Friday, October 21, 2005

A tricky mentor

George Bush is getting semi-friendly advice about the Miers nomination from National Review, the Wall Street Journal and Charles Krauthammer, among others (in other words, DUMP HER!) -- and has chosen to hunker down, notwithstanding the dilemmas this stance poses to his political base. For one thing, if she indeed goes to Capitol Hill and is confirmed, it'll be tough for a future nominee's supporters to successfully argue (as did adherents of several Bush appointees, including John Roberts) that there should be no religious test for court nominees. Look, the only bloody reason the Bushies are giving religious cons to back Miers is that she's one of them. If that's not a religious test ...

Meantime, the conservative crackup has caused some historian types (check The Corner and No Left Turns, for starters) to question whether Bush is really a conservative, much less of a Reaganesque variety.

Maybe we've got the role models wrong. Think of a putatively conservative chief executive who won re-election during a divisive war but who squandered his political capital because of foolishly placed loyalty to associates who didn't deserve it. And who left future generations saddled with a massive expansion of the federal government.

OK, this is too easy. But W's looking more Nixonian all the time. With Tricky Dick, we got not only Watergate, but also the EEOC, the EPA, OSHA, and countless other bureaucratic headaches. With Bush, it's the repudiation of free-market farming and the Medicare drug benefit. Plus we've bought Louisiana twice!