Skip to comments.If You Don't Trust Him to Choose, Why Did You Vote for Him?
Posted on 10/14/2005 6:47:23 PM PDT by quidnunc
I'm beginning to wonder why the political conservatives voted for Bush. I assumed at the time that it had something to do with believing that he would be able to pick better players for the Cabinet and the Court than his opponents (Al Gore and John Kerry, lest we forget.)
At least, that's what they claimed in the Novembers of 2000 and 2004. In this last election, as in no other, the Court was thought to be vitally important.
In religious right circles, at the grass roots level, there was high excitement that the nation might finally get some Justices in who would roll back the tides of misplaced internationalism, judicial invention, and Supreme legislation that have proven so vexing to those in the heartland trying to raise decent families in an unholy world. Because President Bush is a man of sincere faith, whereas John Kerry was clearly a man of pure opportunism and personal religious hypocrisy ("I believe life begins at conception" did not ring true from a pro-choice politician), prayerful people whose participation in politics is normally limited to election day came out in force to actually work for candidates. Phone banks were filled, neighborhoods were walked, parties were held, and registration drives were pursued by massive numbers of people otherwise uninterested in the process.
All this optimism was based not on who would be the likely nominees, but on who would be the one to pick such nominees a man whose heart they trusted, George W. Bush.
Now, don't get me wrong. Most Christian conservatives like most Americans don't know much about potential court nominees. They've heard the names of judges the Democrats filibustered, and that's about it. As was the case with John Roberts, most ordinary people on the religious right didn't know who she was, since who the White House Counsel is does not generally show up as a prayer concern to any but those immediately involved. What they knew about John Roberts was that the President admired him and he seemed to be a good man, a good father, a Constitutionalist instead of an activist, and the choice of the President for Chief Justice. The religious conservatives, with no particular knowledge of Roberts, immediately got on board. Why? Because they trusted the man who nominated him.
Although Roberts wasn't on the conservative intelligentsia's wish list, the usual gang of conservative pundits quickly found out enough to satisfy them that the non-selection of Edith Jones or Janice Rogers Brown or Michael Luttig hadn't shafted them. (Though Ann Coulter didn't like him, anyway.) Besides, the Democrats were acting like babies already. All the players were on the sides one expected; all was right with the world.
But Miers is a different situation altogether. Conservatives have occasionally wondered who this president really is. Spiritual conservatives wondered if he could be trusted to do the right thing in the face of long odds, or if he would prove to be merely a consummate politician playing the evangelical card to his political advantage. Economic conservatives have worried that he would some day risk conservative political gains for some deep and unknowable spiritual conviction.
Now we know.
Christian conservatives should no longer doubt this president's sincerity. He has made a selection based on a conviction that flies in the face of pragmatic politics, and he is not backing down. He is risking everything to bring in a nominee that he himself believes is the best available choice, despite the objections of politically-minded conservatives and the opposition of those he considers his allies.
The Miers nomination is the Category 5 hurricane that breaks open the levees of conservatism, exposing its deepest divide: that between those who are conservative primarily for intellectual reasons, and those whose conservatism is a habit of the heart. The president has declared his loyalty; he is, above and beyond his economic theories and his powerful defense of the free market, a True Believer.
These disagreements have arisen from time to time, in the divide between the social conservatives longing for more true believers in the Reagan White House and the political pragmatists urging them to be patient; in the rift between the George H.W. Bush New World Order acolytes and the cultural conservationists on Pat Robertson's team; in the tug of war between hard-line fiscal conservatives and open-handed compassionate conservatives willing to spend a little money to prod the resistant into participating in Bush's visionary "ownership society."
Between the two, there are differing definitions and applications of "trust." It might be said that both subscribe to Reagan's sage advice on the Soviet Union, "Trust, but verify," but one group considers the trust primary, and the other tends to suspend trust in the hunt for verification.
It is important to a purpose-driven Christian to seek a Biblical response to matters of culture, and to follow that response regardless of its pragmatic consequences. Despite the deaths of 45 million babies as a result of the Roe decision, they are called to forgive all those involved and to seek to change the situation through prayer and repentence, rather than anger and action. Where they have no knowledge, they seek advice from people they trust who do. Quite bluntly, they trust Dobson and Warren more than they do Limbaugh and Coulter. And because Dobson and Warren trust Bush on this, they are more inclined to do so.
The conservative intelligentsia sees the President's membership in the social conservative club overshadowing their power to control the dissemination of conservative information, and they are having none of it. They can't accept the notion that the President of the United States might have access to better information concerning Court nominees than they have. They can't handle the idea that when he said "I will nominate candidates to the Supreme Court," he really meant "I" and not "my friends in the conservative think tanks." They can't stand it that, after all this time in the wilderness, they might still be "out of the loop" when it comes to the important questions of the presidency especially when they find out that a doltish nobody like James Dobson actually had a seat in the "kitchen cabinet" this time around. It wasn't the judicial conservative elite invited to that conference call it was the evangelicals. And that smarts.
The conservatives who are crying the loudest and with a venom and a bitterness usually reserved for Ted Kennedy or illegal immigration do more than anyone else to convince those who trust Dobson and Falwell and Robertson and D. James Kennedy and Marvin Olasky and Dick Cheney and President Bush that the president, leading with his heart, is right on this. There seems to be more than a little "it's not FAIR" in their whining and braying. Though they were in no way owed a consultation, the fact that they did not get one appears to have driven conservative think-tank mavens into paroxyms of rage.
Tsk, tsk. That's no kind of witness for the world.
Rick Warren is fond of saying, "Remember: God is God, and you're not." The conservatives angry that the president actually had the nerve to exercise the authority they gave him to bring up a nominee that will do what they want her to do would do well to remember that President Bush is President, and they're not.
The answer is easy...it was either Bush or Gore, or Bush or Kerry....
I have a wait and see attitude about Miers and yes I do trust Bush as much as I can trust any politician.....but the question is pretty lame.
Actually, I think the question is insulting.
Well, who the hell were we going to vote for? Our choice was what? Bush or Gore/Kerry----oh I forgot we had Nader in there and the Libertarians (who I have a soft spot for in amny things). The SCOTUS choice is far bigger than the concerns of social conservatives. It has a lot to do with more of an originalist approach and each branch of government operating as it is supposed to. Ok I am not minimizing the concerns of social conservatives but look at the bigger picture--and still I think Miers falls short.
Who ate all the strawberry ice cream?
The Republican Party isn't a religion where the leader gets the doctrine of infallibility applied to his decisions.
My other choice was John Kerry.
No that is not why. We did not blindly trust Bush. But we looked at Roberts record of working for Rehnquist, working for Reagan, working for Bush. We saw a long history of supporting Republicans and making rulings based on Constitutional principles. We have none of that with Harriet. Harriet has supported more Democrats in her life than Republicans. Maybe Harriet has changed, but we are not confortable hoping.
You must have missed a few, there have been some really lame ones.
What makes you think they voted for him or he was their first choice?
This place was banana's when he got the nomination. Almost as bad as it is now.
But the choice was between Bush and Kerry: arsenic or cyanide.
I mistakenly believed that after re-election, Bush could be convinced to control the borders. Now my support is for the WOT and not much else.
Because Bush promised to put good solid conservatives of the breed of Scalia and Thomas on the Court. He did not compromise on court appointments during his first term, preferring to endure the filibuster, so it looked like a good bet to vote for him again in 2004 on the basis of these promises. That was also the reason why people worked so hard to increase his majority in the Senate.
Now he has broken his promise. It's not the first time that a politician has done so, but I will say that Bush is usually a man of his word, which makes it all the more disappointing. Maybe he thought he was doing the right thing by nominating Miers, but now he needs to think again.
You are right, and I don't think any honest Republican could say that G.W.Bush is a Conservative. He is however President, and therefore has the right to nominate whomsoever he pleases. All the elitist Conservatives pissing and moaning about Meirs are just like Schumer; they think they, not the President, have the right to nominate the next Supreme Court Justice.
He's entitled to favor his cause, wrongheaded as it may be... as we are free to express our displeasure. I actually appreciate it, because it makes the low signal-to-noise quality apparent. So many articles, so little substance, so few answers.
Apparently "they" don't even have the right to express an opinion of what should be done with this abominomination.
Not really, at least not for me. Bush made a very specific campaign promise to nominate folks like Scalia and Thomas. He should expect us to see if his nominees actually measure up to that standard.
Assumes facts not in evidence.
I'm tired of the knock-down drag-outs over this nominee. Passioned debate... I can deal with that. Junior High School name calling... I can't.
The expectation that I'm going to shut-up when I disagree with a political leader, even one I supported, is unreasonable.
The author's use of someone else's "Let God be God" quote to infer similar treatment for GWB... that should be legal grounds for a hot poker up his arse.
Wrong. The President DID promise to nominate SCJs in the mold of Scalia. He hasn't and though it is his choice, it is our choice to voice objection. 1st Amendment, I believe.
This may be the dumbest article I've sort of read today.
(skipped through to the ending "Trust & obey, for there's no other way" quote)
Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, OK? That's why God kicked us out from our jobs as head of the dumb animals food chain.
It wasn't all down-side: so we sweat for a living. We also got the power to think for ourselves.
And I think this article is stupid.
The President is not the King. He needs to listen to the pulse of the people that put him on office and that is us.
What is an elitist Conservative? One who has stood their ground and not given in to the "softening" of the GOP? I need to know.
As I said: Just like Schumer.
I expect and demand that following the Hearing a fair up or down vote be taken by the full Senate. I will accept the result of a fair up or down vote.
I am proud to be an American. We should all remember the following:
I AM an AMERICAN
By, Ray Cornelius
now dont get in a snit. WHEN DID THE TERM "ORIGINALIST" COME INTO USE?
It is the Republican Party not the Conservative Party. Why don't you, Krauthammer, Kristol, Limbaugh, et.al. wait for the hearings before you spew your baseless venom?
You are correct, Roberts got the benefit of the doubt. Now that that is all used up, there's no more left for Miers.
Harriet has supported more Democrats in her life than Republicans. NOW YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT !
Trust and verify. For a politician to prate of 'leadership' should be political suicide. A pol must be effectively led by his constituency else his thoughts turn to re-election and pandering to the dumbest of the masses. Democracy, the rule of fools by fools.
Adam and Eve were vegetarians!
It's not just like Schumer. Schumer gets to vote. The rest of us just get to object and tie this to other issues of discontent. Bush's choice after all.
Hmm, I hear the iron bells tolling. Excuse me while I get out my prayer rug and genuflect toward the beltway. /sarcasm
I don't take much on faith, and this is not one of those things. I am also a little tired of reading criticisms "implying" I should not question the decisions of my betters.
I believe GW has made a poor choice, for a number of reasons. Some of the know it all pundits seem to think that is on par with accusing him of child molestation. /roll eyes, shake head
I'm also beginning to think the Republican leadership has been playing Three Card Monty with the filibuster smasher. And by that, I mean it's been intentional.
I voted for him in 2000. I didn't approve of the patriot act and its potential for abuse by future administrations. I decided to vote for third party candidates that more closely matched my desire for smaller, less intrusive government. But I don't understand why we are chastised for mistrusting our leaders even if we did vote for them. I would think it foolish to not keep an eye on those who are entrusted with power.
Bush, and other elite Republicans, used the Conservatives as a vehicle to power. Now that they have it, who are we to question them? Lowly scum!
If you chose to limit your selection to the lesser of two evils.
Many of us preferred to not compromise our principles and voted Third Party instead.
I have plenty of bitches about Bush policies , but I don't think I, or any other Republican, should presume to know more than he does about this nominee until we have at least heard her at the hearings.
Well I am an honest Conservative. I think President Bush is a Conservative. He is not the most Conservative man in the party, but by-and-large he is Conservative.
When I compare him to my Senator Lott, he is very Conservative. Did you know that right before Katrina hit Lott came out in support of eco-terrorists in Mississippi, favoring a moratorium on offshore drilling for Natural Gas? I'll bet his arse waiting in line for 5 hours to buy gas after Katrina hit us, had a modifying effect on his PC crap!
I also believe that we will see movement on the borders soon. Frist announced today that it was on the docket. It should have been done long ago. Washington is so screwed up today, it is amazing that anything can get accomplished.
Too old, not a parent, questionable track record, trial lawyer, no prior interest in Constitutional issues. There are plenty of more qualified candidates.
Gotta cite for that vegan claim? It was my understanding that everything God made was for their use.
I don't have chapter and verse, but I know that one of their sons liked a good barbeque while the other was a sod-buster. Remember? Things got a little heated when God spurned Cain's offering and he got marked down and had to go to anger-management classes?
Given the choice, we had to vote for him.
It certainly helped that he promised to nominate constitutional originalists. Now what do we have?
"NOW YOU DO NOT KNOW THAT!" Haven't been reading very much of what's been posted about this, have ya? Go back, look at her campaign donations, then return and tell us we don't know that. I'll hold my breath...Honest.
Trust but verify. The problem here is that there is nothing there to verify.
Who said there were no better qualified candidates? That is beside the point. She is his nominee and only he has the right or power to make the nomination; not you, me George Will,Limbaugh, Coulter or anyone else. Let's wait for the hearings.
That's not true. "They" do think they're entitled to critize what they see as a poor decision. And they are!
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