Monday, October 31, 2005

The Ideologues vs. The Brainiacs

There are two reasons to dislike the Harriet Miers nomination.

1. Harriet Miers did not have sufficient legal background to sit in the highest court of the land.

2. Harriet Miers is a stealth candidate and there is no reason not to nominate a lifelong well-known conservative who will annoy the left wing.

The first is the brainiac reason not to like Miers; the second is the ideological reason to reject her.
Novak is a brainiac (the phrase does not actually refer to the mental ability of Mr. Novak on which we have no comment). His latest article, "Bush's Judicial Test," expresses dismay that President Bush seems to relay on relative non-entities for his support.
Bush's blunder on Miers reflects his genuine disdain for Washington and the national government, still intense after nearly five years in office. That is basically why he reaches back to longtime friends and associates (cronies, say his critics) whom he trusts.
A synonym for Braniac might be Washingtonian, actually. They don't share Bush's negative feelings towards the government; rather they want someone who is a known quality, someone who knows how the game is played.

Of course on the other side you have the idealogues like, say, Ann Coulter. Responding to the Mier's withdrawal, Ms. Coulter said the following on CNN.
Well, I think I've said it, he's -- the right-wing base has just shown its power. And as I say, and it's unfortunate circumstances. But what got Bush in trouble was listening to Democrats in the first place.
For the idealogue this Supreme Court Nomination is a chance to both educate the American people about what Conservativism is all about and to stick it to the Democrats. That may be the most important factor in their determining if President Bush's next candidate is acceptable; how mad does he or she make us Liberals?

This provides President Bush with a tricky needle to thread. If he satisfies the Ann Coutlers in his party, well, it might anger the mainstream Republicans and the American people. One thing the Miers nomination has done is that it is put ideology back on the table. Since the Coutler Republicans objected to Miers on ideological grounds, and the Bush White House defended her on the same grounds (Religion playing a role as well), the next candidate will have his ideological leanings discussed as well.

Should be interesting.

Of course since writing that above; I went to an hour long security meeting and in the mean time President Bush has announced his next candidate, Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. According to the New York Times, this will provoke a battle with the Democrats, and Gary Bauer, a prominent Religious Conservative, has already ok'd the nomination. And he's another white male, so it's nice that President Bush didn't give into political correctness (from the Coulter Republican point of view). I guess the idealogues have won for now.

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