Oct 27 2005

Miers Was A Mudblood

Published by at 3:59 pm under All General Discussions,Miers Nomination


I have been getting comments that illustrate that I may have left the wrong impression. I am not talking about people who had doubts about Miers, but would allow her an opportunity to be heard and make her case. And there may be some gray areas between that group and those I am most concerned about. I can give a specific example of what I mean: George Will determining Bush did not have the intellect to make the proper selection. That is the kind of violation of the 11th commandment I am talking about.

I also find the examples of her ‘liberalness’ offered up to be unpersuasive, and in many cases they could be interpreted many different ways. Who is not for self determination vs being told how to act? All the while those who argued these supposed clear examples ignored her survey answers on abortion. Something absolutely clear.

If people feel I have insulted them, my apologies. But at the same time, the anger and vehomence launched at Miers before she could make her case (which by tradition she will not do publically until the hearings) was telling to those of us who find some minor faults with some of the conservative positions. Calling into question Bush and his motives and his intellect was an insult to those of us who stood by him. We were not blind or incapable of understanding the fears of those who opposed Miers. He is not stupid and we are not stupid to support someone stupid. Goerge Will needs to focus on baseball from here on, where he can do no harm.

People feared the unknown. It was how that fear was handled which was disturbing. Am I upset? No. Do I see serious problems for the GOP out of this? You betcha. Sorry folks, I just am going to find it real hard to support people who insulted Bush because they feared what Miers might be. I don’t think people can blame me for being taken aback by the most outrageous comments and actions we saw over Miers. And I am a hard core conservative. If you have folks like me, The Anchoress and others struck by these acts then maybe there is something to it? What worries me are the moderates who are not solid conservatives who need to be persuaded their voice and views are welcomed. It is harder to make the case now.

I liked this quote from Senator Warner – VA

“In effect, she was denied due process by members of her own party,” said Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican.


The anti-Miers crowd won a pyrrhic victory today. The extreme right’s confidence and tolerance was tested, and found wanting. Instead of debating the merits of Miers, and allowing her to get to the confirmation hearings – too many in that crowd demeaned Miers and those, like me, who wanted to know who she was before rising in opposition. Their confidence was a charade as they panicked and lashed out in a way I thought republicans had outgrown and only liberals still did.

It is clear now that us impure conservatives cannot be allowed to participate in any meaningful or leading roles. We are not pure bloods with clear lineage to the far right cause. If Ronald Reagan had been nominated he too would have been pilloried for tolerating people who were not for making abortions illegal, or tolerating gays openly, or hoping for diversity in the workplace. Harriet Miers was in many ways a version of Ronald Reagan. She is a convert to what was supposed to be a broader cause.

Now we have Danforth and Scowcroft and other moderate (way too moderate for my blood) conservatives attacking the religious right for being intolerant to non-believers. The civil war did not end with Miers withdrawal. Unfortunately it just went into a cold war position. I am mudblood conservative. I was raised a democrat since my grandfather was a democrat Congressman back when being a democrat was obviously an honorable position. But I am not pure enough for the anti-Miers crowd. When I warned the anti-Miers crowd they were acting like zealots and fanatics (definitions that aptly apply) I was called a moron and an idiot (trust me when I say those words do not apply).

When the anti-Miers crowd dove down near the gutter with elitist comments which had no basis in fact – but were simply meant for character assassination – the Republican party left me where I prefer to be. In the independent camp waiting for adults to bring civility and honor back to politics. Miers deserved the respect to be heard – not to be ridiculed. I deserved the opportunity to learn where she stood before making up my mind – and not being left with a withdrawal and no clear indication what kind of judge she would have been. We all deserved less Carville/Begala imitations from the punditry – armchair experts in everything on the planet it seems.

And the great John Roberts just made a terrible decision to allow a challenge to the Blackberry company for patent rights to halt Blackberry service and all those who rely on it. Harriet Miers, I would guess given her real world backgound, might have argued that the patent debate could go on and be decided without punishing all the users of the technology. This is why theorist judges like Roberts pass things like Kelo.

The message from the Miers fiasco is clear. Only purebloods can be offered for positions of responsibility. If you are not a pureblood, then there is no depth the purebloods will go to knock you down as a mudblood.

I am against abortion – but do not think making them illegal is the answer or will stop the majority of abortions. I am for controlling our borders – but not for ripping people out of their homes and away from their jobs and dumping them over the border jobless and homeless because their paperwork is not in order.

I am for diversity and against quotas and set asides, and against racism. I am for civil unions for same sex couples, but against marriage for them, while I support their right to do what they want in private, as long as they keep in private and away from my kids.

I am a mudblood conservative. And if I am not careful, I now know the purebloods will stop at nothing to take me down if I were to put their ideology at risk. It happened already at Redstate – where I was called a moron and idiot before being banned for not following their rules on name calling!

And that is what is left of the conservative movement. We now have two factions who will never trust each other, and where name calling skirmishes will break out more and more often. It has already started. The genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back in now.

Make sure to check out this post at Decision ’08 which covers a lot of the reactions from those of us who are not gloating right now. I especially like DJ Drummond’s response. The Anchoress has a good post out too. Our side left a bad taste in my mouth I will not soon get over.

31 responses so far

31 Responses to “Miers Was A Mudblood”

  1. AJ, I supported Miers nomination. I thought she would bring practical lawyering experience to the court and a perspective on tort reform that seems to be lacking in the current court. I thought Will and Krauthammer were way out of line in their attacks. The NRO crowd were just as bad. She should have had a hearing so people could make their own judgements on her. Not that it’s their choice. It used to be that the hearings were a formality unless the candidate had real problems, like Abe Fortas. Not any more. The choice has to placate the base of the party, get past the gang of 14, avoid a filibuster, and be prepared to have their life shredded in public.

    Oh well, I’m just hoping Bush nominates Ken Starr. He’s extremely well qualified and would make a great justice.

  2. Lesley says:

    The Noonan piece? Narcissistic baby-boomer marginal hysteria with more than a tad of that insider/elitist/aren’t I ever so thoughtful-nuance. Get a grip, Lollypop Girl, I suspect the rest of us “ordinary” non-beltway, non-elite Americans will rise to the challenge, whatever that challenge might be, because we always have and we always shall.

    Dang, when you grow up in ranch country, there’s only so much of that pap you can endure.

  3. […] AJ Strata says about all I have to say about Harriett Miers, and it’s not so much about her as about her detractors: The message from the Miers fiasco is clear. Only purebloods can be offered for positions of responsibility. If you are not a pureblood, then there is no depth the purebloods will go to knock you down as a mudblood. […]

  4. AJStrata says:


    There is no way I am including you in this. You are no George Will!

  5. Black Redneck says:

    I’m a 9/11 Republican and just recently changed my voter registration from Independent to Republican. As a Black person in L.A., I’ve taken heat for it but 9/11 showed me that everything I hated about politics turned out to be liberal / Democratic policies.

    You’ve expressed what I’ve been feeling ever since Miers was nominated. I was surprised at the venom and ridicule directed at her from the start. Miers was savaged for not passing a conservative litmus test. I thought Republicans were against litmus tests?

    From day 1, Laura Ingraham ranted against Miers and how the true conservatives had been working for 30 years blah, blah, Buckley, blah, blah, blah, Reagan. Well, that’s not me. I turned off her show and I don’t see any reason to turn it back on. It was a moment of great clarity. Ingraham, NRO, Will, etc. had their Jacques Chirac moment and told the rest of us to sit down and shut up. I became a Bush Republican. Like Miers, I’m not one of them (thank God!).

    Pres. Bush has nominated some amazing conservatives to the bench and Miers should have been given a chance to be heard. NRO, et al, trashed Bush and Miers for 3 weeks and now claim that it’s over and we should all just move along. There is the obligatory “Miers is nice woman, I’m sure she’s a good lawyer but she should have known she was unfit for the court” talking points. How patronizing!

    Even more amazing, after trashing Bush for not being sophisticated enough to make good SCOTUS choices, they then put forth their list of appropriate nominees. After humiliating Bush and his friend, I don’t see the President being pushed into selecting one of their nominees. I don’t see it happening. It’s possible that the NRO crowd has ensured that Luttig, McConnell, etc. will never be nominated.

    I now understand that when the pundits argue that conservatives should be on the court they actually mean ivy-league conservatives who are one of them. I’m one of Bush’s people and I’m looking forward to his next nomination. It’s certain to be a doozie!

  6. My favorite reactions to Miers

  7. AJStrata says:

    Black Redneck,

    Great comment. NRO has one problem – we won’t sit down and shut up. We also will not forget. I too have turned off the AM talk shows. They are all way too giddy about what they did. BTW, we turned off Rush when he went on a rant about children. The guy is a cold fish about children. One has to wonder why we listen to him – a person who dislikes the thought of parenting – and ignore President Bush (who has twins like us).

  8. AJ: I’m coming late to this party, but this is a great post. The comment that is sticking with me is Frum’s response on the NRO’s Bench Memos yesterday–he says “The system worked” and then thanks the people that supported him. It’s a victory speech–and for what victory? What system? Is there some secret system in place about which I know nothing, because constitutional process was not followed here? Who voted for Frum?

    The Noonan piece was pretty bad. Here’s a thought: she took several months off last year to work for the Bush campaign and made a big deal about how she was spending her savings to further this cause. How successful was this venture? For the first innaugural she was overlooked as speech writer for Kristol and Krauthammer, and as far as I can tell has not gotten any additional attention from the White House. She’s been persistently gloomy ever since.

    And she should watch it. The last person who went on about the malaise in American didn’t do so well.

  9. Nope not George Will but definitely along the lines of Reagan, Goldwater and Bush. All people who have, contrary to the prevailing wisdom, sought the expertise of intellectuals. Yes President Bush has made some terrific appointments to posts throughout the Government but he has also made some awful ones. And he made the awful ones for bad reasons. Can anyone say Norman Mineta? How about Michael Brown? Snowcroft? The list is long.

    To say that you are being left out of the Republican party because those bits of the party who have worked since Goldwater to make it strong won the argument about Miers is an exaggeration. Many of you changed to the Republicans after 9/11 because you believed that we represented a stronger vision of what to do in regards to Terrorists. That vision did not come out of a vacuum. It came about because many of those people you now vilify as being the epitome of evil fought back the Rockefeller wing of the Republican party. You lost an argument with your brother. You didn’t lose a war with the terrorists.

    Bush is not an anti-intellectual, and you do him a disservice when you lump him into that category. He has put some of the most brilliant Conservative intellectuals into positions of great power. I submit that he is a stealth intellectual who loves for his opponents to misunderestimate him.

    I do agree with you about the NRO, they are past useful. Have been for quite sometime. It was most recently seen by the shameful performance of Podhoretz in regards to Able Danger. But on the otherhand Andrew McCarthy is a gem in the war on terror. As is Jed Babbin, Frank Gaffney and some very few others. Jonah Goldberg can be a lethally sharp wit when its required to cut down some leftist to size. But by and large they are very much full of themselves.


  10. […] This is the Kennedy-Souter mistake where you let people like Bill Kristol dupe the party into believing they, and only they, know what a ‘true conservative’ is. I was not happy with the way elitists and talking heads pilloried Miers and her supporters without having a chance to hear her statements. I was on the fence – but I have no idea what Miers represented […]

  11. […] began with Harriet Meirs nomination and the civil war that broke out in the conservative coalition. Here is what I wrote would happen to the conservative movement in 2005: The anti-Miers crowd won a pyrrhic victory […]