My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Harriet Miers: The GOP's Howard Dean Moment

We on the Right have drawn an inexaustible source of amusement from the mad rantings of Howard Dean. First, as an obscure candidate who rose to favorite status before a famous melt-down, and, more recently, as an undisciplined and somewhat bizarre head of the Democratic National Committee.

But, what was it that first drew our attention to him? Anyone remember?

First of all, he came out against the War in Iraq early, loudly, and often.

Especially that loudly part.

He also forced the rest of the field to respond to his fundraising acumen by doing things like loaning themselves money.

Then he added to the fun by saying the capture of Saddam Hussein was irrelevant to our ultimate success in Iraq.

In other words, what he did was speak to and try to enforce orthodoxy on the Democratic Party. His words and actions forced the rest of the field into uncomfortable positions ("I actually voted for it before I voted against it") and other hard-Left rumblings. In the end, he was ineffectual with Democrats, but forced the vast middle to look at the Democrats as beholden and out-of-touch.

Let me say that clearly: the greatest effect Howard Dean had on Democrats in 2004 was to force them further away from the vast middle of the electorate, where the votes for victory were. . .

and where the votes for victory were not.

Now, I'm not saying that the critics of the Harriet Miers nomination are nearly as out there or as entertaining as Mad Howard, . . .

but they are accomplishing the same thing.

What they want is a fight for the sake of the fight. What they want is strict SPOKEN orthodoxy to conservatism. What they want is to know that the person nominated will be exactly what they want. But more than that, they want a person whose credentials meet THEIR idea of substantial and adequate.

And they are willing to tear down the hard-fought walls of Republican strength to get what they want.

Over the top? Perhaps. But not more than Charles Krauthammer calling for Miers to withdraw her name. Not more than George Will saying that this President "in particular" is incapable or disinclined to understand how important judicial philosophy really is. Not more than Bill Kristol saying this President doesn't understand how important a seat on SCOTUS is (this, from a man who (if memory serves) was Chief of Staff to the famously erudite Dan Quayle).

Such writings about the President of the United States do nothing to move forward the agenda on tax relief, on security, on Iraq, and on myriad other agenda items which this President needs to accomplish. Not to mention his electorale strength approaching 2006.

In other words, they're willing to harm the party and force the President further to the right, all for the sake of orthodoxy.

So, while they are certainly welcome to their opinions, I would caution the aforementioned pundits to withhold criticism of Howard Dean in the future. Such would smack of. . . hypocricy.

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