The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Holding your virtue cheap

I know, I know. I've been in absentia for a couple of weeks. Sorry, but life has been dealing me lemons like it used to work blackjack tables in Atlantic City. Translation: I'm busier than hell, and I really don't have time to be writing this.

That said, I can't let this slide. Today was a rather momentous occasion in that this is the first time a solid conservative has been nominated to the Supreme Court since Clarence Thomas back in '91. One month ago, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers to replace Justice O'Connor and the Conservatives on the web (justifiably) went nuts. Since 2000, these stalwarts had been putting up with Bush's public spending and social engineering, and they were willing to hold their collective noses in the anticipation of Bush nominating a Conservative to sit on the SCOTUS. Here's a selection of the angst from one commentator:

I am done with President Bush: Harriet Miers? Are you freakin' kidding me?!

Thanks for nothing, Mr. President.

And what does the president do? He balks at taking on the penumbra lovers on the merits. Disgusting.

So this is how you pay back Federalist Society members for their support, President Bush? You nominate some ABA suckup who is openly hostile to the most important orginization in the legal conservative movement's history?!

Thanks for nothing.
This particular commenter referred to Hugh Hewitt as a "Bush lackey" and gleefully reprinted portions of a George Will column on Oct. 4, 2005 where Will stated:

In addition, the president has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution. The forfeiture occurred March 27, 2002, when, in a private act betokening an uneasy conscience, he signed the McCain-Feingold law expanding government regulation of the timing, quantity and content of political speech.
I dare say the reason Miers was forced to withdraw was due to the "uncompromising" stance taken by individuals such as the above commenter over the past month that she was not an acceptable candidate. For the first time, I actually saw Conservatives righteously angry at Bush for selling out the one thing these individuals had bartered their ideology for. And for the first time, the Conservatives acknowledged that Bush was a big-government ideologue, and that his feet would have to be held to the fire in order to get him to do the right thing. So the Right set about to do just that. And, wonder of wonders, it worked! They gave Bush so much pain that he was forced to dump Miers and support a real Conservative nominee. Huzzah!

So what do these Rightwing stalwarts do now? Do they begin marking new areas of Bush's soul to take over? Have they learned what they can do when they rally the Right?

Nope. The commentator who made those rock-hard statements above, now says

Mr. President, all is forgiven. Thank you for doing the right thing. It's good to be back on your side. Let's never ever fight again, o.k.? :).
I've said it a million times, no politician sees the light unless he feels the heat. Why is it that even sitting on the evidence isn't enough to have some people realize that being a lackey is all relative?

Hope it's nice and cozy in y'all's big tent.*

*This was written with nothing but love. The above commenter was not the only individual who jumped back on the Bush Bandwagon this morning after they had FORCED him to do the right thing.
Centinel 11:28 AM # | |
Centinel 6:38 AM # | |

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

If you were in a German Scheisse video, you... you'd tell me, wouldn't you?

I know I've been promising an enlightening post on why Liberal Republicans (or as they call themselves, "Moderates"), but I just haven't had the time to do the issue any real justice. I mean, it's my 95 Theses of Contention, except it is much more important, you know, socio-historically, and, of course, it will never be read by anyone. Not that anyone has read the last 30 or so Theses. Let's face it, they begin to bog down in the 40s. Although my personal fav is good ol' No. 50:
Christians should be taught that, if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence-preachers, he would rather the church of St. Peter were reduced to ashes than be built with the skin, flesh, and bones of the sheep.
I believe that we can all get behind a theological movement that condemns building churches out of domestic livestock.

That reminds me. Did anybody else ever confuse "Martin Luther" and "Martin Luther King, Jr." when they were very young? Do you still have a picture of MLK, Jr. nailing a parchment to the door of a church in your head? And why are the onlookers all members of Monty Python dressed in period costume? It's just me, isn't it?

Anywho. Like I was saying, I don't have time to write the really important, life-changing stuff, but I never seem to run out of time for producing schlock like this. Why is that?

Funny phone call overheard this weekend:

Voluptuous blond dressed in faux-biker garb sits down at the bar, clearly distraught. She calls her boyfriend (or whatever) on her cell phone and proceeds to tell him a story of how she was just walking down the street, and some guy standing with a gaggle of cops points to her and says, "She's the one who hit my car." She goes on to explain that the accusation was completely false, that she started crying, that the cops were, well, cops, etc. Clearly, the gentleman on the other end of the line is being less than understanding, because she says, "If you loved me, you wouldn't act this way." After things heated up a little bit more, she finally pulled out the money shot. In a very loud voice, she yells into the phone, "I don't need this! I can get bigger [emotional security] than you! A lot bigger [caring and nurturing]!" Thus providing a moment of humor leavened by the realization that the size of a man's [heart] really does matter.

Funny overhearing from last week: My wife was sitting in the airport, when two guys walked by and she heard one guy say, "And they did smell like stripper tits." I miss all the good conversations.
Centinel 8:36 AM # | |

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Reclaiming the High Ground: How I Got This Way

RINOs. Republicans in Name Only. I can't remember when I first heard that acronym. I remember I was in New Hampshire, but actually tracking down the year I was there would require me tracking backwards through the states, the campaigns, and the legislative sessions. Whenever. It was a brilliant idea. It finally allowed Conservatives to pin a tail on the Republican donkeys.

Who are RINOs? Well, generally they are politician who self identify as "Republican," but who are more than willing to ignore the party platform in the name of expediency. They are the ones who, faced with a choice to the right and one to the left will generally take the greater of two evils. They believe in regulation, as long as it's good regulation; who believe that Social Conservatives are, well, extreme; they are those who believe that they can actually legislate answers to problems because they are smart.

Like obscenity, you know them when you see them. For me it all came clear one day sitting in a committee room in one of the House office buildings. I wasn't even supposed to be there. I was a STATE legislative guy, but our congressional lobbyist had a tummy ache, so I had to haul my happy ass over to Ego Central to attend an oversight hearing dealing with the unions. I don't remember much about the hearing other than one exchange. Then-Congressman Snowbarger (R-KS) got into a sniping match with Rep. Bernie Sanders (CCCP-VT). Silly Sanders suggested that he was looking forward to introducing legislation repealing the law that allowed states to pass Right to Work laws.

Not many people pay close attention to Right to Work laws because, well, they're not sexy. They are, however, what I refer to as "bellwether" laws -- laws that separate the Conservatives from the tools of the union bosses. Simply put, Right to Work laws state that no worker can be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. What could be more Republican than that???

Anyway, Snowbarger shoots back that he hoped Mr. Sanders would continue to pay homage to the union bosses because it only meant that more business would be fleeing Volvo Country for the freedom of Kansas. This, of course, got old whackjob Sanders all hot an bothered, but to the bored citizen stuck in the uncomfortable committee room seats, it was all good.

It was then that my epiphany took place. Rep. Christopher Shays (douche "R"-CT) was chairing the hearing, and he took the opportunity to cut in with his limp-wristed Yankee whine he addressed the assembled masses, and here's what he said:
Ladies and gentlemen, sometimes I think that politicians on each side get a little strident in their views on issues such as this. Our Democratic friends have traditional relationships with the unions, so they tend to see how things affect their union constituents, while the Republicans tend to have developed relationships with business and look at things from that point of view. The answer, I believe, lies in the middle. I will now suck my thumb.
OK, so I am paraphrasing. My first thought was, "Oh my God. This guy actually calls himself a Republican." My second thought was, "Oh my God. I am a Republican! What if people actually think I have something in common with this bowl of cold soup? I will never get a date!" THAT was the moment that I used the beautiful transitive property to do a little math. It looked something like this:
Rep. Shays = GOP; Rep. Shays = Tool; therefore, GOP = Tool. Or at leastSome of the GOP = Tool, and that's enough for me.
This was my tipping point. I went home, called my family and a few friends and came out of the closet -- "I . . . am an Independent." It has gotten much easier to say over the years. Now I just tell people I'm a "flaming Conservative nut." What's funny is I always get the same response from people who know me, but don't know my politics: "No you're not! You're very rational." Ah, but it's all a ruse.

Of course, that still doesn't explaing why RINOs are evil, does it? Wow, this is getting to be like LOST -- a lot of story, but there don't appear to be any answers. Those must me . . . later.
Centinel 9:23 PM # | |

Hey, you hear that? Sounds like a giraffe's dying over there!

Whatever you can say about Gerhard Schroeder, he has balls the size of Volkswagens. He was the leader of anti-U.S. sentiment abroad, lashing out at Bush at every occasion at the start of the war. Now, a year later, Bush has been reelected and Schroeder is stepping down after having his sizeable balls served to him in the recent German election. So what does he do? He uses the announcement that he is stepping down to lash out at Bush! Sure, Gerry, Bush is the one whose views have been marginalized. Enjoy retirement secure that you are only the second worst German leader ever.

In other news: I can't help but wonder how this rocket scientist is spinning the earthquake in Pakistan.
Centinel 9:21 PM # | |

The theater's too deep for me. I prefer bicycling.

Lately, I've been up to my gizzard in work, leaving me only the evenings to post (except for short, pointless postings such as this, which are done at my desk while I shovel a toasted tuna sandwich in my mouth).

Last night, I had every intention of continuing my insightful inciting series of posts on the need for Conservatives to rethink political strategy, but instead I decided to watch Grand Illusion. After once again viewing this masterpiece, I can say that we are both better people for my dereliction. If you have not seen this classic, I encourage you to do so. This is the foremost film displaying "man's humanity to man." Rightwingnut that I am, I can't help but be impressed with the anti-war vision of the director, Jean Renoir, son of the painter. Even more interesting, is the story of how the movie was lost following the Nazi purges during WWII and thankfully found decades later. Give it a shot -- it's better than reading this pablum.

"If I had to save only one film in the world, it would be Grand Illusion." Orson Welles
Centinel 10:46 AM # | |

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Reclaiming the High Ground: The Primary Problem

I've been involved in elections since I was 14 years old, and on a grassroots level, there's not much I haven't done. I spent much of my time running state legislative campaigns all over the country. Unlike most campaign guys, I had the luxury, sometimes, of choosing and even recruiting my own candidates. I rarely worked for incumbents. Instead I focused my attention on taking out so-called "moderate" GOP legislators in the primaries, and, if successful, worked my candidates through the general election.

I know what you're thinking: Why waste your time on taking out Republicans when there are so many evil Democrats out there? The answer is a bit complex.

First, if you, dear reader, are not a Conservative (or perhaps an especially perceptive Liberal) this will all make little sense. Politics is the most human of arts. It is about manipulating masses of individuals to perform a brief, yet intimate, action on your behalf. It is a numbers game, and it is one that everyone, no matter what their level of experience, believes they understand intimately. What these people don't realize is that politics is generally counterintuitive. This is because most people, consciously or unconsciously, believe that people are good.

Thinking Conservatives understand this isn't true. Otherwise, how do you explain the Federal Income Tax System or the DMV? Unfortunately, few Conservatives are willing to take the mental leaps necessary to extrapolate human action to elections. They don't acknowledge that, at their base, people are utilitarian. They only perform actions that they perceive to be in their best interest. The key is finding what that interest is -- and I have found that, more often than not, there are plenty of conservative principles that appeal to most people's interests. The problem is getting that message to the voter.

In elections, politics is often easy because you are playing to the lowest common denominator. You just need 50% + 1 to win (generally). You know that the overwhelming majority of people are locked into a preference -- be it R or D. The biggest determinate of which lever people pull is . . . what lever their parents pulled. That's right. Most votes in any given election were sewn up 30+ years ago. A candidate will win or lose at the margins. The key, then, is working those margins and getting your people (those whose parents voted for your party, if you will) to get their asses off the couch and go to the polls.

This, as any good political hack will tell you, takes time, money, and/or talent. That is, effort, cash, and/or volunteers. Beyond that, well, I'll keep some secrets. . .

The second thing most Conservatives don't understand -- one they need to come to grips with -- is that their enemy isn't Democrats. Oh, sure, Democrats are evil and generally stupid, but, hey, they're Democrats. Why on earth would I wander into a district where a majority of people's parents voted Democrat and run a GOP candidate when I can go over to the next district where there is a sitting "Republican" who votes 80% of the time with the Democrat, and knock the bastard off with a good Republican? I know the latter district will elect a Republican, so why not a good one?

If you're Conservative, your enemy is "moderate" Republicans. They're sitting in your seats and they are selling you out DAILY by siding with the Dems on nearly everything you hate: taxes, regulations, social engineering, etc.

"But, Centinel," the apologists say, "those seats are occupied with the best Republican we could find in the primary. Better to have someone in office who votes with us 20% of the time than never." There are a million reasons why this is crap, but the most important is what I like to call "The self-fulfilling prophecy of Liberal Republicans." I was working some state races in a mountain state about a decade ago, and got a lot of feedback from supporters across my districts where liberal Republicans were running against Conservatives. The main argument I was hearing from the Libs was that a Conservative couldn't win the district because the people would support the Conservative during the general election. And you know what? They were right! Whenever a Liberal Republican won a primary, s/he would win the general election, but Conservative primary victors seemed to be losing general elections. You know why? Simple, it was because, if a Conservative won, all of the Liberals would stay home -- or vote for the Dem. I'm not talking about casual "independent" voters -- I'm talking about campaign volunteers for the losing Libs. And they weren't shy about talking about it. The Conservative primary winners, on the other hand, were scared to be divisive, so they tended to tone down their rhetoric as soon as the primary was over, and generally got more milquetoast as time when on, denying the voters an opportunity to hear true conservative ideas.

What did Conservative voters do in the general election? What the idiots always do -- support whoever has an "R" beside their name because "s/he's better than the Dem." With Conservative support, these "moderates" would cruise to victory. Thus, begins the myth that you have to nominate Liberal Republicans to win in certain districts.

The idea that Conservatives can't be competitive is nothing more than a lie. Ronald Reagan beat Carter and Mondale in districts all across the country by proudly standing tall and running as a Conservative. Hell, Jesse Helms did it for decades in North Carolina, and I've seen state legislative candidates win competitive districts by talking about Conservative issues that resonate with voters. If a "moderate" Republican is sitting in a seat, it is not because he was the best the district could do, it's because for some reason -- be it lack of a candidate, poor timing, bad strategy -- the Conservatives failed to successfully engage their enemy at the primary level.

Why are so-called "Moderates" the enemy? I'll be happy to address that. Later.
Centinel 7:51 AM # | |

Monday, October 10, 2005

History teaches us that we learn nothing from history.

A bit of housekeeping.

  1. Stephan Dillard, one of the brighter minds and most solid citizens on the internets, did his own "10 Minutes with NPR" this weekend. Of course, whereas mine consists of sitting in my car listening to people with soothing voices and perfect diction tell me what to think of today's news, Mr. Dillard actually got his dulcet drawl on the show to discuss the Miers's nomination and blogging. There is much iron in his words. Have a listen -- it don't cost nothing.

  2. Word of warning: If you are interested in buying some sort of portable Multimedia device, I suggest you steer clear of the RCA Lyra RD2780. I've had one for about a year and a half now, and while it is very cool in concept, it's reality is severely impaired by the crappy batteries they put in the thing. The storage capacity of said batteries was well below advertised when I first got the thing and they have steadily declined to where they are roughly equivalent to those generic D-cells that come with cheap plastic flashlights. Only being able to watch 30 minutes of a movie before the thing craps out is simply unacceptable. Once again, my theory holds solid that any device that combines two or more actions that are traditionally performed by separate products will do neither well. Buy an iPod and a portable DVD player and save yourself the irritation.

  3. Useless wedding advice: No matter how large your breasts are, don't blatantly hit on a married member of the wedding party during the reception. Especially when his wife is there. It's also poor form to refer to her as "butch" and claim you don't see what her husband sees in her. Everyone will know about it in approximately 5.5 minutes, and they will all hate you and want you to die. Soon. Painfully.

    Also, don't walk up to the most urbane, intelligent, and handsome man in attendance and pretend to lick his face from chin to forehead while I am he is talking to the father of the bride. It makes it really difficult to focus on the conversation.

  4. Random observations: Single people can outdrink and outlast married people. I am the apparent exception to this rule.
    Rented tuxes never fit properly.
    A couple of shots of Jack Daniel's taken immediately prior to a wedding make the service go faster.
    People are as confused by paradoxes as they are by irony.
Centinel 1:55 AM # | |

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Somehow "I told you so" just doesn't quite say it.

This blog originally started as an extension from a debate going on over at Southern Appeal. The time was the heady days of Election 2004, for those of you old enough to remember last year, and the issue was whether or not Conservatives should hold their noses and vote for George Bush, despite his numerous political infidelities.

At the time, the only argument that the "Vote Bush"-side ("suckers") could muster was that we had to have Bush because he would nominate conservative judges. Now, a bit of clarification is no doubt due. While having solid, conservative judges at the district and circuit court level is of untold importance, what these supporters were pushing was much sexier than that. Seeing an aging O'Connor, Ginsburg, and Stevens, these individuals argued that Bush might have the opportunity to replace one or, dare we dream, even two of those pillars of liberal jurisprudence. So tantalizing was the meager prospect of actually having a majority of justices who actually believed the Constitution means what it says, that they allowed themselves to fall into the arms of a president who, in many respects, appeared to be governing to the left of the Clinton Administration.

Try as I might, I could not get Bush's political supporters to get past their "Lesser of 2 Evils" mantra. Using my masterful MS Paint skills (much better than bowhunting skills), I have diagramed their political beliefs:

I was not one of these people, you see. After years of working in politics I had come to understand the animal known as the Politician (Characterus absentia). This animal only covets one thing: Power; it only has one desire: To win the next election. Evolution has equipped this animal with a brilliant ability to camouflage itself by adopting positions that will aid its electoral quest. Ever concerned for its safety, the Politician will not do the right thing if it means taking a chance. That's why they have to be trained. If, let's say, you are a pro-gun group and a particular Politician votes in favor of some gun restriction, you need to rub his nose in it while firmly spanking him. This may require the group to, say, drop 20,000 pieces of mail to pro-gun voters in the Politician's district informing them of his indiscretion. Ultimately, if you are going to train a Republican to be a good pet and legislator, you must make him or her realize that you can always toss them out. The minute you give up that punishment -- the only real threat you have -- the Politician will walk all over you.

Why? Because s/he knows the calculus. If you won't punish them, why should they cater to you? Why not cater to those to the left of middle, instead? Why not receive more favorable press in the NY Times and Washington Post? As long as they are some degree to the right of the Democrat candidate, they know they can count on Conservative support. All they have to do is throw the base a bone every now and then. Now who's the pet?

For this reason, it is vital that Conservative voters have what more creative minds than mine have come to call a "tipping point" or a point where you say, "That's it, I don't care if Ted Kennedy wins this seat, I'm not voting for another squishy, spineless Republican." By nailing the "moderate" Republicanss skins over the door, you are sending a message to all future Republican politicians that, should you grow in office or seek to grab votes on the left at the expense of the Conservative base, you too will be put down.

(Continued below)
Centinel 2:04 PM # | |
Unfortunately, too many of my Conservative friends laughed at my concerns, showing that their on tipping point was much more lenient than mine. As a result, "Big Tent Government Republicanism" held the day in November, giving Bush another four years to convince Americans that the only difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans invade countries where people actually have guns, as opposed to Democrats who would much rather invade places like Somalia where 5 guys with handguns can kill, like, 2,000 vicious thugs. With Conservative support, Bush has had a chance to cement his legacy by expanding government to new heights. Or widths.

While most Americans are comforted by the thought that, no matter who they voted for, it didn't matter politically, Conservatives held their collective breaths in anticipation for the first open seat. And the winner is: Sandra Day O'Connor! Tell the folks what they've won, Gene! Well, Bob, America has won a Justice who, unlike his or her predecessor, will have a strong commitment to textualist principles! Say "bye-bye" to Roe, Bob!

And then Rehnquist died, and then we got Roberts, who, much like that really "straight" girl in college, might make a great life partner but ain't going to get anyone too hot under the collar. But, damnit, at least he ain't a Souter!

So here, finally, was that bright, shining moment that Conservatives have been anticipating for over a generation. After years of smarting from Blackmon, Souter, and other Boomerang Justices -- after decades of blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice -- we finally had an opportunity to put a majority of Solid Conservatives on the United States Supreme Court. Cue angelic trumpets.

Oooops. Fumble in the endzone.

So what do we do now? There's a lot of Conservatives out there with egg on their faces. I would find some comfort in saying "I told you so," but this government affects me as much as anyone else.

In fact, I think something positive may be coming out of the Miers nomination. For the first time in my political memory I'm actually seeing Conservatives say, "No more." I think that this screwup may have been a big enough to actually cause the "my party, wrong or right" crowd to finally decide enough is enough. Even my father, diehard GOP supporter that he is, has stated that he doesn't think he would vote for Bush again.

And that is the answer, boys and girls. If you want change, sometimes you have to be willing to do nothing for it. In the face of the overwhelming urge to say, "I know this Politician sucks, but he's better than the other guys, so I'm going to donate $500 dollars to his campaign and vote for him," you have to have the courage to fight back and just sit on your couch. If the most conservative 5% of this country would just take an election off, I guarantee that they'll hear a different tune from Republicans during the next election.

Sometimes, to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs. Still, it's better than getting them on your face.

Addendum: Welcome Confirmers and Southern Appealers (Appellants?). I'm working on a piece on the "fight it out in the primary" issue.

Strange times call for strange solutions.
Centinel 2:02 PM # | |

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I repeat, this is not a drill. This is the apocalypse.

Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

I John 2:18
Centinel 3:07 PM # | |

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

If you ever reach total enlightenment while drinking beer, I bet it makes beer shoot out your nose.

Friday night. I'm sitting on a barstool playing Word Dojo on the game machine. Word Dojo is a game where there are a bunch of balls with random letters on them and you have to hit connecting balls to form words. The more words, the higher your score. I'm mediocre at the game, but I can rock many of the other games on the system.

So, like I said, I'm sitting there, playing Word Dojo when this attractive red head sidles up next to me and says, "Centinel is damn near unbeatable on this thing." I reply, "Yeah, I saw he has some high scores." "Yeah," she says, "you pretty much have to team up with someone else to beat him." And away she walks.

It's not like I just won the Triple Crown, but the little scene was slightly amusing. Or so I thought. I finish my game at about 550,000 points. Not bad, but not great. The red head walks back up and challenges me to a game. As I had to use the little conservatives' room, I told her she could play my quarter. I come back a few minutes later and find her little hands flying all over the damn machine. The chick was a total ringer trying to sucker me into playing her. Not only does she beat me, but she DOUBLES my score. This guy leans over, her and says, "Oh, man, you're never going to get her off this game -- she's addicted." I do a doubletake and realize that the guy is the guitarist for Drowning Pool (who, incidentally, is one cool guy).

So I got my ass kicked on a word game by a heavy metal guitarist's girlfriend. Weak.

Saturday night. Same bar, different stool, joined by my wife. I'm talking to my wife when I hear the bartender say, "Don't make me come over this bar." This is one of those lines that tends to cut through the general buzz of conversation -- a red flag, if you will. The bartender is talking to some guy and girl standing behind me. The guy laughs and they both head for the door -- and here comes the bartender over the bar.

He follows them outside. A couple of minutes later I stick my head out on the street. There is a police van parked blocking the side street next to the bar. Two cops are jawing with the guy who walked out, while the bartender is standing to the side. Next thing I know, they've got the guy and the girl in cuffs and are loading them onto the van.

Here's what happened: Genius boy and his girl come into the bar. There is a sign on the door that clearly states that the restrooms are for customers only. The chick heads back for the restrooms and the bartender asks the guy what he wants. The guy says "nothing," and the bartender tells him he has to buy something to use the restroom. The moron says that the girl has the money. When she comes out, he heads for the door. Which is where I came in.

Here's a tip. If you are breaking your parole by leaving the state, and if you are very stoned, don't do stupid things to call attention to yourself, like walk on a tab. You may walk outside straight into the waiting arms of the local law enforcement officials who might just run your little name through their databases, and you could find yourself heading to jail for public intoxication and breaking parole.

All for the cost of a beer.
Centinel 11:57 AM # | |

Monday, October 03, 2005

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

My favorite candidate for the SCOTUS?
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, appointed by
G.W. Bush, 50 years old
Filibustered by Senate Democrats when nominated to
the federal bench, Owen is a former Texas
Supreme Court judge regarded as "far right
wing" by liberals. But who isn't! A
member of the Federalist Society. (Psycho
music) Sen. Reid has already said he would
filibuster her nomination to SCOTUS.

New World Man presents: My favorite candidate for the Supreme Court
brought to you by Quizilla

Look, while I would love Judge Owen to be the nominee, it's no secret who my choice was.
Centinel 2:05 PM # | |


Last week, I predicted to my acquaintances that Miers would be nominated. No, I don't have the President's ear, or even his nostril, but I'm starting to figure the guy out. Here's the clues:

  1. He dropped comments about wanting diversity, so I thought the nominee would likely not be a white male.

  2. The Administration was floating the Miers balloon last Friday. They had floated Edith Jones and faked to Roberts, and I thought they would likely do the opposite this time.

  3. Miers was the only one on the "short list" with practically no legal record, and I suspected that the Administration doesn't have the stomach for a battle on the issues; and

  4. Bush is insanely loyal to those around him, and Miers is very high on that list.
I could have easily been wrong, but my instinct turned out to be right this time.

How do I feel about it? Like most movement conservatives I'm disappointed. I have friends who are fairly close the Miers, and they think she hung the moon, professionally speaking. Unlike some, I'm not at all concerned about her "intellectual gravitas" because I don't believe you have to be a rocket scientist to be a solid justice. I am impressed with her diverse and groundbreaking background. A friend of mine reminded me recently that when Miers got done clerking after law school, she was offered two jobs in Dallas -- both of them as a secretary -- and yet she managed to become the President's lawyer (and maybe even a member of the highest court in the land). I'm not worried about her competency or lack of judicial experience.

Like most Conservatives, what worries me most is how little I do know. We are only too familiar with how a similar gambit made fifteen years ago paid off. The last thing we wanted was to be placed in a similar situation. Yet here we are. Is Miers another Boomerang Justice? I don't know -- and that's just not good enough.

One of the bigger fights on the Right during the last election was the question of whether Conservatives should hold their noses and vote for Bush despite his "Big Government" Republicanism. Time after time I heard the same argument: We have to support Bush because of the Supreme Court nominations. Like children suffering the pains of being "good" the month before Christmas so as not to make Santa's "bad" list, Conservatives dutifully supported Bush and the GOP in 2004 and went to sleep the night after the election with visions of sugar plums -- looking suspiciously like Thomas and Scalia -- dancing in their heads.

Unfortunately, we did not find a shiny bike underneath our tree. Instead, there's a big, brown box sitting there. A box that is likely filled with coal.

I'm certainly not the first person to point out what really bothers Conservatives here. We have been waiting for several administrations for this moment. We have put up with mediocre presidents (Bush I & II), increased public spending, poor economic planning, and no commitment to conservative principles for one golden shining moment: conservative Supreme Court nominees. We are young girls who have bartered our virtue for a shiny coin, and now the coin turns out to be a wooden nickel with a big "F U" printed on the side.

Is it any wonder why so many of us are pissed? We only asked the Bush Administration for ONE thing, and he couldn't even do that correctly. I suppose I'd be beside myself if I actually were surprised by any of this. Fortunately, I gave up on the GOP long ago, and have abandoned any hope that conservative principles will be pushed on any front.

The only hope we have is that Bush knows something we don't. He may very well know that Miers is a committed rightwinger who dreams of a return to originalist principles. The problem is that we could have had a nominee who we knew though his or her past judicial record would be this person, and not someone who remains an unknown quantity.

If anything, Bush has not helped the GOP today. What should have been an easy bone tossed to the Right has turned into a rock upside the head. While he will never face an electorate without conservative support, his potential successor might not be so lucky.

Addendum: Wow. Even the rats are packing their bags for port.
Centinel 12:58 AM # | |