Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Do You Trust the Religious Right?

Attempting to assure the "conservative faithful," VP Cheney phoned into the 'Rush Limbaugh' show to discuss the Miers appointment. "I think you'll find when you look back 10 years from now that it will have been a great appointment," said the Veep. "You'll be proud of Harriet's record, Rush. Trust me." Trust me? Is this the same guy who said, "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction?" And didn't these fellas tell us a couple whoppers about the Medicare prescription drug plan?

"Never mind," say our friends on the Christian Right, who are content to cheerlead like lackeys and lickspittles, thankful for every scrap from the imperial table. If Larry Tribe's name had been thrown into the ring, Hugh Hewitt and his ilk would be attempting to persuade the masses of his "originalist" bent.

Speaking of the Hugh Hewitt Show, James Dobson was in the house yesterday and voiced his view that conservatives need to trust the president:

On judicial appointments, this man staked out his territory in his claim in the campaign. And he has not wavered from it one inch. It's also true of his pro-life stance. He has been absolutely consistent with what he promised to do in his campaign. I applaud him for that, and he knows Harriet Miers as well as anybody in government. He has worked with her for years. He knows who she is. I do not believe that man is going to put somebody on that Court that thirty years from now, is going to represent his legacy, and he's going to be blamed for fooling the American people. I just do not believe that.

Of course, Dobson's protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, Bush's "absolutely consistent" view on abortion has been less than absolutely consistent, but let's not allow facts to enter the fray.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, "enthusiastically endorse[d]" the selection and promised a full-court press to guarantee success in the Senate.

"Once again, President Bush showed exceptional judgment in naming Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court to replace Justice O'Connor," said Sekulow in a statement. "At a time when the high court is facing some of the most critical issues of the day – including a number of cases dealing directly with abortion and life issues – the person who replaces Justice O'Connor is critical.

"Harriet Miers is an excellent choice with an extraordinary record of service in the legal community and is certain to approach her work on the high court with a firm commitment to follow the Constitution and the rule of law. I have been privileged to work with her in her capacity as White House counsel. She is bright, thoughtful, and a consummate professional, and I enthusiastically endorse her nomination."

The National Right to Life Committee has also endorsed Miers. "President Bush has an excellent record of appointing judges who recognize the proper role of the courts, which is to interpret the law according to its actual text, and not to legislate from the bench," said NRLC executive director David N. O’Steen.
"We believe that Harriet Miers is another nominee who will abide by the text and history of the Constitution."

Pat Robertson likewise endorsed the Miers appointment on 'The 700 Club' and James Kennedy said, "there is good reason to trust the President that Miss Miers is, likewise, someone in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Her distinguished record as a lawyer, her long association with the President, her self-designation as a strict constructionist, and her effort to make the American Bar Association neutral on abortion, all suggest she is a nominee with a conservative judicial philosophy and one who deserves our support."

Last, but not least, Jerry Falwell indicated that he supports Miers because he trusts the president. "Long after he (Bush) is out of the White House," Falwell said, "they (the Supreme Court) will be making lasting decisions about faith and family, the constitution. I'm willing to stake my hopes on the guy that I worked so hard to get into the White House, George Bush."

So what do we know about Ms. Miers? Not much. However, during Miers affiliation with the American Bar Association, she submitted a 1999 report that included recommendations to develop and establish an International Criminal Court. She also argued that the sexual orientation of adults should serve in no way to prevent the adoption of children. Finally, according to Elaine Donnelly, Miers has taken positions as White House counsel that violate the law banning women in combat.

"As White House counsel, Ms. Miers either approved of the Department of Defense's illegal assignments of women in units required to be all-male, which is still continuing in violation of the law requiring notice to Congress in advance, or she was oblivious to the legal consequences of those assignments," she said.

This time, Ann Coulter gets it right:

Bush has no right to say 'Trust me.' He was elected to represent the American people, not to be dictator for eight years. Among the coalitions that elected Bush are people who have been laboring in the trenches for a quarter-century to change the legal order in America. While Bush was still boozing it up in the early '80s, Ed Meese, Antonin Scalia, Robert Bork and all the founders of the Federalist Society began creating a farm team of massive legal talent on the right.

Unfortunately for Bush, he could nominate his Scottish terrier Barney, and some conservatives would rush to defend him, claiming to be in possession of secret information convincing them that the pooch is a true conservative and listing Barney's many virtues — loyalty, courage, never jumps on the furniture.