Oct 09 2005

Count Me A DogFaced Loyalist

Ed Morrissey has a great article out today in the Washington Post’s Outlook section. He sees the Miers nomination the way I do in many respects.

The president’s surprise pick to replace Sandra Day O’Connor has ignited a massive debate among his former loyalists, especially in the blogosphere, where I spend a fair amount of time. Wails of betrayal are clashing with assurances of the president’s brilliant strategic thinking. Meanwhile, the heavyweights of punditry drop columns like artillery shells into what already may be a conservative civil war.

However, I think the anti-Mier crowd – the rebel alliance as Ed calls it – are actually the ones taking the most hits. Ed and many like to pin this on Bush, as if there was no way for ideologue conservatives to control their suicidal impulses. Gimme a break.

It is a good read, but to me a sad read. For the damage is done. The less fanatical base (which is the majority) is finally starting to tell the ideologues they are reaching the point where most will not follow anymore. Throwing the entire conservative agenda away because Miers – steeped in issues concerning the war on terror and homeland defense – is not a Luttig is just plain dumb. And the base will not follow these zealots off the cliff.

For anyone interested who has not read my thoughts on this debacle before here is my latest post, which is similar to Morrissey’s and which I wrote yesterday as I realized the party was not going to heal since the ideologues had decided it was beat Bush or Armageddon.

And this post illustrates what the ideologues probably lost all of us – a new tone in the partisan wars. This post also reflects on where the policy boundaries may be between the base and the zealots.

Morrissey acknowledges the fact there is a point where the major elements of the party separate, and he touches on it this way:

Will the Rebel Alliance abandon Bush if they can’t derail Miers’s nomination? Some are arguing to do just that, saying it’s necessary to purge the GOP of its moderates to ensure ideological purity. But that still appears to be a fringe position. The rebels are so far being careful to limit the fight to Miers and to avoid the longer-range targets they’ll have to face if they fail here.

But parties do not have to implode when they reach this point. The fanatics do not have to jettison middle America and end up on the margins of politics. The point is coming where the ideologues must deal with the great and diverse people of this country, or they can turn their back on us.

Us Dogfaces don’t care, because we fight the fringes constantly – left and right. We are called ‘moderates’ because we do not find any value in the zero sum game. We do not see any point in destroying all when we can move the ball a bit and prepare to fight another day. We are ‘moderates’ because our minds are still open to constructive ideas and the possibility there may be a new way to move off current stalemates. We do not see the benefit of instant gratification or Armageddon.

Ed is also discussing the topic at his blog here.

The Anchoress adds her voice to the discussion and she – like me – is not optimistic in what we see.


It is good to see Bush is being steadfast in his support. And I will be steadfast in remembering how the calls of fanatics have made their voices irrelevant in policy discussions from here on out.

Brushing aside calls from conservatives to withdraw the nomination of Harriet E. Miers to the Supreme Court, President Bush on Friday declared that he was confident the Senate would confirm Ms. Miers and that she would become a justice “who will not legislate from the bench and will strictly interpret the Constitution.”

“She is going to be on the bench,” Mr. Bush said, when asked if he would rule out a withdrawal. “She’ll be confirmed. And when she’s on the bench, people will see a fantastic woman who is honest, open, humble and capable of being a great Supreme Court judge.”

Those calling for her withdrawl should stop now. Those calling for her nomination to be beaten should just face the fact they have left the party.


Check Out Hugh Hewitt on this subject as well.

8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Count Me A DogFaced Loyalist”

  1. To continue your ‘move the ball’ analogy, this is a game of field position. We are not going to often score an 87 yard strike, more often it’s just a matter of moving the chains.

  2. AJStrata says:


    You are so right. I must confess I find the anti-Miers crowd, now actively opposing the nomination and calling for her defeat, to be a real problem the party needs to face. Once they vented I assumed they would deal with reality and give grudging support. But the open warfare against any and all who simply don’t want to lose the movement over this proves this is a serious problem. We don’t need these fanatics if, when they do not get their way, they throw the entire conservative agenda in the trash.

  3. LuckyBogey says:

    AJ. I have read your posts since the announcement of this nomination and respect your opinions. I was first taken back by your call to stop the complaining and your comments on leading conservatives. I remained silent however I feel you have soften your stance over the last few days. Listen to your heart. You might be moving to the Rebel Alliance sooner that you think!

    I’m closer to you politically than I first thought, however I for one believe that debate is good. It is good now for the party. If we don’t debate now, this will turn into a disaster.

    As I have posted on CQ, this nomination is a disgrace. There is no place for this cronyism in our party. If we don’t stand on principles what do we stand for anyway?

    This administration is in deep trouble and I wonder who in the WH is listening? What happened to surrounding yourself with the best and brightest? Who is running the WH now? I don’t think the VP was even briefed on this selection much less prepared Miers for her initial meetings with the Senate.

    I did not open my checkbook and bust my butt for this administration only to see big government, out of control spending, and cronyism. I just pray the stories about GB selecting his personal accountant for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve are not true.

    Sorry, but “trust us” is not enough for me anymore………


    Rebel Alliance

  4. AJStrata says:

    Rebel Alliance (Luckey),

    I have concluded the anti-mier crowd have decided to defeat her at all costs. A wasteful, shortsighted and unwarranted revolt.

    Sorry, I can never join such a group. I know it will cost me a lot of readers. But pretending Bush nominated someone like Hillary simply because the fanatics did not get their pick is not for me.

    I remain an independent because of this same zealotry that so infected the left now has the right in its grip.

    Miers is not the end of the world no matter how many people try and convince me otherwise.

    And sadly we will be shown right – but those in the anti-miers crowd will probably never be able to admit it. The damage is done.

  5. MargaretM. says:

    I have been dismayed about the Miers nomination since it was announced and further information (or lack of information) about her background and beliefs emerged. She’s pro-life, maybe not; she’s a conservative, maybe not.

    Being on Harry Reid’s shortlist is not a recommendation for me!

    Why are we who are wondering if we’ve let down again by the president bearing the burden of splitting the Republican party? “Trust me” is not enough for a president who has backed moderates instead of conservatives in Republican senatorial races only to have them betray him at every juncture — for his lack of spine on government pork, the Kennedy education bill, etc., etc.

    This was a once-in-decades opportunity to stop the slide of the court ever leftwards. We have two stealth candidates who may not do that. We are in the midst of judicial tyranny in this country and I fear that Pres. Bush let the opportunity pass to present such a stellar nominee that the Democrats would be afraid to attack him/her.

    If I am alive in ten years and Miers turns out to be an originialist, I will be singing, “Allelulia” and apologizing to those who support her. If the Loyalists are wrong, their sorrow won’t begin to make up for the damage that was done.

  6. AJStrata says:


    Sorry, but to lose the remaining years of the Bush term I need a lot more than unsupported fears. And I will not forget who tossed away the opportunities we have in front of us ten years from now if they were wrong. Wrong is wrong. Crying ‘fire’ when there is none is wrong. This is not being cautious, it is being ridiculous. Miers will be confirmed, so your actions now are simply to hurt Bush for no reason.