On Hugh’s article in today’s New York Times, a few comments:
Hugh: “The right’s embrace in the Miers nomination of tactics previously exclusive to the left…will make it immeasurably harder to denounce and deflect such assaults when the Democrats make them the next time around.”
Me: A fine example of what during the cold war used to be called “moral equivalency.” Sure, some who opposed the Miers nomination misbehaved. But there’s a fundamental distinction all the same between what the left did to Bork and what the right did to Miers: Whereas the left lied about Bork’s record, the right told the truth Miers’s record. Untruth versus truth. As I said, a fundamental distinction.
Hugh: “A White House counsel with distinguished credentials was compared to Caligula’s horse and Barney the dog on National Review’s website.”
Me: Oh, for goodness’s sake, lighten up. Those were jokes.
Hugh: “This triumph of the conservative punditocracy will have lasting consequences, and I hope my fears are misplaced.”
Me: The conservative punditocracy hasn’t produced a “triumph.” All it did was call the nomination just what it was, a whopper of a mistake. It was the president made the mistake and the president who finally recognized the mistake. Now the president will move on, summoning us all to a battle worth fighting.
Hugh: “[T]he decision on parental notification statutes…will be argued before the Supreme Court in late November. Absent a miracle of Senate efficiency, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will cast one of her last votes on the most important abortion-rights case in a few years. And then the accounting will begin in earnest.”
Me: In 1989, as everyone now knows, Miers signed a pro-life statement, and then, in 1993 she delivered a speech that can only be interpreted as sympathetic to arguments for Roe. Miers’s record, in short, was not only thin, but mixed, offering no reason whatsoever–none–to assume she would have voted any differently from Justice O’Connor.