October 11, 2005
Is the GOP eating its own? Maybe. But I'm tired of the party that I voted for governing like the minority party that they were for 40 years. Then again, maybe they liked it so much, the party is doing its damndest to relive the past. Trust me when I tell you that they're on the right path.
I wonder how many people are more likely to believe my "trust me" statement in the previous paragraph than the implicit one given by the President by nominating Miers?
Update: Jonah weighs in:
Fed by what are to me very cheap arguments by RNC spokesmen and independent stalwarts of the administration -- chiefly, it seems, Hugh Hewitt -- there is now this permanently established belief in some quarters that people around here and elsewhere oppose Miers based purely on bad motives -- elitism, cowardice, sexism etc. I find this horribly disappointing and the sort of thing I normally expect from leftwingers.
Regardless, whoever started the name-calling, all of it is beneath a movement and a philosophy which is supposed to pride itself on dealing with uncomfortable facts. I don't mind arguments within the conservative camp. I relish them, as should be obvious. They are a sign of intellectual health and integrity. "Unity above all" may at times be a political imperative but it is a philosophical cancer. Those of you who argue Miers' rightwing opponents are hurting the cause have a fair political point to make, even if it shows evidence of a misunderstanding of conservative journalism's role generally and National Review's in particular (See for example, Ramesh's "The Case Against Silence"). But they too are hurting the cause when they impugn the motives of those they will undoubtedly wish to fight alongside in some future battle.
Update: It appears that the White House has enlisted the First Lady to continue the tactic of smearing its own base. Nice.
Hey, GOP! Start packing. You're likely moving to the minority party in 2006. Dickheads.
Final update: Richard Brookheiser weighs in:
Conservative defenders of the Miers pick attribute such violent and visceral reactions to snobbery: Our wise President is being second-guessed by a bunch of Beltway elitists and Ivy Leaguers who disdain the horny-handed daughter of toil nurtured at Southern Methodist University. But this charge is boob bait. Many leaders come from nowhere before rising to the top. Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College; Richard Nixon went to Whittier College; Abraham Lincoln went to no college. Ms. Miers had as many advantages as these men, or more. She only has fewer achievements.
The real reason her nomination sticks in the craw is the brass-and-leather whiff of the Praetorian Guard house. The ancient Praetorian Guard was an elite military unit that guarded Romes emperors and sometimes murdered them. The modern Praetorian Guard is the penumbra of family and cronies that, under the American imperial Presidency, is accorded unseemly attention and respect. Some Presidents look to it for actual officeholders. Bill Clinton put his wife in charge of health-care policy. John Kennedy put his brother in charge of the Justice Department. Mr. Bush seems to find the Praetorian Guard especially seductive. There were the Texas League Texans he sent to FEMAJoe Allbaugh, Michael Brown. There was the way his running mate emerged from a search committee headed byDick Cheney. Look no further! Harriet Miers emerged in the same way, helping to vet judicial nominees. At least she tapped John Roberts before herself; gentlemen first. This is an elitism far more restrictive than anything Ms. Miers critics are charged with. Beltway/Ivy League elitism embraces anyone who works in the federal government, or who graduated from one of seven old colleges. The Presidents elitism embraces anyone who works down the hall. He looked out over what Tom Wolfe calls this wild bizarre unpredictable hog-stomping Baroque country of ours and whom did he see? The woman sitting next to him.
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