Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Dangerous Moderation"

Thomas Sowell has long been at the top of my list of commentators, because he has the rare gift of being able to combine simplicity and erudition in his writings. In the wake of the fallout from the Miers debacle, I knew that Sowell would have something to say about it. He did not disappoint:

The choice of Harriet Miers to be nominated to the Supreme Court, and her subsequent withdrawal, shows that caution is sometimes the most dangerous policy.

She was obviously chosen cautiously as a "stealth" nominee -- someone without a paper trail or a judicial record that could ignite controversy -- in hopes of avoiding a confirmation fight that the Senate Republicans had the votes to win, but had neither the unity nor the guts required to make victory certain.

Harriet Miers was a choice made from political weakness. Now she is gone but the political weakness remains. So celebrations in conservative quarters may be premature.

Indeed. The fear here is that, especially after the Libby indictment, the Bush Administration will still follow it's penchant of avoiding a fight at all costs. And the Senate Republicans are not likely to grow a spine and ask for a real conservative that would set off their Democratic colleagues.

If the Republican majority in the Senate cannot bring themselves to act like a majority, they may no longer be a majority if their base of support stops supporting them at the ballot box.

Republican Senators ignore their base at their own peril. And the base has spoken. Have the good Senators gotten the message?

UPDATE: Amy White:

The Republican President wearies, the Republican Congress spends freely but the Republican rank holds firm, and demands the Supreme Court be restrained.

For this reason, a conservative judicial nominee will win the open seat, one way or the other. Conservatives have demanded George W. Bush reverse himself and by so doing, have declared their independence. They have also put Republican Senators on notice that if they fail to fight for a conservative on the bench, conservatives will fail to fight for them at the ballot box. In case there was any doubt, the Republican Party now understands they do not own conservatives – conservatives own them.

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