Patterico's Pontifications


Remember Who Your Friends Are — It’s Good Advice for Both Sides

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 10:12 pm

In the debate over Miers, it’s distressing to see how personal some of the attacks have been among pundits and bloggers. Some of my favorite bloggers and I have been both victims and perpetrators of this — on both sides. No wonder lefties like Kevin Drum are tempted to “get out the popcorn and cheer the prospect of conservatives tearing each other apart.”

For example, Hugh Hewitt says that he has been called a shill, a toady, and a Kool-aid drinker. I don’t think that it’s out of line to say he’s been drinking the Kool-aid, but calling him names like “shill” and “toady” are just over the top, as I have already said.

Similarly, Beldar has reported that a top pundit told him he appeared to be personally invested in this. That kind of rhetoric is unnecessary, at least when there is no reason to believe that it’s true.

Beldar actually felt he had to do a post defending himself against this accusation. He shouldn’t have had to feel that way — and he didn’t need to justify himself to those of us who have followed his blog for some time now. But he has had a lot of traffic lately, and a lot of new readers — and justifiably so, as he has been doing a very energetic and articulate job of defending Miers. Indeed, he has been doing far better than the Bush Administration has been doing, as I commented on his blog the other day. In light of the traffic that these efforts have generated, I guess he felt the need to explain to the new readers that he has no real personal stake in this.

I understand why he felt he had to do this. But it’s a shame.

Here’s the thing: the ugliness is not running only one way.

Oddly enough, Beldar himself seems to be engaging in insinuations of bias very similar to that made by the top pundit. In particular, Beldar seems to have a reflexive reaction to anyone who personally criticizes Harriet Miers: they must have had some personal problem with her.

For example, when I wrote a post citing several people who had said negative things about Miers’s people skills, Beldar said:

Nor am I familiar enough with any of the named sources you quote, my friend, who’ve cast doubt upon Ms. Miers’ “people skills.” But I wonder whether they have scars on their hides in the shape of Ms. Miers’ claws or teeth.

He wonders, but he has no evidence of this. You would think, after having a well-known pundit question his own bias without cause, that Beldar would be careful about doing the same to others. But you’d be wrong.

Beldar said something similar about David Frum in this comment:

Plus [Frum’s] “I like her personally but” rhetoric is in the tradition of “And Brutus is an honorable man”; something slightly off about it, makes me wonder if maybe Ms. Miers whacked him in the dangling participles or something.

I like the allusion; the speech is one of the great speeches in all of Shakespeare. But maybe Frum really does like Miers personally, but has serious problems with the idea of her as a Supreme Court Justice. Does Beldar know? No, he doesn’t — but the lawyer in him just can’t help but try to insinuate bias on the part of someone who disagrees with his position.

And in the same comment, Beldar seemed to insinuate that I was being less than honest, like my frequent nemesis the L.A. Times often is. My offense? As I explained in this comment, my alleged sin was claiming that Harriet Miers supported affirmative action, when my only evidence for the statement was that Harriet Miers opposed affirmative action.

And, while we’re discussing the attacks on me, we have Dafydd ab Hugh tonight, half-jokingly accusing me of “Miers Derangement Syndrome.” How large is the “half” that’s a joke? Only Dafydd can say for sure, but Dafydd later elaborated on his comment in a way that sure sounds like there’s a serious aspect to the accusation:

In the past five days, starting with the first post of 10/6 (Another Bogus Argument for Miers), you have posted thirty-nine times. Thirty-five of these posts have been increasingly virulent attacks on the Miers nomination, an average of seven per day.

The four posts that were not Miers related were praise of Michelle Malkin; praise of Captain Ed; a defense of Hugh Hewitt; and some cryptic comment about brisket. You’ve posted no substantial political post on any subject but the unworthiness of Harriet Miers.

Doesn’t this seem just a tad over the top, my friend?

Note to Dafydd: with the post before this one, we’re up to 36. And I’m not going to stop, either.

As you can see, Dafydd is certainly correct that I have posted a lot on this topic. But Dafydd could look at my collection of posts and draw either of two conclusions. On one hand, he could say to himself: “Wow, the fervor I am seeing from Patrick indicates that he feels very deeply about this issue. Maybe I should question my assumption that the behavior of the base won’t change as a result of this poor nomination.”

Or, he could simply insinuate that there is something wrong with me mentally.

He appears to have chosen the latter course. To the extent that he’s serious about this, it’s quite simply a ridiculous suggestion. I am passionate about certain things. I post quite a bit on the L.A. Times, and I’ve had people (Jeff Jarvis, for example) suggest that I’m “obsessed” with them. My response to Jeff was this:

I get annoyed when people characterize me as “obsessed” with the L.A. Times. It strikes me as a cheap way to devalue and marginalize my criticisms. If someone asserts bias on such issues, but doesn’t document it, they are told they lack the evidence. If a critic does painstakingly document it, as I do, people who disagree with the critic will portray him as a crazed obsessive.

I think your crusade against the FCC is admirable, and I’d call your attitude “dogged.” But then, I agree with you. I’ll bet those who don’t — those who want the government to control broadcast speech in this country — would call your posts about the FCC “obsessive.” Wouldn’t you rather have such people engage you on the issues, rather than attempt to marginalize you with rhetoric about your “obsessiveness”?

When Proposition 66 (the measure to gut the Three Strikes law) was on the ballot, I posted around the clock. I haven’t counted my posts, but there were dozens upon dozens. That was something I felt strongly about. Ditto the media smear on the Swift Vets. And there have been several other topics that have gotten me excited enough to post a lot.

But the federal judiciary, and the Supreme Court in particular, is probably among the top two or three topics that interest me. Anyone who reads my blog for any length of time knows this. We are at a pivotal moment, and I see a disaster unfolding in front of my eyes. I see the judicial equivalent of Katrina headed for the coast, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to stay quiet about it.

If you agreed with me, Dafydd, you’d praise me. Since you don’t, you mock me.

It’s a cheap shot. And, like the one from Beldar, it cuts even deeper because it’s coming from someone I like and respect.

To show I’m not immune to this, I took a cheap potshot at someone named Major Mike, whose blog I’d never seen before. In this post, I said that this post of his, praising the President’s nomination as the acme of political acumen, was “nonsensical.”

In my defense, I wasn’t calling him names; I was calling his post nonsense. And the post where I did it was titled a “rant.” But that’s no excuse. The way I did it lacked class. Rather than defending my position, I simply tossed out the word “nonsense” without explaining why. That was rude.

I think it would have been fine to call it nonsense if I had explained why. It would have been nicer still to eschew such language altogether. To be honest with you, I don’t think I have it in me to be that nice all the time. But I should have the decency to back up a statement like that; if I don’t, it’s just insulting.

When Major Mike came on my blog to express his regret at my choice of words, I apologized in a comment. I don’t know whether he saw the apology, so I have sent him an e-mail with a link to my apology and to this post.

(For the record, the reason that I believed his post was entirely wrongheaded is explained here. Compare that post to his and you’ll understand my criticism.)

Look, I don’t want to sound like a whiner, though the harsher critics will no doubt say that I am. Here’s my point. Captain Ed said:

After the Miers kerfuffle has long gone, we will still have each other, people. Let’s try to remember that and not burn all our bridges. Let’s remember who our friends are.

He’s right. Can we all take a step back and realize that?

UPDATE: More mixing of Shakespeare and debate over Miers. I love it.

UPDATE x2: Beldar says in the comments:

We’re all cats in a roomful of rocking chairs, and some of us have particularly long and vulnerable tails.


29 Responses to “Remember Who Your Friends Are — It’s Good Advice for Both Sides”

  1. I don’t think anyone on the anti-Miers side has called her opponents tools of Satan.

    someone (6089ca)

  2. Can’t we all get along?

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  3. Good one.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  4. Or perhaps I should say: good one, you deranged disingenuous nonsensical toadie shill.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  5. Dafydd could have seen that Patrick “feels very deeply about this issue.” “Or, he could simply insinuate that there is something wrong with me mentally.”

    That strikes me as the best rebuttal I’ve seen thus far on this site. Well done Patterico. I knew that Dafydd’s criticism was weak, but you exposed its flaw with perfect clarity.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  6. Sorry, but I think Hewitt is a special case. He’s the single most consistent defender of Bush anywhere. Whenever there’s been any intra-party criticism of the President, Hewitt is always on the side of The Man Who Could Do No Wrong. He seems simply incapable of critical analysis of anything Bush does or says.

    Tom Trigger (149cde)

  7. You know what has been interesting to me? How this nomination has drawn into sharp relief the ‘social conservative’ (or religious right) camp vs the more libertarian ‘traditional conservative’ camp. It appears to me that the social conservative camp is satisfied that Miers will vote against Roe, and that makes her fine with them, while the traditional conservative camp is more concerned with basic conservative principles – outside any consideration of a specific case or ruling – and whether Miers has the first clue about them. I say this in a general way, I know there are exceptions out there.

    I have been very disappointed in Hewitt. I was dismayed when he started right after the nomination making snarky posts about people questioning the nomination. Then you have Gillespie calling people with concerns elitist and sexist. Frankly, the pro-Miers folks have done as much to turn me off to the nomination as the anti-Miers folks. Hewitt was at it again yesterday going after Bainbridge – misconstruing his point (deliberately? Hewitt is a smart guy).

    It seems to not matter that highly intelligent, thoughtful people of good will have legitimate concerns about the nomination. If they say or question anything about Miers or how she was nominated they are going to get…um…blasted, misconstrued, attacked.

    It reminds me of how lefties ‘debate’.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  8. It is easy to be emotional about something we care about. I’d say there are plenty of supporting arguments for defenders and detractors of the nomination alike. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of facts.

    There are now being a number of words written questioning the commitment of the right side of the blogosphere to reasoned debate and generally avoiding the vitriol of the left side. It seems we aren’t so special after all.

    I have seen emotional and unreasonable arguments from both sides of the issue (I have probably posted a couple myself) from people I respect. It has been educational, and is an opportunity for a some critical self-analysis.

    Glenn (09f78f)

  9. Another criticism that I thought was unfair and that the media is parroting is that people that are questioning the Miers appointment are or were ‘spoiling for a fight’ over the SCOTUS nomination.

    I certainly wasn’t SPOILING for a fight over a good, solid, young, highly qualified conservative nominee, but I did want to see our representatives willing to fight, if necessary. There’s a difference. If Bush nominated a solid conservative and we fought the good fight and lost then maybe Miers would have been a good back-up plan.

    As it is, it feels like our leaders aren’t willing to fight FOR US after we voted them into office and gave them our trust. I dunno…I’m not ‘opposing’ the nomination for whatever difference that would make but I am very, very disappointed.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  10. I certainly wasn’t SPOILING for a fight over a good, solid, young, highly qualified conservative nominee, but I did want to see our representatives willing to fight, if necessary. There’s a difference.

    Exactly. Why is it that we are now all portrayed as seeking a fight? In my ideal world, Mike Luttig is nominated, Dems grumble like they did with Roberts, and quality wins the day yet again — without much of a fight.

    Patterico (4e4b70)

  11. Hewitt had John Fund on his show yesterday, making good arguments for not simply “trusting the President,” but Hugh stuck with his story. Worst of all, he’s not shooting down the notion that Miers’ being pro-life should recommend her to the Court, and even seems to give it some weight. Maybe he’s just trying to give the evangelical conservatives a reason to support her, but I continue to believe that any focus on Miers’ personal policy preferences, whether on abortion rights or anything else, leads the discussion exactly where the Dems want it to go.

    The Dems and their puppet-masters, NARAL, People for the American Way, etc., and their MSM megaphone have been successful in characterizing Constitutional originalism as code for pro-life activism. But instead of confronting this characterization and clearly distinguishing originalism from pro-life activism or any other policy preference, conservatives routinely concede the advantage to the Dems, and engage in discussions of whether a particular nominee is pro-life. This is the reason we got Kennedy rather than Bork; it’s the reason we got Miers rather than Luttig or McConnell, and if the decades-long effort to reconnect the Court to the constitution utterly fails, this characterization will be the reason.

    No one who paid attention to the Roberts confirmation hearings could fail to understand that for the Dems, it’s all about the Court remaining a policy-making body, and it’s their policies they want the Court to support. Governing by judicial fiat in order to adopt socially conservative policies is not an improvement over Roe, Lawrence, Roper, etc.

    Are we willing to favor a liberal on policy who’s a constitutional originalist over a conservative who rules according to policy preferences? If we’re not, that is, if we’re not willing to stop babbling nonsense about whether Miers is pro-life, then let’s just stop claiming that we’re doing anything different from what the Dems have been doing.

    TNugent (58efde)

  12. I agree with the main premise of this post, and have tried, perhaps with less success, to also argue on my own blog and various other places that not only our (meaning “conservatives” generally) ongoing and future relationships, but the truth, would be best served by keeping our debate civil. And surely, everyone can agree that the stakes are sufficient that no one ought be faulted for being obsessed with this subject — this nomination, the last one, the next two.

    My post that you very kindly linked, pinged, and quoted here, however, really didn’t originate from my feeling resentful or defensive over my email correspondent’s calling me “personally invested.” I took him to mean by that nothing more offensive than that I cared a great deal about the issues here — Supreme Court nominations generally, and this one in particular. Regardless of how it was meant, his comment prompted me to ask myself, “How objective am I in my posts on this topic?” And the honest answer to that question is, “I don’t know, but it’s likely that my objectivity is compromised to at least some degree.” Thus I decided to write a post that was as factual as I could make it to fully disclose the connections that do exist, and also those that don’t, between Ms. Miers and myself. For example, I’m not a personal acquaintance, much less a close friend, but we have many common acquaintances; we’ve never worked together on a case, but I’ve certainly worked with and against her partners, and it’s remotely possible that on one such case, her name and mine may both have been among counsel of record (even though her involvement, if any, was behind the scenes and did not include any dealings with me).

    Personal connections can, of course, cut both ways: That I’ve done commercial litigation in Texas for the last 25 years gives me a basis to dispute, for instance, an assertion that Ms. Miers’ firm is “undistinguished” — an opinion with which I disagree, and with respect to which I believe my contrary opinion is well-informed. But it also raises the question of bias: Am I working with Ms. Miers’ firm now, or grateful to it for past referrals, or looking to it for future referrals? (No, no, and no.)

    Similarly, Mr. Frum, who’s served inside the Bush-43 Administration with Ms. Miers, must expect anything he writes about her nomination, pro or con, to be considered by his readers with the knowledge that they’ve worked together. His assertion, for example, that she was promoted into the White House Counsel slot because she’d done a terrible job in her previous position may seem more credible because he is a former Administration insider, but that same status naturally and inevitably raises questions of potential bias. He has publicly denied any bias, and has asserted that his relationship with her was professional and appropriate. I’m willing accept that statement at face value, and I have no particular reason to dispute it, but I’m left wondering — not because of anything particular to Mr. Frum, but simply because of the fact that they did work together in the White House — whether there may be some unconscious bias affecting his statements. There’s obviously a big difference in perception for some reason between, for example, motivations and opinions that Mr. Frum imputes to White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and what Mr. Card himself has said publicly, which is quite the opposite. In trying to sort such differences out, one cannot not consider the possibility of unconscious bias, along with other possible explanations (e.g., honest confusion, incomplete access to underlying facts, or whatever). Mr. Frum could quite reasonably counter by saying, “Yes, but Andy can’t speak candidly, he’s still in the White House and that’s going to bias what he says, and perhaps even what he thinks!” Yet even to point out either of these possibilities could cause hurt feelings or resentment.

    All of which is to say: We’re all cats in a roomful of rocking chairs, and some of us have particularly long and vulnerable tails.

    I can but say, to our host here, and to anyone else in the blogosphere (with two exceptions): If something I’ve written on the topic of the Miers nomination has given personal offense, I crave your pardon, for that was not my intent.

    (The exceptions — those whom I’ve intended to condemn, and care not a whit if it’s given personal offense — are exactly two: Jerome Corsi and whoever is Rich Lowry’s unnamed “pro-Bush legal guy” (and source of defamatory misinformation). They deserve not a tongue-lashing, but horsewhipping.)

    Beldar (0979a8)

  13. We know the tactics. When we opposed the war, we were called pro-saddam traitors. When you oppose miers, your an elitist snob. Welcome to opposing the scum that is the republican smear machine.

    actus (ebc508)

  14. Oh, it’s not as bad as all that, Actus . . . you traitor.


    Patterico (4e4b70)

  15. Beldar, I should have more clearly explained my preference for McConnell or Luttig over Miers. Miers may prove to be a justice who will construe the constitution according to its original meaning. I’m skeptical, partly based on the positions the Bush administration has taken on constitutional issues. But McConnell and Luttig are out in the open on their approach to constitutional construction. This would leave either of them vulnerable to the originalism = pro-life activism lie (at least for them it would seem to be a lie) — but this is a lie which I believe needs to be confronted head-on, something the President has not attempted.

    The President’s assurances regarding Miers offer little comfort exactly because the President has not demonstrated that he understands the distinction between originalism and pro-life activism. Miers would have been in an ideal position to help him understand, if indeed she is committed to originalist interpretation of the Constitution. But let’s hear what she has to say in the confirmation hearings. Maybe she’ll be the one to shatter the illusion that NARAL, the Dems and the MSM have created. If she does that, I’ll be surprised, but then I’ll admit I was wrong.

    TNugent (58efde)

  16. All of which is to say: We’re all cats in a roomful of rocking chairs, and some of us have particularly long and vulnerable tails.


    Patterico (4e4b70)

  17. Ok…I’m conservative, but Bush:

    1. Is not and never has been a conservative. He is a moderate. Don’t listen to buttlocked apoplectic liberals. Bush is not Reagan or Goldwater.

    2. Bush is not terribly bright. Not a moron. But not as sharp as many of the bloggers.

    3. Bush likes people who agree with him.

    TCO (b85fd9)

  18. So fuck Bush and the horse he rode in on.

    TCO (b85fd9)

  19. Has anyone thought about the endgame? Let’s say “we” get Meiers defeated or withdrawn. What happens next? How will the liberals react. Shrubya has really poisened the well for a Luttig, no?

    TCO (b85fd9)

  20. The liberals will react as they would have had Luttig or McConnell been nominated in the first place. They’ll oppose them and absent a filibuster (slim chance of that), the nominee will get through.

    OOOH–Here’s a fun one: The rejection/withdrawal of Miers STRENGTHENS the chances of a Luttig/McConnel being confirmed. Here’s how.

    If you go from Robert –> Luttig, Dems can say “well, he’s good, but he’s no John Roberts.” While not persuasive, it’s an argument and one that might cut into the 78-22 margin that Roberts had.

    However, by going from Roberts –> Miers –> Luttig/McConnel ; that criticism is largely neutralized. While they may claim “he’s no Roberts!”–the retort is that “yeah, but he sure isn’t a MIERS!”

    And since the basis for any withdrawal/rejection of Miers is that she is unqualified, Luttig looks that much more impressive (and hence, qualified) as a follow-up nominee.

    Christopher Cross (354863)

  21. You’re smoking, criss-cross. The libs would fight regardless on a Luttig nomination. And having shown that the “radical right wing” “torpedoed a moderate” is going to help the Democrats in portraying Luttig as a Buchannan and Bush as beholden to the radical right wing. Shrubya is an idiot. Frigging cocaine-snorting, drill-goofing-offing, Pong-playing Chimperor.

    TCO (b85fd9)

  22. I’ve mainly been passive-aggressive in this fight; letting you Rs fight it out. But I will say that TCO’s right in #21. A defeat of Miers by the Rad Right would not help your sales department on Luttig.

    Tillman (1cf529)

  23. I didn’t say that they wouldn’t fight. Said the exact opposite actually. But hey, it’s not like I wrote it out or anything…

    My point is that such a fight would be less effective following a Miers rejection than it would have been coming immediately after a Roberts confirmation.

    Good on you, buddy. Good on you.

    Christopher Cross (354863)

  24. How do you argue that a defeat of Miers would be because of the “Radical Right” when her SUPPORTERS are all noting her evangelicalism, the fact that Dobson, et al, support her, and the fact that she’s rilly rilly rilly pro-life? If anything, her SUPPORT is from the Religious (for some: Radical) Right.

    The opposition to Miers is coming from a completely different arena…

    Christopher Cross (354863)

  25. My point is that it will be more effective, you bloody fool. She is a compromise candidate, moron. A Harry Ried sop. When the right bends her over the table, do you think the libs will say that we did it because she is too evangelical? No! They will say poor little lady, boo hoo hoo. And then they will demonize the Luttig launch.

    You are such a moron. go join the libs. I don’t want you in my foxhole.

    TCO (b85fd9)

  26. I should hope Patterico, that you don’t feel anything I’ve said has been harsh. If so, I apologize.

    I do feel like I don’t really have a dog in this fight, I don’t care if Miers is confirmed or not, I’m not overall too worried, but I do think McConnell would be very nice too (despite my protestations about the Mikes). I do think however, that at some times it feels like some points…on both sides…get taken too far. Oh well.

    Joel B. (c0bbd9)

  27. Beldar:

    [Frum] has publicly denied any bias, and has asserted that his relationship with her was professional and appropriate. I’m willing accept that statement at face value, and I have no particular reason to dispute it, but I’m left wondering — not because of anything particular to Mr. Frum, but simply because of the fact that they did work together in the White House — whether there may be some unconscious bias affecting his statements.

    I’m not. Later in that very same article, he makes some petty, snotty and, most importantly, judicially irrelevant remarks about Miers that make it painfully obvious he’s harbored some resentment toward her for some time. It would be better if he had simply admitted to not liking Miers much, then explained why he’s confident he can overcome that bias while discussing her qualifications as a judge. Instead, he denied the obvious, then wrote a series of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink screeds that didn’t even seem to have coherent themes beyond their intended conclusion “Miers nomination bad.” The guy even made an issue of Miers’s supposed position on stem cell research, for chrissakes, yet both Patterico and the Clam happily linked to his first tantrum and cited ti as an example of “required reading.” What’s up with that?

    Patterico, I do think this ties in with some of the justifiable critique Dafydd and others have recently leveled over being “obsessed” with the Miers nomination now, as opposed to Jeff Jarvis’s completely unjustifable allegation you were “obsessed” with the L.A. Times, or the equally silly notion you were “obsessed” with Prop 66 in the weeks approaching last November’s election. I suppose I’m not an entirely neutral observer, as I happen to share the two non-obsessive “obsessions” I’m defending, while not sahring the alleged “obsession” I’m critiquing, but I don’t think that’s it. What I do see on the first two is a track record of being very meticulous and methodical on the first two issues, and almost Ronnie Earle-like on the third. When documenting the biases, inaccuracy or general lameness of the L.A. Times, most of your critiques have been unassailable, and even on the few were I’ve disagreed (e.g., the “air quotes” around Jerry Boykin’s jihad, or, more recently, Antonio Villaraigosa’se.g., when I pointed out that James Andrew Abernathy would get out for “nonviolently” beating his dog to death, but missed the fact that none of this would have been necessary if the prosecutor had taken fully advantage of the fact that the golf club was a weapon. Your posts on the topic were frequent indeed, but they weren’t obsessive by any stretch of the imagination. More importantly, they were higky informative, being long on facts and short on opinion.

    Sorry, but I honestly cannot say the same for your equally frequent but far less persuasive posts on the Miers nomination. Quite the opposite, actually. First it’s links to Frum’s drivel then to George Will’s (the guy who, if he’d had his way in the past, would have left Clarence Thomas as obscure federal judge and Gray Davis as the Governor of California), and even some neutral references to Novak’s bat-sh*t crazy suggestion that President Bush appointed Miers for the specific purpose of angering his own base. Then there’s links to Arlen Specter’s pearls of wisdom over who is or isn’t a constitutional expert, and even quotes from Keith Olbermann, of all people. Who next, Dan Rather? Maybe somewhere among your 36 posts on Miers nomination is the one argument which, had I read it in a vacuum and pondered it for the appropriate amount of time, would have convinced me that the Miers nomination was a horrible mistake that should be actively opposed by all conservatives, or at least by all conservatives who understand the significance of the judiciary. But if that argument is there, I completely missed it, probably because it was wedged in so deep between flimsy charges of cronyism here, flimsier charges of liberalism there, irrelevant references to David Souter in another place and cryptic factual assertions passed through multiple levels of hearsay somewhere else. The fact-to-opinion ratio is, I submit, almost the reverse of what it had been on L.A. Times bias, Prop 66 and other subjects on which available and verifiable facts abound. Indeed, I’m not even sure there are enough known facts about Miers for it to be possible to write 36 entries meriting the comparison to Prop 66 or the Times. After wading through all of them and more, I’m still left with no clue whether I should support Miers’s nomination, oppose it, or simply throw up my hands and say “oh well, better luck next time.”

    By the same token, I absolutely agree with the central point of this entry, which is that while we can and should debate the issues, we should make enemies or even temporary enemies of those who disagree with our views, however certain we may think we are that our side is right and the other is wrong. This is particularly true of debates like this one on which conservatives are split, but I also think the same should apply to debates with liberals, moderates, or whoever. A few of them (read: Kos/Atrios/DU/Indymedia crowd) are truly our enemies, but most of them are not; they’re just people of goodwill who just happen to disagree with us conservatives more often than we conservatives disagree amongst ourselves.

    Xrlq (e2795d)

  28. My point is that it will be more effective, you bloody fool.
    Well aware of what your point is, Sparky. Doesn’t mean it’s a good one.

    And then they will demonize the Luttig launch.
    They would do that regardless, the question is how effective would that demonization be. You’ve not presented any evidence that it would be more effective–in fact, everything you’ve stated has bolstered my position.

    I don’t want you in my foxhole.
    Ok seriously, unless you’re actually IN the service, ya might wanna chill on the “my foxhole” type comments. They just show you be kind of a pansy.

    Christopher Cross (354863)

  29. I’m not even sure there are enough known facts about Miers for it to be possible to write 36 entries . . .

    Right. Bush has given us someone about whom we know almost nothing. So I have been digging into what facts there are — her writings, people’s opinions of her who have served on elective bodies with her, etc. — but there aren’t many.

    That’s why a lot of the arguments we’re having are about the meaning of this nomination. When you have somebody with a poor factual record, what should conservatives’ reaction be? It’s a philosophical argument.

    Part of the reason I have so many posts about this is because I hear poor arguments in favor of Miers (trust the president; practitioners judge cases on the Constitution while pointy-heads get caught up in theories; she’ll be like Powell and Powell was great; she’s a people person; etc. etc. etc.) and I see the weaknesses in them, and I respond.

    One of these days I’ll collect it all in one place, and put all the arguments together so you can see them. Meanwhile, what convinces you won’t necessarily convince someone else, so I’m taking a shotgun approach and just writing about what I’m thinking about. In other words, I’m blogging.

    I’m not surprised in the slightest that you find my posts less compelling — you disagree with them. Personally, I find them quite compelling (a little tongue-in-cheek here, okay?) and I’ll bet Miers detractors find them more compelling than you do.

    Moreover, I’ve persuaded at least one person (Dinocrat) and I’m hoping to persuade more. Again, I’m blogging. You don’t have to like everything I write. That’s okay. I can live with that.

    Btw, as you know, I have found many of your criticisms of my arguments to be every bit as factually flawed as you claim my arguments are.

    Patterico (5abeae)

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