Remember Harriet Miers?
She was announced as President George W Bush’s nominee for Supreme Court Justice in October of 2005.
This announcement was initially greeted with a universal chorus of “meh”. Just as Mitt Romney’s initial announcement to run in the Republican Presidential Primary was greeted almost universally with “so?”.
This ambivalence toward Harriet Miers soon turned to hardened opposition by Conservatives once her history became readily available. Not because she wasn’t a lovely person, etc. but because she was someone unlikely to advance Conservative principles once in office.
Opposition to Mitt Romney’s nomination comes from Conservatives concerned that Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts exemplifies that of a liberal Democrat and little else. Granted Conservative opposition to Harriet Miers was conducted in a much smarter and more coordinated manner than Conservative opposition to Romney during the current cycle of primaries, still the opposition is there.
Further, we were told that the Miers nomination was inevitable due to the fact that President George W Bush absolutely was not going to change his mind so we’d better get in line and not hobble future Supreme Court Justice Harriet Miers. Sounds like a similar argument made for a certain ex-Governor of Massachusetts, doesn’t it?
But wait, we’re not talking about rulings by Supreme Court Justice Harriet Miers because there is no supreme Court Justice Harriet Miers. How did that happen if she was inevitable?
These quotes come from various Conservatives, politicians, pundits, and bloggers. Some of whom today support the nomination of Mitt Romney.
Please read them all and please feel free to substitute the name “Mitt Romney” for “Harriet Miers”.
See if they don’t give you a dread feeling of deja miers with regard to Mitt Romney’s nomination:
“I worked with Harriet Miers. She’s a lovely person: intelligent, honest, capable, loyal, discreet, dedicated … I could pile on the praise all morning. But there is no reason at all to believe either that she is a legal conservative or–and more importantly–that she has the spine and steel necessary to resist the pressures that constantly bend the American legal system toward the left. This is a chance that may never occur again: a decisive vacancy on the court, a conservative president, a 55-seat Republican majority, a large bench of brilliant and superbly credentialed conservative jurists … and what has been done with the opportunity?
I am not saying that Harriet Miers is not a legal conservative. I am not saying that she is not steely. I am saying only that there is no good reason to believe either of these things. Not even her closest associates on the job have good reason to believe either of these things. In other words, we are being asked by this president to take this appointment purely on trust, without any independent reason to support it. And that is not a request conservatives can safely grant.” — David Frum
“The fact of the matter is, for over 20 years of her being involved in the law, she has not written one word, said one word, given a speech, written a letter to the editor on any of the key constitutional issues that conservatives care about and are worried about and want to make sure the court does not go down the road on. [Bush] said he knows her. Lots of people have come forward this week that know her, and a number of them have said I can’t label her a conservative, a liberal or a moderate. — Gary Bauer
“With a single stroke–the nomination of Harriet Miers–the president has damaged the prospects for reform of a left-leaning and imperialistic Supreme Court, taken the heart out of a rising generation of constitutional scholars, and widened the fissures within the conservative movement. That’s not a bad day’s work–for liberals.” — Robert Bork
“Apparently no one stepped forward to warn the president what a monumentally bad idea he’d come up with when he selected Miers over dozens of other, better-qualified candidates….There is no one in the White House who has the nerve to tell the president that he should be worried when Democratic Sen. Harry Reid is more enthusiastic about his nominee than the editors of National Review.” — Linda Chavez
“Conventional wisdom still has it that Miers is a shoo-in for confirmation. We’re not so sure. From what we saw last night, the right is furious at President Bush for appointing someone they see as manifestly underqualified and for ducking a fight with the Democratic left–a fight that, in their view (and ours), would be good for the country, the conservative cause and the Republican Party. Bush may be getting a fight anyway. And while he can laugh off the Angry Left, which would never support him no matter what he did, the Angry Right is a force he’d be a fool to misunderestimate.” — James Taranto
“It is not important that she be confirmed because there is no evidence that she is among the leading lights of American jurisprudence, or that she possesses talents commensurate with the Supreme Court’s tasks. The president’s “argument” for her amounts to: Trust me. There is no reason to, for several reasons.” — George Will
“At the very moment that conservatives have begun to conclude that their bets on Mr. Bush are no longer paying off, Mr. Bush has asked them to double down. That request has even pro-Miers conservatives feeling disillusioned, and other conservatives feeling betrayed. That’s what’s dividing conservatives – and it’s why they’re thinking more and more about life after President Bush.” — Ramesh Ponnuru
“Was it for this, Mr. President? Was it for this that so many Americans made so many sacrifices, worked so hard, gave up family time, made life-changing decisions, took pains? Was it for this that so many prepared the way for so many years? Was it for this we gave you and 55 senators a mandate? For a Supreme Court nomination as unprincipled in its nature as this?” — Manuel Miranda
“I just wait for the choice to be made, and it just seems to me that at the outset here that this is a pick that was made from weakness. There was an opportunity here to show strength and confidence, and I don’t think this is it. There are plenty of known quantities out there who would be superb for the court. This is a nominee that we don’t know anything about, a nominee purposely chosen in one context, we don’t know anything about her. It makes her less of a target but it also does not show a position of strength.” — Rush Limbaugh
“What, exactly, would be the downside of her defeat? It would be a plus for the country, for conservatism, for the Republican Party, and even the administration could emerge stronger by issuing a mea culpa and nominating somebody we might actually want to support (along the lines of a customer becoming more loyal because of a problem that was successfully solved.)” — Mark Krikorian
So, what is the answer to the question, Is Mitt Romney the Harriet Miers of potential Republican Presidential Nominees?
The answer is-
Yes. Yes, he is.
The difference between stopping the Miers nomination and stopping the Mitt nomination is that in Miers’ case Conservative opposition was intelligently and narrowly directed. Thus, far opposition to Romney has been diffuse and scatter-shot, a reflection of the nature of primaries with several potential candidates.
That means that Conservative Republicans must coalesce around one or at the most two alternative candidates to Romney. And, of course, must work for and contribute money to that candidate.
The choice is simple enough we can nominate a Conservative with a Conservative record of accomplishment or we can nominate Harriet Miers.
Which would you prefer?
As in these sorts of posts, the inevitable question comes up: Well, naturalfake, who do you support?
I’ve made no secret of the fact that I like Perry first and Newt second because they both have tangible records of conservative action. Third, would be Santorum or Romney who I consider roughly equivalent.
However, both Perry and Newt have really shot themselves in the foot over this Bain thang. As argued in this post, the only reason to support Romney is his time at Bain. There are ways to go after Romney from the right over Bain but these attacks from the left are stupid.
I understand, you attack your opponent’s greatest strength, still…
Well, look, Governor Perry and Speaker Gingrich there is a clear, very simple way forward for both of you. It’s different in each case but it’s still there if you hurry.
Your so-called experts are failing you.
Think about your actual tangible Conservative records and think about Reagan.
Now go forward and save us from Harriet Miers 2: Electric Mittens.
And if you can’t figure it out, call me.
UPDATE: Slight edit for clarity.