Thursday, October 27, 2005

Harriet Miers: She Made a Good Decision

Those who have followed by tortured reasoning on this appointment will be bored to have it repeated but here goes: first blush disappointment but acceptance, second blush disappointment and firm disapproval, third blush disappointment but the belief that if she could ever get over the nomination process I would vote for her (flavored with the view that it is a win-win: one ostensible pro-life conservative named, or it defeated to be followed by another better nominee it is hoped). Well, she took herself out using the Charles Krauthammer solution: I will not put the president in the dilemma of violating executive privilege in order to release documents which should be protected. (Incidentally, I’m a Rush Limbaugh fan, but I don’t think a guy who gets roughly $20 million a year ought to be trumpeting on the radio that he was first to predict that she would take this route). The very first was Krauthammer. With that huge, swollen ego of his, Limbaugh should have the grace to acknowledge that Krauthammer was first, as a great many others are doing. Com’on, Rush, move beyond the playpen, will you? You’re over 50 years old.

Which leads me to recount a story none other than George Will told me some years ago in Washington when he spoke at an event my company sponsored (and paid him handsomely for). This happened in the early days of Limbaugh ascendancy. Something bad happened to the Republicans—a lost election or something like that—and in the middle of the night, Will’s phone rang. It was Limbaugh who had been introduced to Will some weeks earlier. “What do we do now, George?” asked Limbaugh. Will, awakened from a deep sleep, thought and said, “well, what the Republican party must do is to hold a council of Trent.”

“What’s the Council of Trent?” asked Limbaugh. Whereupon Will, though not Catholic but the scholar he is, sketched in a sleepy sentence that the Council was called by a Pope to reform the Catholic Church and reformulate doctrine. “Council of--?” Limbaugh repeated. “Trent,” said Will crossly, then hung up and slept another four hours. By the time Will got to his office, he told his secretary that he was going to apply the strategy of the Council of Trent to the Republican party.

“Really?” she said in a bored voice. “Rush Limbaugh recommended that very thing on the radio as I was driving in.”

This president does not need a Council of Trent to help him regain control of his base. It is back with him and will stay if he names an outstanding conservative jurist—yes, I think jurist with a proven track record will do nicely—to the Court.

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