Conservatives are battling themselves over Miers

At least if several internet forums I frequent are any indication. There seems to be quite a split; many are quoting anti-Miers propaganda with the rest arguing with them about it and quoting pro-Miers propaganda. It’s almost as vicious as the liberal baiting they engage in.

The Miers thing seems to have exposed the very real differences between the evangelical social conservatives and their more intellectual (neocons) and economic (rich people) bretheren. It’ll be fascinating to see if everything can be smoothed over in the end.

Even Shawn Hannity is saying that Miers nomination may be derailed from the conserative side of the fence. Rush hasn’t had much success either, but he’s spending alot of time focusing on what few criticisms he can find from the liberals. It doesn’t seem to be working out all that well.

It’s hard to polarize when your own side has the same concerns as the other side.

I give Hannity credit for openly talking about it.

I’m a little bit surprised that conservatives are coming out so hard and so critical of Miers (and the President). There were rumblings with Roberts, but the passing of the Rehnquist must have convinced some people that the President would make a “proper” choice with his second pick.

With the exception of immigration, I never would have expected this kind of discussion and debate among the right-wing. Prior to some recent events, no one would have risked publically criticizing or expressing concern towards this adminstration. Perhaps the perceived weakness of Rove (as mentioned in another thread) is true?

It’s obvious that the conservative propaganda machine has split in three - pro-Miers, anti-Miers, and the silent bunch. I think the Democrats would be wise to play this low-key, not giving the Republicans cause to unite, while supporting or denouncing Miers as needed to feed the fire.

I think the choice just floored them because they’ve been building this aura of … i don’t know, political superiority… around the President and even they can’t really get past the fact this choice looks like 100% cronyism.

The only thing keeping things in check on that side is that most of the conservative media is ultimately driven by selfishness, and if they perceive a position untenable in the public eye, they won’t ruin themselves to save a Republican candidate or issue, even if it is the party line. Since Rush and O’Reily still want their mansions.

It does demonstrate, though, that the conservative side is not the single-minded blind faith entity a lot of people try to make it out to be. There are quite a few conservatives who truly believe that the woman is just not qualified (see George Will’s column.) This was truly a bad choice in just about every way. The Democrats should indeed just sit back and watch and enjoy the fireworks for now.

It’s nice to see an example where the political right is willing to lead with their morals, and I say that knowing full well that if Miers go down the next person may be much worse (from my perspective).

I suspect she is a stalking horse.

I got the same feeling.

I got the same feeling.[/quote]

“And so Bush, with a sigh, gave up on his dream of a moderate female justice, capitulated to the interests of his constituents, and appointed L. Wendell Verywhite III to the position.”

I saw someone say that Reid must be a sort of super-political genius if he was planning on this reaction.

The debate within the Republican Party over Harriet Miers has quickly devolved into a simple question: Is the nominee qualified because of her religious faith, or unqualified by her lack of intellectual heft? On the one side, James Dobson, Miers’ fellow parishioners at Valley View Christian Church, and President Bush speak for her heart. On the other, George Will and William Kristol and others who swooned for John Roberts decry her unimpressive legal mind.

In this battle, the White House has clearly sided with the churchgoing masses against the Republican Party’s own whiny Beltway intellectuals. The Bushies have always mistrusted their own bow-tied secularists, but the rift has never before been so public. “This is classic elitism,” says a senior administration official of the GOP opposition to the Miers nomination. “We often blame the left for it, but we have it in our own ranks. Just because she wasn’t on a shortlist of conservatives who prepared their whole life for this moment doesn’t make her any less conservative … and just because she hasn’t penned op-eds for the Wall Street Journal doesn’t mean she hasn’t formed a judicial philosophy.”

Left-wing bloggers may see the Bush administration and its allies as a uniform mass, but like all successful political teams, it’s actually a coalition. At the heart of the coalition is an uncomfortable mix between, on the one hand, right-wing intellectuals, including the neoconservatives whose backing for the Iraq invasion has been so important, and, on the other, the evangelicals who turned out in such numbers to vote for a man who boasted that he was one of them. The Bible-thumbing armies may carry the elections, but they sometimes make the elites in the Republican Party as uncomfortable as they make Maureen Dowd and Michael Moore. In return, the mega-church attendees are mistrustful of the party’s often secular, often not-Christian pundits and wizards.

We’ve seen a lot of Bush’s neocon side during the war years, as he appropriated arguments from Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Kristol for democratizing the Middle East to provide ballast for his Iraq invasion. But the Miers pick is more reminiscent of the candidate who in 1999 was asked who his favorite philosopher was. “Christ,” Bush famously replied, “because he changed my heart. … When you turn your heart and your life over to Christ, when you accept Christ as the Savior, it changes your heart and changes your life.”

The elites howled at the time. The evangelicals smiled. They understood.

Of course it is important to keep in mind that the religious right was also behind the Iraq invasion because it jibes with their understanding of how the Middle East should be reshaped. Ties with the neocons, Israel’s Likud and Shi’ia Iraqi exile groups saw to this. If Bush thought the religious right would defect over Iraq I’d bet good money that Wolfowitz and Co.'s plan would have been dead on arrival.