Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Most Compelling Case for Miers Yet: The Evangelical and the Atheist Come Together

Came across a column and a post tonight that are, in my view, worthy of your attention.

First, I have been watching carefully to see the take on the Miers nomination by my "Hero Professor" and fellow evangelical, Dr. Marvin Olasky of the University of Texas. I took Dr. Olasky's journalism history class at Texas, and I have been a fan of his ever since. This brilliant, yet humble and gracious man is a former Marxist and Boston Globe reporter (he says he fit right in) turned evangelical Christian. He is also the author of "Compassionate Conservatism", yes, the book that inspired the President's campaign theme.

Currently editor-in-chief of World Magazine, he still works as a token conservative journalism professor at UT.

He is, if not the most brilliant man I have ever known, certainly right at the top. It is clear that Ms. Miers has not met him. But I digress ...

At any rate, Dr. O makes the most persuasive case for the confirmation of Harriet Miers to date. Read it all. Here is the passage that really struck me for its insight and connecting of dots:

... Columnist Michelle Malkin argues well that "a good heart does not a great Supreme Court justice make." No, but it might make a person remain an originalist.

Heart: In so many ways, this appointment is classic Bush. Nearly six years ago, when asked in an early debate among Republican presidential candidates to name his favorite philosopher, W. famously said, "Christ, because he changed my heart." The pooh-poohing of his answer then (favorite philosopher -- the question was about mind, not heart) anticipated the current debate among conservatives: suffering servant? Why not intellectual leader?

It's George W. Bush's analysis that "heart" is crucial, since a good mind by itself also does not a great justice make. We may end up having been bamboozled by this nominee, in which case the Republican Party will pay a heavy price. But give Bush credit for going beyond the assumption that the person who would be the best constitutional law professor makes the best nominee. He has not only nominated a justice, but implicitly called for a paradigm shift in conservative thinking.
What Dr. O is saying is that he has concluded that the President has concluded that Harriet Miers faith will keep her faithful to an originalist approach to the Constitution. That is, her integrity (which is grounded in her faith) will keep her steady in her originalist approach to the Constitution. Okay, this I understand. And I also understand the reluctance to market this for MSM dissemination.

So then, in the interest of fairness, what do the atheists have to say? Well, it just so happens that one of my favorite atheists, UT's Constitutional Law professor Lino Graglia, was interviewed by WH Communications Director Hugh Hewitt today.

Full disclosure: Graglia is another old professor of mine, and he may be the funniest professor ever. For example, he would occasionally make fun of liberal students' hair to conclude a debate/discussion. This was not received well, except by right-minded types such as myself. The cynical conservatism of this Brooklyn native is highlighted by one of his favorite anecdotes: "Liberals wake up every morning and ask, 'What good can I do today?' Me? I just wake up and say, "Thank God my throat wasn't cut last night."

The Graglia interview with Hewitt is great, and I was shocked to see that Graglia said the following:
Nathan Hecht is very trustworthy. Nathan Hecht is probably the most conservative judge on the Texas Supreme Court, very trustworthy. He speaks very highly of Miers, who he knows, and that is a large part of my basis of belief that she'll be all right.
Yet, Graglia also does sympathize with conservatives' "Souterphobia". And he asks "the" question: "The Supreme Court is running the country. What point electing conservatives if you don't change that?"


So, still fuming over the mismanagement of this debacle and the assault on those of us who would dare question this nomination, I am at least heartened by the confidence in Miers I see coming from Olasky and Miers. Maybe this nomination, if it succeeds, won't be the disaster that Judge Bork fears.

So, the believer Olasky and the athiest Graglia have come together. What in the world could be next?

How about some patience with us agnostics?