Honest Conservatives Awaken

WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 03: (AFP OUT) Supreme Court nominee, Harriet Miers, listens as U.S. President George W. Bush speaks in the Oval Office of the White House October 3, 2005 in Washington, DC. Miers, currently in the position as White House Counsel, has no previous judicial experience and previously served as Bush's own personal attorney. GETTY

This column was written by Michael Tomasky.
Some of you are going to think the dog spiked my cactus juice when you read this, but I have to say I actually admire some of the conservative dissent on Harriet Miers.

Yes, the vast majority of the criticism centers on the fact that Miers doesn't appear (to them, anyway) to be a reliable conservative. She voted for tax hikes while on the Dallas City Council, she sponsored a speaker series at SMU that featured liberal women, and so on. This, I understand, is what really has conservatives howling.

But there has also been a second line of criticism complaining that she just isn't a serious enough choice. George Will, Charles Krauthammer, et al. certainly have intelligence; that Bush chose Miers insults it. I can't argue with that, and I even applaud it.

It had to start sometime. Maybe the Miers fiasco will mean that some on the right will finally take a stand in defense of their principles instead of always making political excuses for the administration.

Unlike the boy who cried wolf too many times, today's Republicans – and conservative commentators – are the boys who never cried wolf. On the size of government and the size of the deficit, for example, the Bush administration has been as anti-conservative as an administration can possibly be – and has faced only scattered criticisms from most conservatives.

  • Jaclyn Schiff

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