrats care or cave to Republican concerns? Would it be nice in terms of bipartisanship and political unity? Yes. Is it necessary? No.

The second thing that struck me was James Dobson's (founder of Christian evangelical Focus on the Family) initial glowing support of Miers, but after her withdrawal, his expression of reservations of her sitting on the bench.

Should he have waited until after she withdrew to express this? No. So this leads to the question of whether his leadership is truly about the issues or if it is merely the maintence of a Republican voting bloc. There is a great article I read this morning that examines this issue precicely by W. James Antle, III called: Dobson's Choice: Values Voting or Evangelical Identity Politics.

I believe that Christian voters should support candidates whose values that they share. And leaders of Christian organizations have a responsibility to make it clear that they actually support the issues instead of merely endorsing a candidate for political purposes.

The upcoming battle over the Alito (a.k.a. Scalito) nomination will surely be an interesting one. Let's see how it turns out.

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