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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Miers Opposition--Analysis of the Elitists

--posted by Tony Garcia on 11/01/2005

This is a long one...but it seems that it is necessary.

I posted yesterday out of anger. Why? Because of the hypocrisy from the elites and wannabe elites (for this posting they will be lumped with the elites) of the Republican party over the Harriet Miers nomination. There have been a number of bloggers and radio personalities that immediately opposed Miers. They hid their reasons behind rhetorically empty complaints. I say "hid" because they are not as stupid as their arguements so in giving them the benefit of the doubt I think they had other reasons for opposition.

Miers Opponents hold no rhetorical credibility
The oppposition, remember, was from day 1. Their complaints were never provided with resolution of dissonance.

The main opposition: No track record. The smarter-than-the-average-Republican elitists wanted a lengthy judicial history. For what reason? So that they, the elite, would be assured they were not getting a liberal in conservative clothes. Two problems that they NEVER addressed. How would that have helped against Souter, Kennedy, O'Connor or Stephens? Why should Thomas have been confirmed?

Not rhetorical questions...I have posed these before and I pose them again.

Another talking point of opposition: Unqualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. Why? Because she has not been a judge. Answer this: only judges are capable of critical analysis, thought and debate on the Constitution? on the law? That is the epitome of an elitist view...which is the very antithesis of what this country and conservativism is based on. Quite honestly I believe that many in the MOB are capable of serving quite nicely on the Supreme Court. And quite honestly, many in the MOB (present company included) I believe could out perform Thomas EASILY. The problem with the Supreme Court is the very fact that it has judges & lawyers who think they know the law better. They actually don't. They know it because it is their job, but there are many, many non-lawyers who would do a far superior job if being a judge were their job. Does anyone doubt that Jason Lewis would do a fine job?

Opposition: Did not attend a worthy enough school. To the credit of some elitists not all of them made this argument. Those who did deserve even more harsh attacks. Someone going to an Ivy League school does NOT automatically become more qualified than anyone else. They only hold that air of superiority. While debating in college I found that the better debaters actually did not come from the Ivy League. The smarter people on the debate circuits were NOT from the Ivy League or Ivy League wannabe schools. The only thing served by this Ivy-League-is-better mentality is the circle of exclusion. A circle that I believe the elite of the GOP wish to maintain.

Opposition: Litmus test results unknown. Now if you ask any GOP member if a nominee should be subjected to a litmus test on issues they will say no. The elite beat that drum loudly during the Roberts proceedings. Then came the hypocrisy from them: they could not determine if Miers fulfilled the silent litmus test: a record against abortion. Suddenly a litmus test was necessary. Then came more "litmus tests", affirmative action, etc. The elite shifted their complaint from constructionalist vs activist to a liberal vs Republican water carrier. The elite (unable to see this part of their grand hypocrisy) do not want constructionists on the Court. They want Republicans. Interpretations be damned, they want someone who will do their own activism.

It is THESE critiques that the anti-Miers flock refused to address ever.

The Result of the Elite Actions
In Minnesota there was a deep division back in the early summer. The GOP was sharply divided on who should be the chair of the MN GOP...an incompetent incumbent or an inexperienced challenger. Who should be the vice-chair...a crook or an unknown. Oddly enough, the MN elite who offered the elitist inner-circle protecting opposition to Miers also provided elitist inner-circle protecting support for Eibenstiener/Hoplin. And in the process they ignored the issues that their opposition brought forward. Instead of listening, debating or addressing the concerns of their opposition they called the opposition names. Mutineers was one of them. They talked down to us. They told us we did not want what was best for the party. Then they refined that to simply insulting our intelligence...we did not know what was good for the party and its candidates. (Sound familiar? It should. What the GOP elite have been doing is exactly what they accuse the Democrats of doing!)

Now again they blame their opposition for dividing the party on Miers. If you are not with them in opposing the President's choice then you are bad for the party. Mind you that the order of events was (1) President announces Miers nomination, (2) Miers' haters go on the immediate attack, (3) Miers' defenders defend her or the President's perrogative, (4) Miers' haters accuse the President of dividing the party. (Sound familiar? It should. What the GOP elite have been doing is exactly what they accuse the Democrats of doing!)

I wish to remind you readers that while I do not draw the thousands of visitors that the elitist blogs draw I have an OK number. I have posed very specific questions to them in an effort to have a discussion...a debate on the actual complaints. All have gone unanswered...until yesterday when I actually had to draw blood. More on that in a moment.

So, what is the result of this repeated elitist action? Distrust. If the elitist can sell out the very things they claimed were importnat ('it's about right vs wrong, not right vs left') then how can you know that the candidates they support so strongly are not of the same elitist cloth? How can you know that the support is for candidates who will reward the inner-circle simply because they are the inner-circle? We don't know that. And the amount of unexplained vitriol (the level and type that MoveOn.org freaks disply) towards those who (a) questioned the competence of Eibenstiener, (b) wanted public answers from Hoplin about his questionable practices in just a few months prior and (c) wanted a discussion about the anti-Miers venom indicates a lack of true objectivity.

This distrust means that the division within the party can linger much longer than is spoken about. I personally continue to hear such discussion and I currently hold a distrust of the candidates the elite parade for.

For the record, all questions of the elite's positions on these matters are still unanswered.

The Real Analysis of Miers' Opposition
Some things need to be kept in mind when analyzing the knee jerk opposition to Miers.
* The stated objections to Democrats' filibusters of judicial nominees and cabinet appointments
* The stated position that litmus tests are not appropriate for confirmation of nominees
* The supposed inclusive nature of the GOP
* The idea of anyone can do anything that the GOP claim to hold dear

All of these things were abandoned by the GOP elite in order to oppose Miers. The questions from undecideds like myself went unanswered at best and attacked typically. The GOP elite suddenly found themselves advocating not only for a litmus test but for very exclusive criteria as desired qualifications.

It is of human nature to strike back in an irrational manner when confronted with one's own hypocrisy or (to put it "mannerly") one's own intellectual dishonesty or (to put it in obfuscating elitist terms) one's own inconsistencies of discourse.

To me, that explains the level of attack against the pro-Miers, pro-Bush or the undecideds.

But what really explains the hatred the elite displayed? Frustration with a moderate Bush? No. We knew in 2000 that Bush was more of a moderate. As of 9/10/2001 I wanted someone to challenge him for the GOP nomination in 2004. I have been disappointed with almost his entire domestic platform in both of his terms. But frustration does not lend itself to irrational and obtuse thinking that the elite displayed.

Being found to be insignificant? Ah, that makes sense. But were they found to be insignificant? For this answer we need to go through the situation like Merlin...backwards. When Miers withdrew her nomination the elite trumpeted the line, "Finally our voice was heard." I read somewhere (and I do not feel like looking for this particular blog...sorry Doug, it is not worth the effort) a blogger who commented that the pro-Miers people need to get a pulsebeat more frequently on the blogosphere. The answer to that is a simple "you think more of yourself than is warranted". The blogosphere is great for information dissemination. It is far from being the accurate pulse of the GOP, conservatives or the nation. Get over yourselves, really.

Now rewind a bit. As the Miers fight was going on bloggers were printing things like, "there will be damning news coming out in a few days about Miers". Bloggers were acting like MSM..."I'm scooping the scoop just in case there is a story. I want to be heard." Blogs had non-stop anti-Miers blather...none of it had any real discussion within it. What objections to Miers did you hold that was unique to Miers? How could you dare to attack Democrats for not allowing the President's perrogative of appointment while doing the same thing yourself? KvM for example had on average 2 (I'm rounding down) anti-Miers or anti-Miers'-supporters postings per day. (KvM btw stands for Kennedy vs the Machine...which in name only is a blog about Mark Kennedy's campaign for Senate.) Where was the explanation of position? The explanation of how the demanded requirements for Miers would have helped with Souter?

Instead the elite offered only straw arguments and vacuous reasoning (actually offered NO reasoning...but I supposed that would be to generalized.) Their irrelevance in the whole process was being displayed. OMG...the elite have only as much voice as us common folk. This realization lends itself to the irrational, empty opposition of Miers. This explanation actually does make some sense.

Rewind a bit more...to just before the Miers announcement. The elite (and most of the conservatives) wanted a drag-down fight with the Democrats over the next appointment. (Well, the smarter ones know that the GOP Senate is a very spineless, gutless bunch and would shy away from the actual confrontation.) We were scraping our feet on the ground like a bull before a charge. Our mouths were foaming, rapid with anticipation of the blood that would be spilled in that fight. We were cheering for the nuclear option.

Then came Miers. We were disappointed. Some of us realized that our disappointment was more about the absence of the ideological battle than disappointment with Miers. But the elite was spurned...the White House did not listen enough to the blogosphere's request for that fight. So, like the little kid who realizes the adults are not talking to him the elite fought back against the adults. The disappointment of a fight-less nominee was given rationalizations of "unqualified candidate", "stealth is not good", "cronyism".

The whole saga leads itself better to misdirected rage than a truly thoughtful opposition to Miers. The reactions of the elite leads to the interpretation that they were confronted with their own true insignificance in the whole process which forced them into a knee-jerk opposition. The elite then had to save face (still thinking the world was actually paying attention to them individually) and rationalize their opposition. This then brought into the light their truly exclusionary beliefs and their own hypocrisies (whoops, lapse of manners on my part) inconsistencies...which begot more raging opposition and less thoughtful discussion.

The Aftermath
Which now brings me back to my question from yesterday. You elitists seem quickly pleased with a candidate that NONE of you had on your wish list. How can that be? Did you receive your personal phone call from the White House getting your approval on the nominee...thus making you feel important again?

The shortened version of the question got the following response from Doug:
Gee Tony, you've done such a lovely job telling me my secret inner reasoning for opposing Miers, why not continue and provide my answers to this question too. If you'd ever like to engage in actual dialogue, brush up on basic manners first.
Doug, with all due respect, I have been fairly respectful of the opposition...have been trying to get a "dialogue" on this topic for some time. I do not have many visitors, but I do know that you have been here enough to have provided some answers before yesterday. Calling your position to task, calling out the hypocrisy of the anti-Miers crowd, is not a lack of manners. It is simply hard-hitting. Interestingly enough the response you gave was 100% the response I expected since NO ONE on your side of the Miers issue has cared to address the deeper probing questions of the GOP inconsistencies the anti-Miers were portraying.

I gave it one more chance. I asked you specifically 2 more questions...to have a "dialogue". I knew you would leave them unanswered. Why would I say that? Because the anti-Miers and the pro-Eibensteiner/Hoplin groups engaged in exactly the same crap that the Democrats have been engaging in for years: avoid real discussion and claim the other side is not trying to have real dialogue/debate. But I posed the following to you yesterday:
1) What is your position on the Democrats filibusters of Bush's judicial appointments?
2) As of the day of her announcement what specifically about Miers was worthy of opposition?

Instead you ignored those and began a rationalization of why you don't respect my opinion (enough to answer questions engaging in dialogue of differences).

On the other hand, I try to answer the questions posed to me. Let me address your comments.
Tony, the moment you have demonstrated that you actually read what I wrote regarding the Miers nomination, rather than skipping to the conclusion and assuming the rest, I'll respect your opinion on the matter. The reason I object to you telling me what I think on the matter is that you don't seem to have a clue what you're talking about.
So, now I have to prove I read your postings to be worthy of your "respect". I do not mind doing without your respect. I think I explained very well my objection to the opposition of Miers and your blog spent so much time giving very little substance on a daily basis on the matter that quoting searching for and quoting fluff was not worth effort. There have been exactly 2 topics that your postings have been lacking honest thought: MN GOP chair elections and Miers. I do not say that because I disagree with you on those topics. There is much on your blog I disagree with. I say that because there was an absence of actually looking at the other side, addressing what the other side was actually saying and an absence of a hint of open-minded discussion.
Looking at the poll you cite in the post above this, this "elite" you want to write off consists of about 1/3 of Republicans and conservatives. That is an electorally fatal number. I wrote a post explaining why a number as large as 1.7% was incredibly dangerous in a closely divided state like Minnesota. Your lazy generalizations not only don't address that kind of issue, you give no indication you've ever thought about it.
I don't want to write you off...I do expect you to understand that (a) you are not the pulse of the party, (b) you were actually in the minority, (c) there is always a "slim" margin of error where "1.7% [is] incredibly dangerous" in a closely divided state like MN. In fact, perhaps I should (as we say in debate terms) turn the point to you. How little thought you seemed to have put into ignoring the other 2/3 of Republicans and conservatives. Which is more dangerous?
1) Appointing a moderate/stealth/possibly conservative person thus MAYBE alienating 1/3 of the base and making them mad against the President and USSC
2) Appointing a hard right person that starts a war which the gutless Senate GOP will fail to carryout thus pissing off the base against the Senators...some of whom have to run in 2006?

I posit that your knee-jerk opposition was incredibly narrow minded in its "thoughtfulness".

Furthermore, to accuse me of not putting forward enough thought on the issue ignores my very theory on the appointment. And since you accuse me of 'not reading your blog thourougly' I will let you hold to your own standard and find the posting yourself.
Tony, I have it on good authority that you're a very decent fellow. I suspect you don't even realize how insulting you come across sometimes. I have no problem with you disagreeing with me, and doing so as strongly as you did here. I'd be happy to shout back and forth over beer about it. I like that kind of thing.
Buttering me up in such a backhanded manner goes nowhere with me. I actually have a very good idea of how insulting I come across sometimes more often than not. It is very deliberate. You see, the thing I do not tolerate in the public discourse is hypocrisy of rhetoric...whoops, those damn manners of mine. The thing I do not tolerate is the inconsistency of argument. The reason I do not give a dime to the RNC or the MN GOP is they are busting at the seams with hypocrisy of thought and of exclusionary policies. When I see it, I call it. If it goes unanswered then I stop shooting warning shots and start firing at the target. Notice, you ignored any discussion until I hit you with some startlingly harsh sarcasm.

As for shouting back & forth over a beer, I believe you still owe me one from the Hoplin fight. I think my days at Keegan's will be limited but you are more than welcome to come to the studio. The attacks on the air against your collabertive blog were ad hoc...it was not in the show prep, but the discussion led that way. When we plan to question supporting Kennedy because of KvM you will be the first to know. After the show we can go to Ciatti's and shout back & forth.

Back to your comments...
But if you run around telling people how much I suck without providing links for your readers to read my own statements about which you disagree, I don't see that as argument. It's an attack.
Fair enough...sort of. I have been seeking answers to questions from the hate-Miers crowd. The tone of the postings from a wide variety of blogs, the sheer number of empty attacks (like on your blog) and the absence of real discussion being responded to are a general thing. What has been nearly universal is the avoidance of real discussion by the anti-Miers crowd...especially the elite. As of Monday I no longer sought "discussion" but instead went on the attack of the hypocrisy. See, I gave the anti-Miers crowd time to give REAL answers. Marty was speechless on the air and eventually thought harder about his opposition. No one else offered thoughtful discussion. The time to show there was no hypocrisy was over. It is now solidly set. Regarding judicial nominees the anti-Miers crowd in the GOP are hypocrites...on the topic of the judiciary.

It was a cowardly rant Tony. You could have invited any of us to speak for outselves. But it was easier to pretend we were too remote to get a response from, which isn't even true. Andy was on your freaking show the prior week.
Like I said, we did not plan on talking about KvM. It came up. I truly think that the Miers ordeal is going to be a lasting fissure and KvM was the perfect example of how it manifests. If you want to address that, you're welcome to. I have been waiting for a long time for an "antagonist" interview. Cowardly would be to not have drawn your attention to the rant. I stand firmly behind what I say and am open to address it (unlike the pro-Hoplinites, pro-Eibnestieners and anti-Miers elitists).

Call me names if you wish. I do not care. They are my opinions. KvM is the cause for a number of people I know (myself included) to hold the position of leaving our ballot blank for that race.

I doubt sincerely that you, Doug, will address my questions regarding Miers. And, like I said, I do not think any answers for that matter now. The inconsistencies are set in stone. I know that on many blogs I posted comments asking for the same discussion only to be ignored or called names. That is fine. I expect that from the GOP members who are confronted with their own intellectual dishonesty. I get that at every caucus, I expect it from the GOP elite. It happens when the GOP is forced to realize that the talk they talk is not matching their walk.

But that is a forthcoming post.


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