Bizarro Conservatism™

The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court solidifies in me the idea that an interesting (yet counterproductive) Bizarro Conservativism™ has arisen since the 2000 election.

First, the Republican Congress, elected on the promise of fiscal reform, has been a complete disgrace (see my earlier Tom DeLay: Liar or Fool?). What essentially happened is that these politicians were all about balanced budgets and cutting wasteful spending right up until the minute Bill Clinton left the White House. Now it’s little more than a free-for-all, with Republicans saying explicitly that it’s their turn in power, implicitly that they too believe in big government so long as it’s their big government.

Now we have the nomination of Harriet Miers, a woman who by any account has no credentials to sit on the highest court in the land. And what are we told? “Trust me.” We conservatives, libertarians, and populists have been assured that this is a woman of faith who will vote correctly on abortion, a conservative who will vote correctly on issues of marriage and family, and a woman of tradition who will vote correctly on issues broadly defined as values issues.

In other words, her judicial philosophy is an outcome-based philosophy, under which she will use her correct and superior values, and decide cases in the right way.

Funny, but this used to be called judicial activism — something conservatives have been railing against for at least 50 years. Yet the “party of ideas” is now all about judicial activism, because they think it has turned in their favor.

So in relation to the Supreme Court, as they’ve proven through their behavior in Congress, Republicans show a complete lack of principles and indicate that they simply want in on the scam. Earl Warren would be proud.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.

Comments

  1. save_the_rustbelt says:

    Bush is not a conservative and he is not compassionate. He is a crony capitalist taking orders from his daddy’s rich friends.

    I’m from Ohio so being a Republican is doubly embarassing right now.

    The entire party has jumped off the tracks trying to support Bush. We shall regret this.

    (although if the Dems continue to organize circular firing squads the GOP may not suffer full regrets – the Dems are almost equally bizarre)

  2. The Great Schism

    It has been interesting to watch the schism within the Republican party over the Miers nomination. Not to be too simplistic about things, but it sure seems like this nomination has prompted a seperation between the Republicans who pay homage to certa…

  3. KevinM says:

    In this case it looks like the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. At least he hasn’t outlawed my guns like Pappy did, though he does have 3 years left.

    Horror is, after a second Bush dynasty, we’re probably stupid enough to install a second Clinton one.

  4. The Daily Queeg-Mier

    Let’s start with Captain Ed, writing about Laura Bush’s “possible sexism” comment (or mis-quote, if you prefer).
    Given an opportunity to smear the base that elected them, the administration has seized practically every opportu…

  5. ken says:

    It is impossible for a party that essentially thinks that the American government is the biggest problem the American people face to govern responsibly once in power. This is not new. It started during the Reagan, ‘pigs at the trough’ years. Conservatives have always been fiscally irresponsible. I see no desire on any conservatives part to be otherwise.

  6. The Coming Crack-Up

    Is the nomination of Harriet Miers the catalyst for the collapse of the libertarian-conservative alliance that was built during the Cold War and has survived largely thanks to the bastards who organized 9/11 ?

  7. Marcia L. Neil says:

    ‘Harriet’ + ‘miers’ = a Supreme Court giddy with taboo humour and a taste for the sour notes in life.

  8. Around The Sphere Oct. 12, 2005

    Our linkfest of good reading from sites representing many different viewpoints. Links do not necessarily reflect the opinion of TMV.

  9. John says:

    Do you people think that just because we get some people into the White House and keep our majority in the house and senate that things should instantly change?

    How ignorant can you be? The economy and the government have been likened to freight trains, or the like, and will take a long time to slow, and even longer to change track.

    Washington is a culture, a bad one, but its a culture that we must change. Reactionism is bad. If you on our side, the conservatives turn into emotional vapid reactionists, you’ll ruin any chance we have to change this country.

    Don’t be like the emotional balloons of the left, blowing every-which-way. Be steady, push forward and keep changing your reps. Spread the word and teach your children. The Supreme Court is to rule on laws “written” by our representatives, not make them. If the courts knock down laws that the legislature passes, the legislature can with a 3/4 majority make those laws stick, and stick it to the courts. The court must protect the integrity of the Constitution, not be a tug of war toy for political ideologues.

    All you complainers… grow up!

  10. Rick DeMent says:

    Stay the course, is there anything that slogen can’t do?

  11. Bithead says:

    First, the Republican Congress, elected on the promise of fiscal reform, has been a complete disgrace (see my earlier Tom DeLay: Liar or Fool?). What essentially happened is that these politicians were all about balanced budgets and cutting wasteful spending right up until the minute Bill Clinton left the White House. Now it’s little more than a free-for-all, with Republicans saying explicitly that it’s their turn in power, implicitly that they too believe in big government so long as it’s their big government

    Your rant ignores two things:

    * Bush is a centerist, and so too are most of the Republicans in Congress.

    * We’ve had a few issues on which money needed to be spent; A war, nad a storm here and there.

    Add to that the number of things that needed doing that were NOt done under Clinton, and you have a more complete picture.

    It’s time you contemplated the idea of relativity; In this case, Bush versus Gore and or Kerry. Bush is a conservative only in the sense that he was more conservative than Gore or Kerry, and therefore preferable.

    Do you really WANT the alternative?

    (shudder)

  12. Anderson says:

    All very true, Mr. Stotch, but you left one out: how did the Republicans feel about nation-building and foreign military adventures under Clinton?

    (“Oh, but 9/11 changed everything,” some will say. It *should* have; but invading Iraq was very evidently a pre-9/11 velleity that Bush’s band took the 9/11 opportunity to put into action.)

    I don’t envy the Republicans the same detachment from guiding principles that has left the Dems in free-fall since, oh, LBJ ….

  13. JB says:

    Bithead,
    If Bush is really a centrist, why does he rarely if ever listen to the dems? Not saying he has to DO anything they say, but at least listen. There was indeed 1 war we needed to spend money on, Afghanistan/WOT….Iraq is neither, and its cost far more thus far. We had numerous things we DIDN’T need to spend money on, for refernce please see the pork laden defense, energy, prescription/medicade and transportation bills. Also, you didn’t list any items NOT done under Clinton. A few please, I know there were a lot in many opinions? At this point, I’m not sure the alternative would have been any worse.

  14. Dobson Says Harriet Miers Nominated After Some Refused

    Matt Drudge reports that in his program today, Dr. James Dobson discussed his much ballyhooed conversation with Karl Rove. Here’s a revelation from that broadcast which, in my opinion, should silence the conservative critics of the Harriet Mier…

  15. Ron says:

    The economy and the government have been likened to freight trains, or the like, and will take a long time to slow, and even longer to change track.
    As far as making things better, this is a valid point. As far as making things worse (like say starting the Homeland Security Dept) this is no excuse.

  16. […] the Beltway Permalink | Comment | Print | Trackback url | Cosmos |BlogPulse […]

  17. You are making this blog practically unreadable.

  18. Bush isn’t a captialist, he’s a mercantilist. There’s a big difference and I wish people would stop confusing the two.

  19. The Miers Chronicles: 10/12

    Round and round she goes… – Atlas Shrugs gives her take on the nomination, (doesn’t think Miers was high on the list of candidates, but no one else wanted to take the “exam”) – Michelle Miers wants Laura Ingraham for…

  20. bithead says:

    If Bush is really a centrist, why does he rarely if ever listen to the dems? Not saying he has to DO anything they say, but at least listen.

    For one thing, GWB is apparently smarter than the Demos give him credit for. He remembers what happened to his old man when he listened to the Democrats and gave them what they wanted, as regards taxes.

    For another, I suppose he’d be more interested in listening if their output had changed in the slightest over the last 40 years. It hasn’t.

    And one of those points is Iraq, by the way. I do not accept your response as regards Iraq. Iraq was the right thing to do, at the right time. Period.

    And your glowing mention of Clinton to my mind gives exposure to your real intents. Yes, the Democrats would be worse… far worse.

  21. spencer says:

    Yes the democrats would have so much worse.

    That is why since WW II real GDP growth has averaged 3.3% when we had a Republican president and 4.4% when we had a democratic president.

    On the same basis, the S&P 500 rose 12% annually under democrats and 8% under republicans.

  22. Leopold Stotch says:

    That’s quite an argument Will.

  23. An Interested Party says:

    But of course Will would type something like that. After all, you aren’t toeing the party line about deal leader and all that. Maybe he should look at LGF or Lucianne.com if he wants to see some sycophantic driveling…

  24. bithead says:

    That is why since WW II real GDP growth has averaged 3.3% when we had a Republican president and 4.4% when we had a democratic president.

    On the same basis, the S&P 500 rose 12% annually under democrats and 8% under republicans.

    Perhaps you’re forgetting Carter vs Reagan. But leaving that aside, let’s assume for the sake of discussion you’re telling the truth, here. What of the ‘rich got rcher under republicans’ mantra? If the market took tose kind of hits unde republicans, clearly the claim is untrue.

    So which way you goin’ with this?