Monday, October 10, 2005

Bush and Miers

Radley Balko, my favorite libertarian-anarchist, nails it:
The Miers nomination stands in direct contrast to everything conservatives are supposed to believe in. Merit, opposition to identity politics, accountability in government. The list goes on....
...President Bush makes a big fuss about accumulating the "political capital" he needs to push his agenda, which is supposed to be when all the conservative values kick in -- when all the political compromises and capitulations bear fruit. Ten months into his second term, one can't help but ask, "where the hell is it? Where's the fruit?" Judicial nominations, especially to the Supreme Court, were supposed to be the fruit, the reward to President Bush's supporters for biting down and bearing the spending, the entitlements, and the growth of government. This should have been the bold pick, the Janice Rogers Brown, the pick that makes Democrats cringe, and that sets the court off on a new course...
The right is now facing the harsh reality that President Bush never was the conservative they believed him to be. He's a fightless opportunist. Not even a pragmatist. An opportunist. It's all about having a list of "things we got done" to pointto at the end of the day, even if it means doing them the wrong way. Turns out, taking the easy road on steel tariffs, campaign finance reform, the prescription drug benefit, federal spending, the highway bill, and farm subsidies was never about giving a little to Congress so he could reap big returns on the important stuff. President Bush took the easy road on those issues because, frankly, he's the kind of guy who always takes the easy road. In life, and in politics. If ever there were proof of that, it's Harriet Miers.
President Bush is a political coward. He shirks from fight, as evidenced by his record-setting streak of refusing to use his veto, and his capitulation on big, legacy-making issues like the tax code and Social Security reform, and his refusal to take a stand even on the more mundane, everyday issues like the federal budget and regulatory policy. Yes, he went to war. Going to war is easy. It's about the easiest "hard decision" a president makes. It almost invariably spikes his poll numbers. It's rare that the public turns on the war. It takes a long time, and a lot of ineptitude for that to happen, and the real mess generally falls on the next guy in office. We'll probably see that, too.
[Italics mine]. Way to go, Radley.