Thursday, October 6

A WHITE HOUSE AS INDIFFERENT TO ITS BASE, AS IT IS TO POROUS BORDERS

Peggy Noonan poses the provocative question of why the White House -- i.e., the president -- is not at all afraid of the right; and because she carries a certain imprimatur in center-right circles of the blogosphere she'll likely not take the lambasting for her astute points of view that many of us have in recent days for thinking and expressing the same sorts of things, albeit without the gift for written expression with which Ms. Noonan makes a living.

Her theories regarding President Bush's treatment of his conservative base in nominating Harriet Miers to the United States Supreme Court:

Here are some maybes. Maybe the president has simply concluded he has no more elections to face and no longer needs his own troops to wage the ground war and contribute money. Maybe with no more elections to face he's indulging a desire to show them who's boss. Maybe he has concluded he has a deep and unwavering strain of support within the party that, come what may, will stick with him no matter what. Maybe he isn't all that conservative a fellow, or at least all that conservative in the old, usual ways, and has been waiting for someone to notice. Maybe he has decided the era of hoping for small government is over. Maybe he is a big-government Republican who has a shrewder and more deeply informed sense of the right than his father did, but who ultimately sees the right not as a thing he is of but a thing he must appease, defy, please or manipulate. Maybe after five years he is fully revealing himself. Maybe he is unveiling a new path that he has not fully articulated--he'll call the shots from his gut and leave the commentary to the eggheads. Maybe he's totally blowing it with his base, and in so doing endangering the present meaning and future prospects of his party.

And maybe Peggy Noonan's cachet allows the following statement -- a statement that a number of center-right polibloggers have made only to be inundated with a tidal wave of condescending grousing about how wayward and disloyal and hysterical and elitist and infantile and DailyKos-like we are, and how we must be reverently optimistic about Harriet Miers and dutifully close ranks with the president:

I don't think it's important to show loyalty to the president by backing his decision. This choice will live beyond his presidency. It's important to get a justice who will add to the wisdom of the court, who will make it more likely that America will get a fair hearing before the bench.

Precisely, Peggy!

And your most straight-forward, telling observation, Peggy, explains why the reactions of this blogger and others like him range from disappointment to righteous indignation over the president's selection of Miers over what some, like Ann Coulter, have accurately termed players on the "farm team" -- that list of eminently qualified, conservative, strict-constructionists-in-the-making judges who represent to their eternal credit the antithesis of the kind of Associate Justice Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi want on the highest court in the land:

Harriet Meirs has reached the age of 60 and no one seems to know what she thinks.


SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal's "OpinionJournal"

HAT-TIP: "Polipundit"