Who picked Miers; and revelations about a new identity politics

In a radio interview with Hugh Hewitt (pro-Miers), David Frum (anti-Miers) gives his thoughts on who made the Miers decision:

DF: And because the vice president … look, the vice president has been under surgery. Karl Rove has been distracted by this stupid and unfair inquiry, but he’s been distracted, and he’s also had medical troubles. So who was making this decision? It wasn’t Karl, and it wasn’t the vice president. It was Andy Card and the first lady, and the president, and Condoleezza Rice.

If Frum’s educated guess is correct, the pick was certainly the reflection of the IQ and the politics of those making it. This is a liberal White House, with the president under the influence of two mediocre (or in the case of his wife, sub-mediocre) liberal women, plus his chief of staff who is not exactly a brain either.

Now get this insight into how Scalia got 90 votes in the senate in 1986, which I’ve always wondered about. It was identity politics—for Italian-Americans. Frum’s comment that the Miers nomination is also about identity politics—for evangelicals—is devastating. This is what we’ve come to.

DF: Well, I think Dobson has done Harriet Miers tremendous harm.

HH: But that’s not the question. Why are they out there endorsing her?

DF: They think … I think they are making exactly the same mistake that Mario Cuomo made when he endorsed Antonin Scalia. As you’ll remember, that in 1986, Ronald Reagan nominated Antonin Scalia, a very conservative Italian-American. And Mario Cuomo endorsed him because he thought being a fellow Italian-American was more important than being a fellow liberal or conservative. And as a result, Scalia passed with like 90 plus voted in the U.S. Senate, thanks to Mario Cuomo. Well if Cuomo had that to do all over again, he would say you know what? Identity matters less than conviction. And so I think there are people like Dobson who are saying there aren’t evangelical Christians represented in proportion on the Court. And I think they’re right to feel hey. You know, we’d like to see … it’s not like there are very few of us. We’re a big part of America, and we have a right to be represented, and they’re right about that. The president’s nominated one of us, so just like Mario Cuomo endorsing Antonin Scalia, they are putting too little impact on what’s in somebody’s head, and too much weight on what is on somebody’s biography.

Finally, here are a couple of powerful anti-Miers letters at NRO from long-time Bush supporters, here and here.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 11, 2005 11:20 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):