OMG, I Love It: Senate Democrats Defend Miers

Saturday, October 08, 2005
From ABC News. Looks like class war is breaking out. Is the credentialed Republican elite about to get their asses handed to them? Did someone forget who lives in the Red States? Stay tuned as the certified find out just where they can put their credentials. What next, Bork writing for the NY Times as the bicoastal elites circle the wagons?

38 comments:

terrye said...

chuck:

Earlier today, I was looking at the ravings of some outraged polipundit people and they seemed to think this was one more reason to be pissed at Bush.

After all if he had just put in one of their dream candidates so that we could watch the Revenge of Bork play out on Capitol Hill none of this would have happened.

Reid said she was a nice lady and if that wasn't bad enough...

It seems that being stupid is a non partisan trait.

Syl said...

Man, what a circus! LOL

Everything up is down.

Bush isn't an ideologue, he is a very crafty politician. I wouldn't put it past him to have done this on purpose.

And she'll turn out to be just what the conservatives want. They just haven't figured that out yet.

But it's really sad to hear the polipundit crowd acting so poorly. I lurked over there just before the election and noted how they loved Bush. It was actually very moving.

Well, that didn't last long.

JB said...

Bork's disproportionately hysterical tone makes me suspect the elites' biggest fear isn't that Miers is not qualified or a strict constructionist -- it's that she's both.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

JB,

I think you've got it right. That would be humiliating.

terrye said...

Syl:

Yeah, some of them sound like Kos now.

I have been wondering about something...

You know how they keep saying they do not want a Supreme Court that makes law, they only want one that interprets the law?

If that is really true, why are they so pissed?

I am beginning to wonder if some of these idelogues wanted the Court to do more than just interpret the law, they just wanted to control how it was interpreted.

Know what I mean?

Why is it that all these people even know who these jurists are? To hear some of them talk about them you would think they were movie stars or something.

They have been fed this stuff for so long and of course the liberals really did control the court for years and I am beginning to think they did not really want to remove politics from the court.

They just wanted to control the Court.

Otherwise I don't know how to explain the anger.

I know I still feel kind of betrayed myself. I feel used more to the point. If I had known then just how rigid the base can be I would still have voted for Bush...but I don't know if I would have gotten as close to other members of the party. I voted a straight R ticket. Fat chance that will happen again.

I think Bush might have sent a message to the elites and their fan clubs.

He stood by them when it was not a popular thing to do, you would think they could return the favor.

They are just marginalizing themselves and their treatment of Miers is one of the tackiest displays of public bad manners I have ever seen.

The justices are old, Bush may be replacing another one soon.

I wonder what he will do?

JB said...

Syl,

That's my view as well and I'm sticking to it. Maybe I'm overlooking something, but what's the long-term damage? They rant and rave, have a nice therapy session and by the time the '06 midterms roll around they see with their own eyes he hasn't let them down. On the other side, the Kos crowd could be fairly unhappy by then.

terrye said...

jb:

Disproportionate is the word exactly.

I really do not think that Bush would put her in front of the Senate if she was a fool.

chuck said...

I'm beginning to think of Miers as the hero of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. I know squat about her, but with those sorts of enemies she just has to be right. Any novelist would make it so.

Syl said...

terrye

Well, you see, there are these things called constitutional lawyers. They think a lot and their self-image is based on their interpretation of the constitution.

Actually, I'm not dissing that, it's important and it's something conservatives have been pushing for years. They've been grooming many candidates for a time like this.

But I think they got themselves too wrapped up in it. Too dependent. The ideal became the goal and nothing else matters.

However, you're spot on about the activism bit and wishing to control the court.

If it were just to wrest control from the liberals, that would be one thing. But the ferocity of the fight leads me to believe, as you do, that it's about something else...like controlling the outcomes.

I'll still stick around. I agree on more than I disagree with. I've been turned off by some of the Corner folks for a long time now anyway. I just live without their wisdom.

Syl said...

jb

I'd pay to watch the koskids melt down on this one.

chuck

The hero of Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

LOVE it!

terrye said...

Once upon when I met my ex he was a Constitutional law student.

The crazy bastard decided to be a farmer instead [don't ask] but he told me something I never forgot.

He said the law is like language, it is not all that hard once you know it.

But the lawyers do not want you to know it. As long as it remains some arcane speech like middle English the regular people will need them to interpret.

It is rather like the priests in the old Church who tried to stop the printing of the bible in English for fear they would lose their sacred power.

In other words some of it is very complex but a lot of it is mumbo jumbo.

Just look at some of the decisions.

kelo for one.

terrye said...

I meant to say Once upon a time...I better be more careful or the boss will cut my pay again.

that cheap so and so

David Thomson said...

“And she'll turn out to be just what the conservatives want. They just haven't figured that out yet.”

This is what I’m betting on. I trust the judgment of President Bush. Could I be wrong? We will likely know by March of 2006. I may indeed have to eat some crow. Alas, it won’t be the first time.

Robert Bork and some of the other conservatives are right to question her credentials. However, one does not need to be a philosopher-king to be an originalist. I actually think that I would do a good job as a supreme court justice---and I have no legal training whatsoever. The stuff really isn’t that hard.

vnjagvet said...

David:

I have always thought Constitutional Law was more like a combination of history and political science than law. After all, the language of the body of the Constitution has remained the same as it was when it was passed in 1787. Then it was amended only 27 times over the next 200+ years.

All of the caselaw after that is the interpretation and application of that language to various commercial, political, criminal, and governmental activities of public and private parties.

What is so hard about that?

Syl said...

Terrye

This country is overloaded with lawyers which proves that it isn't that hard to be one. ;)

I think the court should be demystified. We got a dose of the intellectual side with Roberts. That was good. But he still seems a humble man.

Now I want to see someone with common sense and maybe the common touch as well.

I've always regarded Bush as the quintessential American. The silver spoon Maureen Dowd shoves down his throat doesn't fit him.

My first impression of Miers was the same. We'll see.

vnjagvet said...

I have been arguing to all who will listen that, for the reasons stated most comprehensively by Beldar, Miers' qualifications are at least sufficient to earn her a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I have yet to see a cogent reason why her qualifications fall short of earning her that privilege.

If she is as bad a choice as the critics vociferously argue, she will fall flat on her face, the critics will be proven right, and her nomination will appropriately fail for want of consent of the Senate.

If, on the other hand, she performs well, she will be rightly confirmed.

Anything wrong with letting Constitutional process play itself out?

Rick Ballard said...

Richard Land, James Dobson and Rush Limbaugh had more to do with the President's re-election than all the rest of the pundits together. Rush wanted a fight (I think there is going to be one) but he has been very specific about not having anything against Ms. Miers. Land and Dobson are both for the pick.

As we roll through the process I believe that the pundits will shift their ire from the President to the Seven Dwarves who I believe to be the main cause for the choice. In the end, Goofball and Graham are going to be wondering what hit them.

This is going to wind up putting moderate Dems (and those like Bubetta who are currently wearing moderate masks) in a world of hurt when it comes time to vote because they will have to vote against the nice church lady who will have shown convictions of steel in the hearings.

The Dems might be defending Mier's today but that doesn't mean that they are going to vote for her. What happens if they filibuster? The Seven Dwarves will really be on the hot seat then. I can see a filibuster happening, too.

I'm really looking forward to these hearings even more than I would have if Janice Rogers Brown were up. I have every confidence that, in the end, Ms. Miers will have acquitted herself quite well. This is a checkers move, not a three dimensional chess move. It's going to have a good outcome.

JB said...

Rick,

A filibuster would seem to give all the political chips back to W. and put real pressure on the Dwarves.

"Hey folks, I tried to be a uniter. I consulted. I picked a candidate suggested by Harry and Chuckie doll. But the Democrats are being obstructionist."

flenser said...

terrye

"He stood by them when it was not a popular thing to do, you would think they could return the favor."

Can you elaborate on this for me? How and when did Bush "stand by them"?

Rick

Dobson sounds awfully iffy to me for a guy who has supposedly come out in her favor.


As I pointed out before the Miers nomination, SDO was the swing vote in upholding McCain-Finegold. Miers, if confirmed, will either uphold or strike it down.

As you all know, that law was designed to limit political speech, including the kind of stuff we do here.

So the question for the team is, how will Miers rule on First Amdt issues? She is unlikely to reveal this in her testimony before the Senate, citing the Ginsberg Rule. But she was/is a member of an adminstration which signed BCRA into law. I'm looking for evidence that she is strong on free speech issues, and so far I'm not finding anything.

vnjagvet, any thoughts on Miers likely stance on that? Or on her probable views on affirmarive action? On Kelo?

terrye said...

flenser:

When did he stand by them? Freaking ingrates...

Terri Shciavo for the prolifers. Not to mention embryonic stem cell research which something like 2 out of 3 Americans support. Yep, that was a popular decision. Some of these folks have stood by Bush but a lot of them are obsessing over whether or not Miers will really truly overturn Roe V Wade. Gee, how can we know?

And the neo cons have not exactly been a boon to Bush's popularity. But he stuck with them and their foreign policy vision even when a strategic retreat might have helped his poll numbers.

And then there are the tax cuts..do you really think most Americans give a rat's ass about the estate tax or the percentage of tax paid by rich people like Ann Coulter? Who by the way has just let many of them know how totally inferior she considers them to be with that elitist little screed on the value of Ivy Leaguers vs the unwashed masses.

Especially when they are looking at deficits like we have now? But the conservatives care because they hate taxes on principle.

Bush promised to keep the tax cut anyway and so far he has stood by that promise.

He has cut the deficit by 19% without tax cuts like he promised. Katrina may change that but unless the pissy conservatives want to join the ranks of DU I think we can safely assume that most will agree Bush does not bring hurricanes.

He could make a lot of people happy by taxing rich people like Ann Coulter, but he stood by them.

And then of course there is the knife in the back to all of us who voted for Repbulicans but think that right now there are more important things the country needs than a long drawn out battle in the Senate that just ends like the Bork fight did in a humiliating defeat.

But we don't matter. I keep forgetting.

There is no guarantee what any of these people will do. That is what makes the entire argument moot. Look at Warren and Souter. Janice Rogers Brown [who by the way is a whole three years younger than Miers] might turn out to be just like them if by some miracle she managed to get confirmed at all.

Can you gurantee she will not? I want proof.

The truth is the elite have been bringing certain people along and selling them to their followers for years and they just expected the president who was elected by 62 million people to jump when they said how high.

So far I have heard people assuming that a conservative Republican woman who is a evangelical and one of the 100 lawyers in the country is an unqualified moron with no respect for the Constitution because they by God say so.

And to bring out Bork to argue against her is ironic to say the least. Oh yeah, remind people of that debacle.

I say give her a chance. If she anywhere near as unqualified as some socalled loyal Republicans are saying she is I have no doubt the process will bear that out.

Remember the process? The Constitution?

give her a chance.

terrye said...

And you know what?

I think McCain Feingold was a dumb law.

But the legislature passed it.

What I am hearing from some conservatives now is the same kind of thing I used to hear from liberals..how can we make an end run around the Congress by getting rid of a law that the elected reps put in place but that we do not like.

I am all for free speech and the like but there is no way of knowing how people will rule. And the more egotistical they are the harder it is to tell.

There some old folks on the court, there will almost certainly be more appointments.

And this kind of assanine self destructive [not to mention just plain rude] behavior makes me think the president might ought to be independent the next time too.

Why not?

Knucklehead said...

Terrye,

There seems to be a huge element that beleives there is some Magic Justice just waiting to be installed on the court who can, by merely "interpretting the constitution properly" roll-back and unravel the excesses of the past thirty or so years.

But they must know that we cannot have both a strict constructionist, conservative court and one that rapidly and furiously unravels and overturns decades worth of decisions. A court that would unravel previous decisions through new ones would be an activist court.

They're being slapped upside the head with political reality and they don't like it. It's as if they thought recapturing the WH, dodging the bullets having of Gore and Kerry, in time to make a rash of inevitable appointments to SCOTUS was the same thing as victory.

But it isn't at all the same thing as scoring the winning touchdown with no time left on the clock for the opponents to react. It was just part of the overall, and never ending, battle.

One cannot merely pay lip service to reality no matter how shrieking the lip service. One must live with reality. And reality is that pulling the courts back TOWARD a more constructivist attitude is a game played on generational time scales, not election cycle time scales.

terrye said...

knucklehead:

That is right.

My Grandmother had a saying way back when:

Beware your heart's desire for surely you will get it.

I hear that some of the hard right are accusing Bush [of all peple] of splitting the party.

No, they did that all by themselves.

In fact I would say that if some of these people were out there a year ago making some of the elitist, dismissive and accusatory remarks we hear today they would not be worrying about the Miers pick because President Kerry would be the one making the decision.

I guess they think that would be just as well.

The fact that Bush has already made more oppointments of conservative judges than any president in decades does not mean squat to the what you have done for me lately club.

Rick Ballard said...

Terrye,

I think that the descriptive phrase that you are looking for is "undisciplined conservative purists". Just "conservative" isn't quite accurate. As bereft and befuddled as the Democrats are, they still exercise a degree of discipline that the Republicans can only hope to achieve.

Would the President have nominated Miers had the Seven Dwarves not put pride of place above party? I tend to think not. The Dwarves constituted themselves as power brokers for that great "middle" that you write of and this is the result. For myself, I am more leery of the potential for mischief that may arise from Roberts than I am from Miers. I never doubt the direction that Thomas will take because I do not doubt his memory of his treatment at the hands of the Dems. By comparison, Roberts confirmation was a walk in the park and he will carry no animus to bolster principles that he may have derived from reason. We'll see what effect the years of fawning flattery and sycophancy have upon him.

The puritan punditocracy might better spend their time shooting arrows at the preening asses who constitute the Seven Dwarves. The Dwarves are the simpletons who seek to be guided by the vicissitude of the great muddle, which can only be counted upon to drift with the gentlest breeze. They are great fools - and no kind of leaders at all.

The President has given the Dwarves that which they asked for while honoring his pledge to those most loyal to him. Surely, at some point, the massive intellects of the pundits should be able to grasp that fact.

terrye said...

Rick:

One would think they would grasp it, but perhaps they are too pure.

Hubris is the word.

I think that Miers will be a solid conservative vote.

As for the dwarves, that is the world they live in. Consensus is the way they get things done.

What I resent is the idea that some elite is grooming a particular kind of person for the court and the rest of us have no say in it, not even Bush. We must all do their bidding.

I know that some purists may feel betrayed, but the truth is Pat Buchanan is a purist in many ways and he got about 1% the last time he ran.

This is a big country, the Kristols and Coulters do not even big to speak for most people. They are the exception not the rule.

If they don't believe that they can run for the White House themselves and see what happens.

If all these people stay home next election when we have men and women getting shot at and a war to fight they can forget getting any sympathy from me ever.

David Thomson said...

“I have always thought Constitutional Law was more like a combination of history and political science than law.”

I just don’t think the understanding of Constitutional Law is all that difficult. Reading George Orwell on the corruption of language may be far more important than studying the so-called leading legal scholars. It is almost laughable to observe the claim that only the greatest minds can best determine the original intentions of the founding fathers. As matter of fact, it is intellectual arrogance which has caused so much damage. Only ego tripping supreme court justices find penumbras and emanations in the Constitution. Humbler individuals don't reach such weird conclusions.

terrye said...

david:

Humility is a very under rated quality.

JB said...

I had the misfortune to catch a rerun of Coulter on Dennis Prager's show today. Her Miers bashing was disgusting. Elitist, bitchy, dismissive. Head of the Texas Bar is a "loser" position, I learned.

This goes beyond a normal, human expression of disappointment. These people are genuinely threatened by this pick.

Rick Ballard said...

I think both of you may be making too light of the complexity of modern life. You may also want to give a bit more thought to the doctrine of stare decisis and the problems that are going to arise if we get an activist originalist court. Should an originalist court start to try and unravel this ball of yarn composed of threads of unknown length the outcome is simply unknowable. Jerk on the wrong thread and a knot may be created that may prove very difficult to untie.

I agree with your remarks concerning humility and I believe that Ms. Miers possesses both the intellectual capacity to deal with complex issues and the humility to approach change with extreme caution. I'm not in any hurry for a sudden rollback nor for any selection of novel paths for the legal process to follow.

jb,

Coulter must have a new book coming out. I'll be sure and avoid it. I've managed to do so with every other book she's written.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Only ego tripping supreme court justices find penumbras and emanations in the Constitution.

That's a classic, David.

terrye said...

rick:

Yes, where will it end?

What happens if we suddenly discover that social security is unConstitutional?

I checked out a couple of boards and I was seeing comments like "this woman will be an open sore on the party as long as she lives".

And of course the Barney jokes and th arrogant assumption that they already know everything they need to know to make a judgment.

I wonder if they realize how bizarre they are beginning to sound?

Should Bush have realized how insane Coulter and company really are? Maybe, but I know I am shocked at the level of prejudice and malice.

I refused to even watch the news today. I was so sick of hearing it.

It seems they would rather destroy their own party than give Miers a fair hearing.

All because they think they are owed something. And if she ends up being just what they wanted after all will we hear any apologies?

I doubt it.

Syl said...

I think it's ironic that with all the conservative punditry griping about the elite MSM over the years, they've just proven that they, too, have succumbed to the elitist disease.

Spent some time today reading blogs re Meiers along with the comments. Redstate, Beldar, and a few others.

I have seen no argument against her that can stand up to scrutiny nor is there anything much beyond elitist assertion or emotion-based grumbling.

I'm beginning to really like this woman.

We'll see what happens in the hearings, though.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I don't like Ann Coulter at all. She strikes me as the Republican equivalent of Dowd: nasty and hateful and elitist without any excuse for it. It's people like her who turn off people like me. Self-righteous and arrogant.

Let's hear it for Independents!

vnjagvet said...

This discussion is far more balanced and realistic than most I have read on the big name blogs.

The problem that the professional intellectual "opinion leaders" of both ends of the spectrum is their fantasy that they are leading something.

Grand schemes of court packing or influencing have seldom been realized in our system for a reason. A fundamental of judicial selection in the federal system is that in that system, judges are to be independent and fair. That means they are not supposed to prejudge cases. Note that the latin root words for prejudice (pre and judicio) are the same as for prejudge.

But the selection of federal judges is a political act of representative government. If they betray that they have prejudged anything, they have automatically disqualified themselves as being "prejudiced", i.e. dependent on one or another political point of view.

What has happened with the Miers nomination is that the right's opinion leaders have acted as if NOW, PFAW, and the opinion leaders of the militant left were right in their approach to judicial selection.

Revealing and sad, if you ask me.

Benjamin Franklin, my hero, would disapprove.

terrye said...

George Washington was my hero and I think he would feel the same disapproval.

What I am hearing on the blogs is that people "feel betrayed".

They assume that life would be just fine if only Luttig were nominated.

Well, he might be...those justices are not getting any younger..

But demanding that the President of the United States withdraw his nominee because you do not like him/her is so childish.

Syl said...

meaninglesshotair

"I don't like Ann Coulter at all."

While I certainly don't agree with everything she says/believes, I do find her quite amusing at times. She has the knack of skewering with a turn of phrase that can catch your breath.

I wouldn't like to be like her at all, but for someone who used to be of a certain persuasion her ridicule of formerly-held beliefs can be very satisfying.

But you'll rarely find me admitting it in public. :)

MeaninglessHotAir said...

Hey, Syl, where'd your picture go? I liked it.

Syl said...

Thanks, but I decided to put up a photo of my new neighbors instead. :)