Fat Steve's Blatherings

Monday, October 10, 2005

A State of Unreality


        The people complaining about the Miers nomination seem to be living in a fantasy world.

  • Could the kind of nominee the critics want be confirmed?  They don't care.

  • What about W.'s assurance that Miers will vote the way they'd like?  They don't care.

  • What would the effect on Bush's Presidency be, if Miers is defeated?  They don't care.

  • And how will such a defeat influence the 2006 elections?  They don't care.

  • The only thing they care about is a fighting the good, principled, fight, even if they lose, and even if the ultimate results sets back their cause.  This is idiocy.

At Length:

        I'm really astonished at the nonsense being spouted about Miers.

        Perhaps you recall   Ann Coulter's comments on the John Roberts nomination?  Coulter was angry because Roberts didn't have a record that would allow her to judge how he'll vote.

        Well, at least Coulter's consistent. 
She doesn't like Miers either.  But a lot of people who did like Roberts are opposing Miers.

        Perhaps the most interesting observation is that of Robert Bork, who says Miers nomination is:
        "a disaster on every level."

        "It's a little late to develop a constitutional philosophy or begin to work it out when you're on the court already," Bork said on "The Situation" on MSNBC. "It's kind of a slap in the face to the conservatives who've been building up a conservative legal movement for the last 20 years."

        Apparently Bork has forgotten what happened to his own nomination.  The record he'd made was used to demonize him, and he was voted down.

        In order to nominate the kind of person most of these people want, Bush would need a) sixty votes in the Senate to end a filibuster, plus at least fifty to approve the nominee, or b) fifty votes to employ the "nuclear option" that would change the filibuster rules for nominees, plus fifty votes to approve the nominee.  In fact, Bush would have trouble scraping up the fifty votes for confirmation of a nominee with a conservative record, given the three liberal Republican Senators from New England, and mavericks like Specter and McCain.  It's just about certain he couldn't get the votes to end a filibuster or change the rules.

        But a lot of Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians would rather Miers and W. be defeated than pass up the chance to attack the Democrats, liberals, and socialists in Congress.  As for the results of that defeat, they don't care.  As for Bush's personal knowledge of Miers, and his assurances that she's fairly conservative and an original intentionalist, they don't care.  (Not that Miers is an original intentionalist or strict constructionist of the Constitution; but then, no one else is, either).

        In addition, there's a lot of other rage at the President, because he didn't do what the activists wanted on other issues.  Me, I'm somewhat disappointed too.  But my attitude is somewhat different than there's.

        Once, I was a practicing libertarian.  Then one day in 1989 or '90, as I contemplated the fall of the Berlin Wall, the liberation from Soviet imperialism of most of the captive nations, the Libertarian Party's predictably dismal showing in the 1988 Presidential election, and the LP's long record of attacks on Reagan and Bush 41 for not doing what the LP wanted done, it suddenly hit me: THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN A LIBERTARIAN SOCIETY.  And try as I might, I couldn't see any justification for forcing 99% of the population to live in a society they didn't want to inhabit.  Further, given the peaceful rollback of Soviet tyranny, and the ongoing reform in the USSR, while the LP failed to struggle up to 3% of the popular vote, I couldn't see any reason to believe LP policies would be good for the country in any case.

        Since that day, I've been a conservative Republican and recovering Libertarian.  I care about consequences, I respect tradition, I am willing to let my neighbors live the way they want to, and I've lost that fine inner certainty that political theorists can decide all questions on the basis of principles that have never been tested in practice.

        Now, most of the conservative movement and a huge part of the Republican party are embracing the LP doctrine of ideologically pure, uncompromising ineffectiveness.  Pity.



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