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.