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    Miers and the Right
    By Matthew Rothschild
    The Progressive

Posted on Truthout

    Wednesday 12 October 2005

    I'm trying hard to figure out the intensity of the far right's anger about the Harriet Miers nomination.

    Seems unlikely to me, anyway, that Bush and Cheney and Rove would have picked someone who was not a doctrinaire conservative.

    So why are the reactionaries reacting so badly?

    Because Harriet Miers was not one of their tried and true chosen few.

    She hasn't been out there openly fighting their battles from the trenches or the benches, so they, having been stung by Souter and O'Connor and Kennedy, badly fear being stung again.

    They also feel their power slipping away, as Bush's popularity stays low, his ability to get what he wants in Congress begins to flag, the Iraq War drags on, and indictments loom.

    They were depending on Bush to deliver a reactionary bench, and now they fear they won't be able to accomplish this overriding goal.

    Bush's preachers - especially James Dobson - pledged that he would stack the court with justices committed to overturning Roe. While Dobson may be reassured, many rightwingers feel betrayed.

    Which is strange, since Bush has done so much for them.

    But part of the betrayal is feeling disrespected: One rightwing fundamentalist leader said it's like Bush doesn't want to be seen in pubic with them.

    And part of the betrayal is feeling that Bush has not joined the battle in the way they want: head on.

    They crave jihad, and Harriet Miers doesn't seem like a bomb thrower.

    For many rightwing fundamentalists, it's not enough that they stack the court. They also want justices to berate the rest of us as sinners as they take their seats.

    And so, on Sunday, Pat Buchanan was demanding that Harriet Miers must call Roe an "abomination" at her confirmation hearings.

    I doubt that will happen.

    But Miers is in a bind: If she doesn't unsheath the anti-abortion sword, she may lose a couple of rightwing Republican Senators. And if she does, she may lose a couple of moderate Republican Senators.

    Until the Miers nomination, all Bush had, solidly at his table, was the far right.

    He doesn't even have that now, despite all his catering.