Fat Steve's Blatherings

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What's REALLY Going on With Miers?

        Ramesh Ponnuru has a post at NRO that's worth pondering.  He basically says that some conservatives are mad at Bush for other reasons, and ganged up on Miers in response.  Short and worth reading in full.

        And for an example of how angry conservatives are, see this piece.  Adam Bellow casually accepts repeats untrue Democratic criticism of Bush, and compares the Bush family to the Mafia!  (He'll say he didn't mean it invidiously, but the association is invidious, and will be used against Republicans and conservatives).  And he sums up by writing about Bush:
        He has made the common dynastic mistake of confusing loyalty and merit; in his eyes, the merit of people like Michael Brown and Harriet Miers consists in their being his friends.  They are loyal to him, and their loyalty must be rewarded.  Thus in Bush, the very loyalty that was a private virtue has become a public vice.  His greatest failing is his inability to hold people accountable for their errors. Because they are his creatures, he seems unable to disown them or even to see their faults.

        That FEMA handled four hurricanes last year under Brown, and all competently, is not mentioned.  Neither is the fact that Mississippi and Alabama didn't complain about FEMA's alleged shortcomings, just places where Democrats were in charge.  Nor are we reminded of the insanely untrue stories that came out of New Orleans, spread by city officials and repeated by a press out to get Bush, or the fact that Brown was let go when the criticism made him too much of a political liability.  And of course, the possibility that Miers might be very well qualified for a seat on the court, indeed, the best possible nominee, is dismissed by assuming it untrue.  Also ignored are all practical considerations of whom W. can actually get through the Senate.

        Yes, conseratives are very angry at Bush, but the anger is misplaced.  As Bellow himself acknowledges in the article, there is no significant public constituency for large parts of the conservative program, such as eliminating federal departments and cutting spending.  Bush knew that when he campaigned in 2000, and made it clear he wouldn't try, a fact Bellow also notes.  If conservatives want to be angry, they should be angry with the USAmerican people, and with a Congress that "spends like drunken Democrats," as the Mallard Fillmore strip put it recently.

        Or best of all, conservatives should be angry with themselves.  Why can't they convince the public that government spending should be cut a lot?  Could it be that the public is right to reject the idea?  But that would depressing.  Far easier to throw a tantrum because Bush didn't appoint an unconfirmable idealogue pledged to rule half the federal government unconstitutional.

        So I'll leave you with something from my buddy Ralph:

        Chill out, even if you don't like Miers.



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