The Republican base across the country looks more favorably on President Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court than the cluster of conservative critics who are opposing her inside the Beltway, according to a Washington Times survey of state party chairmen.Quite frankly, I don't know that the state chairmen have a good grip of what the rank and file are thinking, nor do I know if they as a group feel comfortable confronting the higher GOP leadership regarding any reservations that they may have. Generally speaking, the "rank and file" (i.e., the majority of Republican voters) don't do a lot in terms of the "heavy lifting" that is common of core party activists, and don't have the same propensity as state party chairs and the like to be "Bush cheerleaders." Personally, I haven't spoken to any Republicans in my circle of acquaintances (quite outside the beltway, thank you) who are totally gung-ho regarding the Miers nomination. Actually, their reactions, like my own, have been quite the contrary.
Most Republican chairmen interviewed expressed confidence in Mr. Bush's choice and said they were picking up little, if any, criticism from their rank and file, though some said they wanted to know more about Miss Miers and expected to learn more once the Senate confirmation process gets under way.
Rather than take the GOP party chairs' word for it, I would call for an actual survey of the "likely-to-vote" rank and file members of the Republican party before I would give those assertions any cred. That may, unfortunately for the higher Republican leadership, entail asking the hard questions--the answers to which they may not want to hear.
Perhaps my friend Jeff says it best:
I agree, although I suspect that the chances of that happening are a longshot, at best.
Yes. If President Bush had nominated someone clearly intended to grab the Court by the throat and drag it back to its Constitutional roots, conservatives would have walked through fire for Bush. We would've carried him on our shoulders through the streets.
Instead, we're wondering why we are being attacked by our own for standing up for the principles we thought we all shared.
It pains me to say so, but I hope the Senate rejects the nomination. President Bush needs to understand he represents us. We are not simply supposed to "trust him". We sent him to the White House to be our champion. Instead, he's speared us in the back. The Senate still has a chance to call a do-over.