Ken Mehlman wants my help in getting Harriet Miers confirmed. Here's what he got from me in response. I suggest he get simillar replies from others in the conservative movement.
Ken, I have supported the president through thick and thin. Through his flip-flop on campaign finance reform, to the horrid "No Child Left Behind," to the wrong-headed steel tarriffs, to the awful prescription drug benefit. I defended him following Katrina. I have been a Bush supporter from the beginning. I have been a true believer.
He officially lost my support today. I believed the president when he said that he was going to appoint justices in the mold of Scaila and Thomas. There were more well-qualified conservative constitutionalists, including minorties and women, to appoint than you could shake a stick at. And what is his choice? A lady I have never heard of with no track-record whatsoever, no established conservative credientials (indeed, much in her past to indicate otherwise), a pedestrian academic bacground (SMU law degree, district court clerkship), no constituional law experience, and to top all of that she is 60 years old. I thought Bush was above all this diversity nonsense. I thought he was ready to stand by his base and defend constitutionalist judges. I thought he was ready to fight for what he and I believe in. Michael McConnell, Edith Jones, J. Michael Luttig, J. Harvie Wilkinson, etc...there are dozens more who would have been fabulous nominees. They would have inspired the base and prepared us to fight for a stronger Republican presence in the federal government come '06. It would have cemented the president's legacy and done much to gloss the bitter disappointment of his father's blunder with Souter.
What did we get? Betrayal. I still can't believe it, Ken. Not only won't you be getting me to lift a finger in support of this pick (you know, the one with a strong whif of cronyism), I am going to have to re-evaluate entirely my support for Bush as the conservative standard bearer and for the Republican party as the repository of conservatism. I am no doey-eyed idealist. I understand the political realities that real policy-making involves. None of that justifies this pick. The president has 55 Republicans in the Senate. That's a five and a five behind it. A president unwilling to advance a jurist on record as a conservative has either lost his nerve...or never had one to begin with. A president unwilling or unable to appoint a publicly-confirmed judicial conservative with that strong of a Republican presence in the Senate is undeserving of our movement's support. I am thoroughly disappointed, demoralized, and depressed (just like Bill Kristol and the rest of the Right-wing). What's more, I'm shocked. The president had me convinced that he was a bold man who would make bold nominations. I was sure that was exactly what he would do. I was wrong. Fool me once, shame on you. I won't be fooled twice.