The Miers-Roberts Double Standard

In the last post, we looked at the double standard that supporters and opponents have applied to the religious views of John G. Roberts and Harriet Miers. But the double standard also extends to Miers's and Roberts's judicial thinking.

Michael Kinsley points out that it was only a couple weeks ago that Republicans were up in arms over Democrats' demands to know more about Roberts's views. Now that Miers is up, conservatives are the ones clamoring for more information. They don't know Miers -- and this reinforces some liberals' suspicion that conservatives knew something about Roberts that liberals didn't. (Then there's the extra suspicious liberals who think maybe the GOP doesn't want a judicial revolution after all, since Roe has been so good for them politically.)

Eric Folley, a former DNC Internet Operations guru-type, looks at the fact that conservatives are demanding Miers' history where they didn't for Roberts before her as evidence that the courts are now openly part of the political agenda. That in itself is not surprising, he says, but "how are the Republicans are able to get away with such a transparent flip-flop?"

Some bloggers and op-ed writers are almost giddy over this turn of events. E.J. Dionne on Meet the Press noted:

What's really odd here is that this nomination has forced conservatives to eat so many words they've spoken earlier. The conservatives said with John Roberts, it's not fair to bring up his religion, as you pointed out earlier. Suddenly the conservatives have to pull out Miers' evangelical faith to persuade other conservatives that she's really a conservative. Conservatives said, "You really can't ask somebody at a hearing, a president's nominee, to explain their views." Conservatives are now desperate to have Harriet Miers explain her views in these hearings. So that I think one of the reasons you're hearing so little from Democrats right now is that they are enjoying sitting back watching this fight so much that you just put on television earlier today.

Kinsley proposes just asking Miers about her views, and when she doesn't answer, Democrats and Republicans should "join together and say: From now on you answer specific questions or you don't get confirmed." Simple as that may sound, it's a very controversial proposition.

In spite of the conservative cacophony -- that might be fading just a bit, thanks to a concerted PR effort by Bush and his minions -- David Broder expects that ultimately, the liberals will have the most concerns about Miers.

Still, who would have thought we'd see an editorial from the Post condemning the conservatives for making snap judgments about Bush's second Supreme Court nominee?

By Emily Messner |  October 11, 2005; 12:27 PM ET  | Category:  Beltway Perspectives
Previous: Religious Test for Harriet Miers | Next: Bush Nominees: "No Crony Left Behind"

Comments

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Cut some slack, lady. So one time out of the last half century conservatives exhibit some hypocrisy and all everyone has to say is "hypocrisy, hypocrisy, hypocrisy!" Where's your Christian forgiveness?

Posted by: Silence Dogood | October 11, 2005 01:10 PM

That's a catchy monicker you've got there, "Silence Dogood". Any relation to Dudley Doright?

You know, I've been noticing over the years that if liberals do something bad, they're evil, and if conservatives do the exact same thing, they either gloss over it or should be forgiven.

When Republicans claimed (as a mischaracterization, I might add) that John Kerry was a hyprocrite and lacked consistency, they based their entire 2004 campaign on him being a "flip-flop".

Now Republicans are the ones clearly being the hypocrites, but you think they should be forgiven? Give me a break.

I can guarantee you that this is not the "one time out of the last half century conservatives exhibit some hypocrisy" - hypocrisy from both sides happens with considerable regularity.

Furthermore, did you really need to ask, "Where's your CHRISTIAN forgiveness?" Ah, yes, my biggest beef with my former religion. You could do any horrible thing you liked, but as long as you confessed it to your priest, and made a generous donation to the church leaky roof fund, all was well, and you were forgiven.

So, some lessons for us all:

1. If liberals err (or are even just characterized as erring), they are sinful heathens who will burn in hell.

2. If conservatives err (when it can be proven beyond the slightest doubt) they should be forgiven, like all good Christians.

3. Forgiveness comes faster to those who confess their sins to their priest and make a generous donation to the church leaky roof fund.

Derek.

Posted by: Derek | October 11, 2005 03:43 PM

The Democrats are always right!! The Republicans are always right!! As an older American, who has served his country in the military, I am sick of the politics. Politics today is a bunch of rich people who are playing with the lives of AMERICANS. To the President, the congressmen and congresswomen, to the senators, to the judges on the supreme court, to the lowest political leader in this country, I think you are all corrupt, you don't care about the American people, and you think that taking care of this country and its people is a game called politics. You guys really need to grow up. To Silence Do Good and to Derek I think you two who are free to voice whatever you want, should voice it in away as to show you are open minded. God knows that our Political leaders sure aren't open minded, otherwise gas wouldn't still be three dollars a gallon, we would be concentrating on providing aid to our own people after a disaster and we wouldn't be expecting the American Middle Class Tax Payer to shoulder the burden of funding the world. Just a question why can't Pakistan pay for their own relief, all they have to do is sell a couple more nukes or raise the rent on another terrorist cell. But hey that is politics well above me, and who am I, just one of the people helping to pay for all this mess but receiving nothing for it in return, except to dig into my pockets deeper. HOW MUCH IS THIS AFFIRMATION OF A JUDGE GOING TO COST THE AMERICAN TAX PAYER. NOW THATS TAXATION WITH REPRESENTATION!!!!

Posted by: Tony | October 11, 2005 04:39 PM

Whoa there Derek. Silence's post was irony (probably intentional since this is the WP)

Posted by: Blinkermann | October 11, 2005 04:39 PM

The Democrats are always right!! The Republicans are always right!! As an older American, who has served his country in the military, I am sick of the politics. Politics today is a bunch of rich people who are playing with the lives of AMERICANS. To the President, the congressmen and congresswomen, to the senators, to the judges on the supreme court, to the lowest political leader in this country, I think you are all corrupt, you don't care about the American people, and you think that taking care of this country and its people is a game called politics. You guys really need to grow up. To Silence Do Good and to Derek I think you two who are free to voice whatever you want, should voice it in away as to show you are open minded. God knows that our Political leaders sure aren't open minded, otherwise gas wouldn't still be three dollars a gallon, we would be concentrating on providing aid to our own people after a disaster and we wouldn't be expecting the American Middle Class Tax Payer to shoulder the burden of funding the world. Just a question why can't Pakistan pay for their own relief, all they have to do is sell a couple more nukes or raise the rent on another terrorist cell. But hey that is politics well above me, and who am I, just one of the people helping to pay for all this mess but receiving nothing for it in return, except to dig into my pockets deeper. HOW MUCH IS THIS AFFIRMATION OF A JUDGE GOING TO COST THE AMERICAN TAX PAYER. NOW THATS TAXATION WITH REPRESENTATION!!!!

Posted by: Tony | October 11, 2005 04:40 PM

Blinkermann, irony or not, I stand by my comments.

P.S. You really think that was irony?

Derek.

Posted by: Derek | October 11, 2005 04:58 PM

doesn't 'double standard' suppose that there are any standards to begin with?

I'd say pretty much everybody in DC blows with the wind. even mccain, who is one of the few to break either party line, sucked it up and endorsed bush in 2004 despite the wrongs committed against him by the bush camp in 2000.

I say the behavior standard is 'what works now and has the least chance of causing trouble later'. neither party has any standard regarding decency as far as I can tell.

Posted by: heap | October 11, 2005 05:07 PM

Derek - I honestly thought it was irony when I first read it - before you posted. I even chuckled out loud at the sheer absurdity of the one-time-in-the-last-half-century comment. It is like saying "W mispronounces one word and everyone makes fun of him . . ." Still, I liked your post.

My sentiment is closer to Tony's (though less cranky). To say that someone is a politician and a hypocrite (regardless of party affiliation) borders on redundant.


Cheers.

Posted by: Blinkermann | October 11, 2005 05:17 PM

"I even chuckled out loud at the sheer absurdity of the one-time-in-the-last-half-century comment. It is like saying "W mispronounces one word and everyone makes fun of him . . .""

Hehehe. :)

Posted by: Derek | October 11, 2005 09:02 PM

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