Friday, October 14, 2005

When Tony Perkins Objects . . .

You know Bush has gone too far. Tony Perkins, the ultra conservative head of the Family Research Council, has taken issue with Bush’s words of reassurance on Harriet Miers.
"People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers," Bush said Wednesday. "They want to know Harriet Miers' background ... And part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion."
Of course this sounds like BS to liberals, but even Perkins found it hard to swallow.
"We are the last people on Earth to object to the news that she is a committed Christian," Perkins said in a statement. "By the same token, this fact is not grounds for certifying her to us or to the public. ... Inferences drawn from an individual's religious affiliation have no place in decisions to nominate or confirm a judicial appointee."
Unless Bush values his loyalty to Miers more than his standing with fellow Republicans, he should withdraw her nomination. I say this in terms of political strategy. Personally I would be happy to see Miers crash and burn in front of the Senate. I keep hearing that Republicans will close ranks around Miers, but I don’t see that happening so far.

The whole debacle poses an interesting question for Democrats, whose main complaints about Miers have been aimed at her lack of qualification. Do Democrats (and lefties in general) prefer a more qualified, but more conservative candidate? Because if Bush bags Miers, that may well be what we get. On the principle of their objection to Miers (that she’s an idiot) it seems like Democrats would have to take a smarter, more experienced, more conservative pick. But never mind, what do principles have to do with politics anyway?

--Matthew McCoy