The debate on Bush's pick for the next Supreme Court justice gets more intriguing every day. He finally seems to have found a way to piss off lots of Republicans, both moderate and radically conservative. Among other things, this makes the news articles on the choice far more interesting than the vast majority of political reporting. For once, knowing someone's ideological leanings are not enough to make her or his statement's to the press predictable. Take this story from the Dallas Morning News, for example. The concluding paragraphs are quite a montage of perspectives:
Gary Bauer, president of the American Values Coalition, said the process is not likely to improve by the time the Judiciary Committee holds hearings, which could begin as early as Nov. 1.
"We're not going to find out anything more than what we've already found out about Harriet Miers because the whole strategy here is this so-called stealth strategy: picking candidates for the Supreme Court who have no judicial record on things that really matter," Bauer told "Fox News Sunday."
Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan criticized President Bush for being too unwilling to look outside his inner circle for such a critical pick.
"This is a faith-based initiative," he told NBC "Meet The Press." "The president is saying `Trust me,' and that's not enough."
"If there's any issue that the president's earned, it's trust," said Southern Baptist leader Richard Land. He predicted that Miers will "vote the way he (President Bush) would want her to vote" and that as a Texan she would consider anything else disloyal.
"If someone is disloyal, in Texas they're right down there with child molesters and ax murderers," Land said.
Is Gary Bauer critiquing the President? Is Richard Land supporting him or undermining him? I'm not sure what to think. But it all makes for good reading. And I'd rather have conservatives talking freely to the press, suggesting that Miers will be Bush's political pawn on the Court as if that's perfectly normal, than to have them tight-lipped.