Carol Platt Liebau: With All Respect . . .

Monday, October 24, 2005

With All Respect . . .

I'd like to provide a different perspective to two of the comments about the Miers nomination placed on Confirm Them over the past 24 hours, with all respect to fellow bloggers Paul Zummo and Feddie, whose posts are invariably interesting and thought-provoking.

Here, Paul Zummo responds to one of my earlier posts. His answer contains the following sentence: "But [President Bush] is a mere mortal, and he is owed no more deference than any other human being."

Certainly, if Paul means that no human being is entitled to our blind and unquestioning loyalty, I couldn't agree more. But according to Article II, section 2 of the Constitution, the President alone is given the power to nominate Supreme Court justices (the Senate, of course, advises and consents). As the duly elected President, the head of our party and presumably entrusted to run the nation on our behalf, I do challenge the notion that his choice for the Supreme Court is entitled to no more deference than, say, mine, Barbara Boxer's, or even Judge Bork's, for that matter. Haven't Republicans, in fact, been objecting to the Democrats' filibustering of otherwise qualified nominees simply because they insist on ignoring the president's constitutional prerogative to nominate judges of his choosing -- in effect, trying to substitute their judgment for his? (If the nominees are objectively unqualified, that's a different story -- but so far, there is no hard evidence or sourced comments about Harriet Miers to that effect).

And although Paul provides a litany of issues upon which the conservative base is certainly justified in taking issue with the President, those issues do not include taxes, the effort to reform social security, the war on terror, or so far as any of us knows right now, judges. So at least until Harriet Miers has had a chance to rise or fall herself at the hearings, I would, indeed, argue that the President deserves some degree of deference from all of us -- even if the choice of Miers wouldn't have been ours.

In addition, Feddie's provocative statement here seemed to cry out for more discussion, as he writes:

If a Republican wants my support in the ‘06 or ‘08 elections, here’s what you can and must do: Pressure the president to withdraw Miss Miers’s nomination, or vote against her (should it come to that).

Otherwise, I’d just as soon wreck the ship.

The Constitution is more important than the Republican Party.


The latter sentence, of course, goes without saying. But what matters most -- and what's most threatened by a "ship wreck" -- isn't the Republican Party as an organization. What matters instead is the group of principles for which the Republican Party stands, even if imperfectly, much more than its main rival, namely: free enterprise, military strength, limited government and traditional values (not to mention respect for religious faith, pro-life convictions, and all the rest).

Though it may be temporarily satisfying to to want to "wreck the ship" if Republican senators don't oppose Miers, it's worth remembering that if the ship goes down, a lot more than even the Supreme Court will go with it (and be mindful that everyone here will dislike Hillary's Court nominees a lot more than they detest Harriet Miers). Perhaps the most significant casualty, in the case of widespread abandonment or wholesale dstruction of the Republican Party, would be a foreign policy dedicated to fighting and winning the war on Islamofascist terror.

Conservatives on both sides of the Miers issue believe in the sanctity of the Constitution and the importance of installing able justices of originalist bent on the Court, even if there may be legitimate differences of opinion on how we get there, and how to react to potential frustrations and setbacks.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Henriet Cousin said...

With all due respect ;-), you make enormous good sense!

R/

9:22 AM  

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