Miered in controversy

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
J. R. Dunn, in an article in the The American Thinker, accuses conservatives of beginning The descent into ideology.

He makes several good points for which I have yet to conjure up counterpoints.

For example,
Unlike the Left, conservatism has never been an ideological movement, in the sense of possessing an overarching system of thought demanding acceptance in toto. American conservatism is based on principle, firmly-grounded, straightforward concepts: that men are lower than angels, that governs best which governs least, and that innovations must be examined under the presumption of error. Apart from these axioms, everything else was open to debate.

I would like to take issue with the basic premise that there is no overarching system of thought underpinning "conservatism" but, so far, that requires subdividing "conservatism" and breaking out portions thereof - subgroups such as "classical liberals".

Dunn continues on to arrive at,
...the question of why a large segment of the conservative elite is treating Harriet Miers, and beyond her the President of the United States, with... disdain

It seems a very good question and has several Yargbians scratching our heads when we aren't vocalizing our annoyance with it.

Dunn, after some further stage setting, answers the question thusly,
Because changing the judiciary has become a covenant. Conservative judicial strategy is no longer simply a policy. It’s a dogma, much the same as abortion or gun control is to the Left, and is being treated by conservative mandarins as quasi-religious doctrine, not open to discussion, to be carried out with the precision of ritual. Everything must be done as was handed down. The selection must come from the anointed and none other.

He concludes with what I believe is the more relevant and larger question,
It comes down to a question as to whether or not we want to settle for the same stale brew as the Left – the empty posturing, the kowtowing to received opinion, the angels-on-pinheads dialectic. If not, a confrontation is in order.

and, with hope that the descent can be arrested,
Fortunately, we have the means. The internet, grass roots organizations, talk radio, and other channels for opinions not delivered from on high keep conservatives talking – and arguing among ourselves. We are not passive recipients of dicta handed down from on high by those who consider it their right to tell the President whom to nominate, and to define the qualifications for the nation’s high court.

This knucklehead believes Mr. Dunn has made his points briefly but well and draws the correct, albeit optimistic, conclusion.


terrye said...

Anointed is the word.

The Federalist Society is not a religious movement people.

Speaking of which Janice R
Brown said that the New Deal was "the triumph of our own socialist revolution".

I am not being cirtical of Brown and I would not have started rending my clothes and shrieking if she had been nominated, but this is not mainstram thinking.

Sorry folks, it just is not.

Most Americans do now want to return to the happy go lucky days of the Great Depression and laissez faire government.

Now some of the hard core zealots are swearing they won't vote in 2006.

Scalia says the whole process is too political and he would not be interested in going through the whole thing today.

We have 3 justices on the Court that are getting really long in the tooth but they are all liberals.

How does this sound for a scenario:

Pissy conservatists stay home in 06 and give the Senate and House to the Democrats.

The liberals on the Court are afraid to leave for fear that Bush will come up with an ideologue to pacify the fanatics and so they hang on.

Hillary wins in 2008, she has a majority in the Senate and House and all three liberals retire.

And Hillary picks three new justices for the Supreme Court.

But hey, at least they made their point Goddang it.

Syl said...

Right on, Terrye.

I was over at Ann Althouse where she says she's 'softening a bit' on Miers.

There was a commenter all eloquent and such a victim. He had worked so hard for Bush, fighting off criticism and supporting him through thick and thin....for this!

I should have left a comment, I was so angry. But I didn't.

Why should my vote count any less than his? Why should my support for Bush, my fighting off criticism, my support of Iraq and the WoT, my loss of family and friends BECAUSE of my support for Bush, count any less than his?

Damn arrogance.

terrye said...


Oh well it is all about them.

More people voted for George Bush than any president in history so I doubt the boy is all alone.

In truth if not for George Bush Roberts would not be Chief Justice and the people these guys are so fond of such as Luttig, Brown and Owen would not be on the bench right now.

Hey but that was last week..

What has Bush done for them today, right now this minute.

I can not believe that Ruth Ginzburg can get 97 votes in the Senate but these guys are wondering if Miers is smart enough.

I just wish they would let the process play itself out and give the nominee the chance she is constitutionally entitled to.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


It's funny how democracy works. Everybody claims that it was their vote that put candidate A over the edge. If 51 people vote for A and 49 vote for B, who gets to claim all the credit?

Rick Ballard said...

If there is any justice in the world, I do.