Carol Platt Liebau: A Civil "Civil War"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Civil "Civil War"

Perhaps one of the saddest parts of the Miers nomination has been watching the "civil war" within the conservative movement, as people who are allies on almost everything else attack each other. Andy Card has apparently called Miers opponents "cynics" and now, over at Confirm Them, offense has been taken.

As for offensive language and/or namecalling, I fear that some of those on both sides have been guilty of intemperance, due doubtless to the strong emotions that the topic engenders. But let me be clear: I don't think that any of us thrashing out the nomination -- whether pro- or anti-Miers are "cynics". Quite the opposite, in fact. However we disagree on the particulars of the Miers nomination, all of us are united in a very passionate and sincere desire to see conservative principles ascendant and flourishing in America.

For my part, I'm hopeful that we can continue to debate -- and, if we must, disagree -- without attacking each others' motives. I don't believe that those who oppose Miers are doing it for unworthy reasons -- out of sexism or even elitism (although I do believe that some of the arguments that have been posed about Harriet Miers have come across as elitist).

Likewise, I hope that Miers critics will extend the same courtesy to those on the other side, and presume (until the presumption is rebutted) that our arguments are prompted not by any unworthy motivations, but by the same genuine concern they feel for the future of the Court and the country -- even if that concern leads us to different conclusions about the best course to pursue in these particular circumstances.

Assertions that merely attack opponents' integrity, rather than their arguments, are unworthy of conservatives -- and do nothing but signal inferior intellect or temperament on the part of those making them. Let's leave both the ad hominem attacks and offense-taking to the liberals. Most importantly, it's the right thing to do -- and, speaking practically, it would be a real waste to cripple the conservative movement that America needs over a single Supreme Court nomination, however it ultimately turns out.

Eventually, when the nomination has been settled one way or another, it will come time for "reconstruction" -- where all of us will have to work together to pick up the pieces, whatever they are. Our actions now will determine just how ugly or easy that task will be.

5 Comments:

Blogger Cabe said...

Civility is a Virtue...

A Virtue I don't have!

6:50 PM  
Blogger stackja1945 said...

I note much about Harriet Miers was and is deeply unfair, I do not understand why so much negativity, this had led to more heat then is required, just cool the overheated. Give Harriet the opportunity, the previous nominee was right, now wait for the hearings to begin. In the meantime just stop the war talk.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous DaveB said...

I'm outraged at the outrage. There has been very little name calling in the HM debate. There has been some biting sarcasm but for the most part, I find the debate to be quite civil on both sides.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Draino said...

How can you people be suprised. All conservatives know how to do is attack. I find it absolutely delightful to sit back and watch the implosion of a foundering party in its final throes. A party based recently on deception and rancor with no agenda and no civility. You have turned your effective strategy of character assasination on yourselves and now you are tearing eachother apart just like you've done to all your other "opponents" (even those who have attempted to work with you). You are a party of mean, selfish, myopic, elitists who are finally showing your true colors. YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMIES.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Wow, Draino. Talk about character assasination. All Republicans are mean, selfish, myopic elitists? So I support a family of three on a secretary's income, I do not have a college degree, I give about 15% of my income away every year to charity and I have many friends but somehow because I am a conservative I am mean, selfish and an elitist? I find that mean-spiritedness and rancor runs deep on both sides and I would hope that more people would realize that and choose to stay out of the muck and talk about the issues. You are weakening your own argument by cruelly lumping all individuals of a certain political stripe together into one mass of inhumanity. It is prejudice and ignorance and blind hatred just as much as one might have for any other group. Reality check time for you, sir.

10:54 AM  

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