Monday, October 03, 2005

Why conservatives should be angry about Harriet Meirs

Rush Limbaugh interviewed the Vice President today. The conversation yielded the following noteworthy comments:

RUSH: Is there a reason why conservatives' known quantities about whom the president's supporters wouldn't have questions, were not chosen -- Michael Luttig, Edith Jones and others? I mean, they've got records and the president wouldn't be facing questions he's getting today from his supporters. Any reason why those names were left off this time?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I wouldn't take this as negative on anybody. We looked at a very broad range of candidates and, frankly, I hope we have additional vacancies down the road that the president will be able to fill and some of those people you mention will be, I expect, on everybody's short list. But the president sat down and looked at all of the options and all the alternatives. He spent a great deal of time on this himself. He's convinced Harriet will do a great job on the court, as am I, and you'll find when we look back ten years from now that it will have been a great appointment.
(Highlighting added.)

Before getting to what's good or bad about Miss Meirs, let me respond to the Vice President's claim: PUHLEEZE!

Maybe Roberts and Meirs will be everything the Bush White House promises; and if so, we'll all learn to live with that. But don't tell me Edith Jones, and folks of her caliber, have any serious chance at a Supreme Court seat. It's like when Michael Corleone confronts his brother-in-law Carlo after the baptism, about fingering his brother Sonny: "but don't tell me you're innocent! It insults my intelligence, and makes me angry."

If the President wanted Edith Jones, or Janice Brown, or Luttig, or McConnell, etc., on the court, he'd have named that person by now. Yes, I suppose a freak accident could wipe out everyone else, leaving Bush with a choice between Edith Jones and, say, Johnnie Cochran; at which point Edith has a good shot. Or Jesse Helms' heretofore unknown 10 clones get elected to the Senate from different states next year. Or maybe Arlen Specter and Ted Kennedy return from an Ignatian Retreat they took together, newly converted to the prolife cause; so, yeah, it could happen...

Then there's the Vice President's closing comment:

"You'll be proud of Harriet's record, Rush. Trust me."

Yeah--like we haven't heard that before.

So, to return to the theme of my headline: why should conservatives be angry?

Because it is simply unacceptable that sound, originalist jurisprudence should be treated as the crazy aunt to be hidden away in the attic when company comes; it is simply unacceptable for conservative jurisprudence to be told to pretend to fit in, as if we have something to be ashamed of.

It is the same condescending -- and deeply offensive -- approach once taken toward Jews and African-Americans: try to "pass" -- if you can.

RUSH: Is there a desire in the White House because of current poll numbers or this Katrina response that just doesn't want the fight with the Senate Democrats at this time?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, we've never backed off from a fight with this Congress or any other Congress.

Right -- especially when its about expanding the power or reach of government. Remember what the Bush White House fought hardest for in Congress, twisting arms the hardest? The creation of a brand-new, mega-gazillion prescription-drug entitlement.

"Well, we've never backed off from a fight with this Congress or any other Congress."

Very true, Mr. Vice President -- not when it was something you actually cared about.

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