October 27, 2005

The shamelessness watch begins today

Now that the right wing has successfully brought down a Supreme Court nominee (who, in all fairness, deserved it) with their incessent complaints not just about her fitness but about her philosophy, watch for Bush to next pick a wild-eyed conservative, and for those same wingers in the peanut gallery to instantly snap back to their previous position: that the Constitution gives the president the right to have anyone he wants on the court, and that the Senate's only role is to consider fitness, not philosophy.

These people do tend to have short-term memory loss often associated with brain damage.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


That's hardly a fair characterization. Many of those who complained on philosophical grounds complained (inter alia) that the president should withdraw the nomination because he had misjudged the philosophy of the nominee, and there's nothing hypocritical about saying both "This is a bad nomination on both merit and philosophy that should be withdrawn" and "The Senate should defer to a reasonably qualified nominee." (I don't subscribe to the latter position myself.)

No doubt there are unprincipled hacks out there on both sides who will take contradictory positions as convenient (a comparison of the positions of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Comittee on Ginsberg and Roberts is edifying), but it is possible to oppose Miers on principled grounds and support McConnell (approved to the Tenth Circuit by a voice vote) on the same principled grounds.

I'm also not aware of anyone taking the position "I think Miers is well-qualified, but I think the Senate should vote against her because of her ideology," so it's not even clear to me that you could find even hack-level hypocrisy with the president's next nomination.

I admit I was feeling uncharitable when I wrote this, but c'mon, do you think any of those people who complained about Miers' qualifications "as well as" her ideology would have done so if her ideology hadn't been in doubt? Remember, Clarence Thomas is their judicial ideal.

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