Monday, October 03, 2005

I was conservative, when conservative wasn't cool ...

If you have read this blog much (yeah, both of you), you will note that I have not once posted anything here that could be construed as negative of Pres. Bush. I vigorously supported his election and re-election. I gave my time and money to same. This is nothing new for me.

Remember Barbara Mandrell's song "I was Country When Country Wasn't Cool"? It was popular when I was in high school here in Texas. A lot of "Urban Cowboys" were born then. Me? I just stayed the same. I was never much of a cowboy, even though I am a native Houstonian.

Once I became a Christian in 1978, my world view changed. I began to see how things fit together. No one told me how to think. I discovered that I was a conservative. The world view began to knit together. I came to love and admire Pres. Ronald Reagan. I cast my first vote in a presidential election in 1984 ... for Pres. Reagan. I have voted in every election since. I have supported many, many Republicans and a few conservative Democrats along the way, but my voting record has been consistent -- conservative.

I have been in the ideological trenches for 25 years now. Yes, I was conservative when conservative wasn't cool. I remain, as I always have been, a conservative first and a Republican second. There are still many Republicans whom I admire and support, and on the whole, the party is far closer to my views than the Democrats. Not even close. The Constitution Party, Pat Buchanites, and other members of the "Perfect Church and Counting Angels on Heads of Pins" crowd don't appeal to me.

I believe in winning. I am a pragmatist. I believe in compromise to build majorities. I like to smile and laugh. I like to be "for" things.

And I still like this President. I have had my moments, though. His views on immigration are an enigma and a disappointment. He hasn't done anything to advance a smaller government agenda. His ability to communicate a conservative agenda is terrible. He has been exceedingly nice to his adversaries while seeming to ignore his friends in the Republican base -- that would be conservatives like me.

But he has been stellar in the War on Militant Islam. And his judicial picks have been great. I have some particular interest in this subject, and I follow it closely. He has been great. No question. The Roberts nomination was a master stroke.

That is why the Miers nomination is so troubling. I hear those saying, "Just trust the President." Okay, so she was once a Demo. We can forgive that. She gave $ to Algore. Okay. But ... she is pro-International Criminal Court. Pro gay adoption. Pro gays in the military. Pro women in infantry units. Go look it up. It's on the New Republic's site. The Republicans-first-community isn't responding for now. Don't know why. And ... she brings no personal background that convinces me that she will withstand the assualt from the Left that will surely come once on the Court (assuming, of course, that she is even a judicial conservative). The pressure is immense, and absent a strong personal character with proven ideological stability, we are likely to get another another Kennedy, O'Connor, or Souter.

Have you ever noticed that justices don't drift right? Do they just get "smarter" and more liberal? Please.

Some are touting her evangelical faith. As an evangelical, let me just say: 1) This is humorous; and 2) I did not fall off the proverbial turnip truck. Note this political rule: If you mention your faith as a positive, you are generally not a conservative. I am also sure that Jesse Jackson would claim that he supports life and loves Jesus, too. Heck, he probably does. What are we nominating? A deaconess? An ABA President?

And by the way, this Texan doesn't care that she is from Texas. A conservative American would do just fine.

We could have done so much better. Judges Jones, Luttig, Janice Rogers Brown, Alito, McConnell, Corrigan, etc. I feel badly for each of them, especially Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit. The only negative from conservatives (other than a difficult confirmation fight, and I believe this could actually be a positive) for Judge Jones was her age -- 56. She is four years younger than Harriet Miers. This hurts.

Now, we have to guess and hope. And a great opportunity for an informative debate (and one that conservatives would win) is lost.

This nomination is just plain a bad idea on all fronts. It smacks of defeatism and of a lame-duck presidency. It needs to be withdrawn and/or defeated. I am hoping for some one to step up and come with me.

Because this conservative still is conservative -- whether the Republican-first crowd thinks it is cool or not.

Update: In fairness, it appears that Miers may not have actually shared the opinions of the ABA report that she forwarded (i.e., supporting the Int'l Criminal Court and gay adoptions). Okay, I would like to hear her take on this. One thing remains clear: She didn't shun the left-leaning ABA at any time in her career, but rather she has remained rather close with what amounts to a liberal-advocacy group.