Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Conservatives Bitch-slapped by Bush Once Again 

During the course of the first Supreme Court justice search, when U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez’ name was being floated, conservatives were quick to voice their opposition to the closet liberal’s nomination for the post.  Bush’s response to the loyal GOP party base that was responsible for his election and reelection to the highest office in the land? “When someone attacks my friends, it makes me mad,” or something to that effect.

I remember the morning I heard the quote listening to NPR on the way to work.  “I guess he does not consider the “conservative right wing” to be his friends,” was all I could surmise.  It was that morning that my high opinion of and support for George W. Bush evaporated.  From that day on I realized George Bush is not a friend to conservatives, and certainly no friend of mine.

And then—surprise, surprise—W. nominated a man who appears to be a judicial conservative.  In my naiveté, I imagined that the President had become aware of the deep resentment his “friends-of-mine” comments had evoked throughout the Christian Right, and the base of the Republican Party, and had offered John Roberts as a peace offering.

And then, given the opportunity of a political life-time to name a second justice to the Supreme Court, the President nominates a complete nonentity on the basis of his friendship and trust, asking us to trust him that she will turn out not to be another Sandra Day O’Conner or David Souter—both of whom we were told, “trust us” wink-wink, were Constitutional constructionists who would toe the conservative line.  Of course, Souter turned out to be a flaming liberal, and O’Conner time after time swung left, siding with the liberal justices in important rulings.

Then today we heard it again—the President declaring that Harriet E. Miers was a close friend of his, and implied he considered any opposition to her nomination to a life seat on the highest court in the land as a personal attack against him.  

Like an abused wife who learns to suffer in silence, the Republicans in congress have remained mute, with the notable exception of Senator Sam Brownback, who bluntly stated that he would not feel compelled to vote in favor of her nomination.  But some of the rest of us have been slapped down for the last time.  We get the message and we know where we’re not welcome.  And we know who our friends are.  

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