Bush Double-crossed the Rabbit Right

Bush's defense did not persuade some on the “Rabbit Right”

By Sinclere Lee

You just can’t trust the word of old “W” for nothing these days. He lied to the American people about the war in Iraq; he lied to America’s friends around the world about “Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD); he lied when he stood on an aircraft carrier proclaiming “Mission Accomplished in Iraq.” Stupid Bush is a pathological liar who will lie to you when the truth sounds better.

Now, he’s lying to the “Rabbit Right” about his Supreme Court nominees. He promised the Christian right in this country that he would shape the High Court in their image, but he didn’t. Instead of picking rightwing nuts on the Court, he picked two nominees who are social liberals, to say the least. John Roberts and Harriet Miers are undercover liberals who will take to Court to the land of Ted Kennedy.

Bush bushwhacked his own base and made fools out of the so-called Christian conservatives who thought they would control the Supreme Court by supporting Bush’s re-election. Yeah, he tricked you! He made a fool out of you! He made a sucker out of you! He made you think that he would take the Supreme Court to the right and he took it to the left. Yeah, he took the Court to the lift because the rightwing nuts in this country are nothing but a bunch of suckers in the first place; he didn’t even go to the center.

Screw you Christian conservatives; Bush is looking for a place in history!

Now, some of Bush's conservative supporters are unconvinced by his defense of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, creating dissension in a Republican Party that until now has reverently approved Bush's judicial candidates.

Conservatives in some cases are expressing outright opposition, some are in wait-and-see mode and some are silent, all bad signs for a Bush administration used to having the full backing of all wings of the GOP when it takes on the Senate's minority Democrats over judicial selection.

"I'm getting reports on both sides," said Paul Weyrich, a conservative leader from the Free Congress Foundation. "Some people are quite enthused about her and other people are very upset. The grass-roots are not happy, I can tell you that."

Miers, meanwhile, is trying to build up support by visiting senators at the Capitol on Wednesday, scheduling stops with GOP Sen. John Cornyn and top Judiciary Committee Democrat Patrick Leahy.

Bush defended the 60-year-old nominee at a Rose Garden news conference Tuesday, repeatedly implying that conservatives should trust his judgment in picking Miers to succeed the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor.

While insisting that he doesn't recall ever talking to Miers about abortion, he pointedly said, "I know her heart."

Bush, who emphasized that he's a proud conservative, said he hoped his supporters were listening. "I'm interested in someone who shares my philosophy and will share it 20 years from now," he said.

After a strong push from the president and his White House staff, some conservative groups are coming out in favor of Miers, the White House counsel and longtime Bush friend. "I trust that she will be an excellent addition to the high court and all Americans will be proud of her," said Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition.

And one of the Senate's senior conservatives, Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was one of the first senators to announce his support for Miers.

"A lot of my fellow conservatives are concerned, but they don't know her as I do," said Hatch, a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "She's going to basically do what the president thinks she should, and that is be a strict constructionist" when it comes to deciding constitutional issues.

But many Senate conservatives are withholding judgment, and House Republican leaders have said little to nothing about Miers. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a Judiciary Committee Republican and a possible GOP 2008 candidate, even invoked a favorite target of conservatives when talking about Miers.

"There's precious little to go on and a deep concern that this would be a Souter-type candidate," Brownback said, referring to Supreme Court Justice David Souter, a little-known judge nominated for the court by the first President Bush who later turned out to be liberal on the bench.

"The circumstances seem to be very similar," said Brownback, who will meet with Miers on Thursday. "Not much track record, people vouching for her, yet indications of a different thought pattern earlier in life."

Anti-abortion group Operation: Rescue on Tuesday promised an active campaign to get Bush to withdraw her nomination.

"The president seems to do what is politically expedient, versus what is morally correct," said Troy Newman, leader of Operation: Rescue. "Therefore, if we make it politically expedient for him to do the moral thing, that's what he'll do. The confirmation hearings haven't been scheduled yet, and until they have been and she's been confirmed, I'm very hopeful something will happen that will remove her name from consideration."

Newman acknowledged the consensus among grassroots conservatives was "to wait and see, to trust the administration, trust the president, almost to hold your breath and cross your fingers."

"My position to these leaders is that we cannot afford -- the babies cannot afford -- to wait and see," he said. "We did it with Souter, we did it with O'Connor and we did it with countless others. Now's the time to be vocal."

Senate Democrats, meanwhile, are mostly holding their fire.

"With so much at stake, we shouldn't rush to judgment about this or any other nominee, but even at this early stage of the confirmation process, I will say that I am impressed by what I know about Harriet Miers," said Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid, who has not indicated how he will vote on Miers.

Poll: Support for Miers not as high as that for Roberts

Americans, particularly conservatives, are less supportive of President Bush's nominee to the Supreme Court than they initially were for his nomination of John Roberts, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Tuesday night.

The poll, taken Monday and Tuesday, indicated many people are concerned about Miers' lack of judicial experience. However, more than three-quarters of those polled had either a positive or neutral impression of Miers.

Among respondents who described themselves as conservative, 58 percent said the Miers pick was excellent or good, and 29 percent thought it was only fair or poor. By contrast, 77 percent of conservatives in a July poll thought the Roberts nomination was excellent or good, and just 13 percent found it fair or poor.

The sampling error for the polling data from conservative respondents was plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Among those who consider themselves moderates and liberals, the difference in support between Miers and Roberts was statistically insignificant.

At an afternoon White House news conference, Bush praised Miers.

"I picked the best person I could find," Bush said Tuesday. "People are going to be amazed at her strength of character and her intellect."

Bush, who announced Miers as his choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Monday, said his nominee shares his views on the law.

"I don't want someone to go on the bench to try to supplant the legislative process," he said. "I'm interested in people that will be strict constructionists, and Harriet Miers shares that philosophy."

Asked to rate Bush's nomination of Miers, 44 percent of those polled described it as excellent or good, while 41 percent said it was fair or poor and 15 percent had no opinion.

In a similar poll after Roberts was nominated in July, 51 percent described his selection as excellent or good, while just 34 percent found it fair or poor and 15 percent had no opinion.

Most people surveyed in the new poll -- 74 percent -- believed President Bush chose Miers, 60, in part because of their close ties.

The White House has denied accusations of cronyism and Bush said, "I've known her for more than 10 years. She's a woman of principle and deep conviction."

Miers is also considered a private person who works long hours behind the scenes. She also has written far fewer legal documents than Roberts did during his work for the federal government and in private practice.

Poll respondents were asked if a lack of information on Miers' views on issues would make them more or less likely to support her. Nearly half -- 49 percent -- said it would make their support less likely; only 12 percent said it would make them more likely to support her, and 33 percent said it would make no difference.

Unlike Roberts, who was a justice at the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia, Miers has never been a judge.

Asked about the effect of Miers' lack of judicial experience on their support, 46 percent said it made them less likely to support her; just 10 percent said it made their support more likely, and 42 percent said it made no difference.

"I'm very happy with the fact that we have someone who has been nominated by the president who is like approximately 39 other people who have served on the court -- people who have had no judicial experience," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a trial lawyer from Nevada, said Monday. "I think that's a plus, not a minus."

If confirmed, Miers would be the third woman ever to serve on the high court, but her gender was less of a factor among those polled.

About two-thirds said gender made no difference in their support, while only 29 percent said it made them more likely to support her. Miers had more support among women; roughly 37 percent said gender played a role in their support versus 19 percent of male respondents.

And 82 percent of all respondents said they would not have been bothered if Bush had picked a man to replace O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the high court.

A majority of those polled -- 55 percent -- also said they believe senators should insist that Miers answer questions about her views on abortion before voting on confirmation, while 42 percent said senators should not press her for those answers.

Bush said he does not recall ever speaking with Miers about her views on abortion.

The poll of 803 adults had a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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