Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Clucking in Wingnuttia

I keep thinking of chickens getting all hot and angry, though probably nobody else has the same metaphors. The wingnuts don't like Harriet Miers because she is not wingnutty enough for them:

Bush's choice of Miers has drawn criticism from some conservative activists. Manuel Miranda, executive director of the Third Branch Conference, a Washington-based conservative advocacy group, yesterday called Miers's nomination a ``significant failure.'' Tony Perkins, president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, urged ``American families to wait and see if the confidence we have always placed in the president's commitment is justified by his selection.''

They want someone like Priscilla Owens. But no worries, George Bush has reassured all his radical cleric friends about Ms. Miers ideological purity and rigidity:

I'm interested in people who will be strict constructionists. . . . There should be no doubt in anyone's mind what I believe," Bush said. "Harriet Miers shares that philosophy."

"I know her well enough to be able to say she's not going to change. . . . Twenty years from now. . . . her philosophy won't change."

That, he said, "is important to me."

"I don't want to put someone on the bench who's this way today and changes. . . . I'm interested in someone who shares my philosophy today and will share it 20 years from now."

He was asked if he was referring to Justice David Souter, appointed by his father, George H.W. Bush, as a conservative but whose votes on the court have often disappointed conservatives.

"You're trying to get me in trouble with my father," he responded.

Asked if he and Miers had discussed Roe v. Wade , the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, he said he had no "litmus test." Asked again, he said he could not recall "sitting down with her" and discussing abortion.

Do you want to know what I think? Most likely not but I will tell you anyway. I do believe that Miers would be another Souter, because Bush is not really a pro-life born-again president, he is a corporate oil president and he doesn't want to be written up in the history books as the president who ushered in the second Dark Ages.

But all of this I think only in the same sense as trying to figure out the next installment in some television series, with no evidence to back it up at all. It's quite possible that Miers really is born-again and firmly pro-life these days, though it would not work to the advantage of the Republican party. For once Roe vs. Wade is overturned the party will have lost its most important populist bait and might be heading for obscurity.