06 October 2005

Loyalty Due From The President


Loyalty compelled Peggy Noonan to take a leave from her writing job about a year ago to help with the Presidents re-election campaign. After his victory, she went back to writing for the WSJ. She was not an unusual case amongst the loyal right in this country. All of us on the political right in this country took one look at at JOhnKErry and after the initial sniggering and chuckles subsided, concluded this was a must win for the good of the country. Peggy Noonan was no different from SpinDaddy, or Voice or any other person who looked seriously at the state of the union and the world and rightly concluded that the junior senator from Massachussets; while a fine fellow, was absolutely not the man for the job.

Aside from the terribly vexing challenges presented by the world with the war on terror, increasing economic challenges that were the main concerns that elevated President Bush above his competitor in the contest; the most compelling issue that brought intellectual conservatives, evangelical christians, and republicans together was the likely opportunity to finally reign in the problem of an increasingly noxious Supreme Court. A problem exacerbated by the likes of Justice Souter appointed by Bush the elder, who has "grown" in office, meaning he has become a reliable ally of the left.

Sensing this, and given Chief Justice Rehnquist's cancer diagnosis the right turned out, and turned out hard. Knowing what the base expected, we were told again, and again to expect the President would nominate justices in the mold of a Scalia and Thomas to the court, rather than in the mold of Ginsburg as we could expect from JOhnKErry. No offense meant to Chief Justice Roberts and nominee Miers but I haven't seen anything from either of them that indicates a Scalia or Thomas.


Now the opportunity to make a significant shift in the balance on the court is at hand and we are left to hope that we don't get "soutered". Again. It still remains to be seen how Chief Justice Roberts will conduct the court, so far so good. This is after years, no; decades of toil and sweat by loyal troops of activists on the right. From Goldwater supporters in the 1960's to the silent majority of the Nixon era. To Reagan supporters to Newt Gingrich in 1994. To people like me in 2000, and 2004. To people like Peggy Noonan last year. All striving feverishly to hold back the tide of socialism spilling over the land from the unfortunate FDR administration and quietly tolerated by leftist courts. Now the President has done the equivalent of Lucy; snatching the football away from Charlie Brown right before he kicks it. It is smelling an awful lot like the right is about to be "bushed". Again.

The President is said to cherish loyalty above all among his staff; indeed, Ms. Miers loyalty is one of the key points in the White House spin to mollify the Presidents base. Well, Mr. President, with all due respect sir; is it too much for us to expect at least some degree of reciprocity from you regarding the wishes of your base who put you there?


Peggy Noonan has an excellent WSJ op-ed that explains why so many on the right are profoundly disappointed with the Presidents choice.

" ... The president would have been politically better served by what Pat Buchanan called a bench-clearing brawl. A fractious and sparring base would have come together arm in arm to fight for something all believe in: the beginning of the end of command-and-control liberalism on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Democrats, forced to confront a serious and principled conservative of known stature, would have damaged themselves in the fight. If in the end President Bush lost, he'd lose while advancing a cause that is right and doing serious damage to the other side. Then he could come back to win with the next nominee. And if he won he'd have won, rousing his base and reminding them why they're Republicans...He didn't do that. Why didn't he? Old standard answer: In time of war he didn't want to pick a fight with Congress that he didn't have to pick. Obvious reply: So in time of war he picks a fight with his base? Also: The Supreme Court isn't the kind of fight you "don't have to pick." History picks it for you. You fight ..."

Absolutely right. You fight. Not only because a known quantity would be better to have on the court, (and there are plenty the President could have chosen) but such a fight would have served to unite the base and bring his numbers back up. The President can ill afford to squander the political capital bestowed on him by a loyal base, and to risk doing so is the acme of foolishness. He cannot expect to gain one iota of support from the left in this country, and God only knows what serious challenges lie ahead in the war on terror.


The President cannot afford to squander the support of his base, because it could have extremely dire consequences for the good of the republic if he is faced with something far more difficult in the war on terror and is forced to do so from a position of weakness becasue his base has rejected him. Noonan has it right; it looks as if he would rather pick a fight with his base than to continue to take the fight to the left. Has Karl Rove not figured out that we (the President and those of us who love and support him on the right) have to fight not only maniacal terrorists hellbent on our destruction, but the left in this country who shares their goal but not their urgency?

I have maintained recently that the reason the Presidents poll numbers are down is because his base feels betrayed, and is walking away in disgust. This most recent misstep certainly will not help. They feel betrayed because of his failure to exercise the veto in defense of their childrens pocketbook, and their free speech rights; with borrow and spend big government, and his passage of the atrocity known as McCain-Feingold to name but two. In a different time, our founders would probably have seen cause for impeachment proceedings against a president who failed so miserably in protecting the constitution he has sworn to uphold which, by definition, includes the first amendment. The spin from Washington based GOP insiders when the President signed this nonsense was "don't worry, it'll never get past the Supreme Court". Right.

It may yet be the case that the President will have another opportunity or two to name justices to this all too important position. He must demonstrate loyalty to those what brung him to the dance as the saying goes.

Mr President Sir; I sincerely hope that your pick of Ms Miers is the right choice, but again, with all due respect sir, your base is owed some considerable degree of your loyalty here. I think we have earned it.