THAT'S KIND OF THE POINT, SEAN: Sean Hannity says he doesn't share the dismay of Bill Kristol and other leading conservatives about Bush's choice of Harriet Miers. Responding to fears that she might be a closet moderate, Hannity on his radio show today rose to the president's defense with these stirring words:Until we know more about her views, Hannity continued, pessimism is unwarranted. Think about that for a second. George W. Bush had a chance to nominate any number of highly qualified jurists whose views were well known and unabashedly acceptable to leading conservatives. Instead, Bush goes and nominates someone that one of the leading public voices of broadcast conservativism praises thus: Be patient, time may show Miers not to be another O'Connor. Hey, Sean: Wouldn't you rather be crowing about the conservative bona fides of the second Bush nominee, rather than making a virtue of her essential anonymity? Is that the standard you're prepared to set for a political movement that traces its lineage to Ronald Wilson Reagan? I don't want to come off as a crank here. I'm fully prepared to let Miers make her case. But, in the meantime, maybe leading pro-Bush conservatives can let up on their insistence that not having a dreaded "paper trail" is a mark of virtue. Patrick J. Buchanan, whose journalistic paper trail is long and not filled with ambiguous side roads, makes a very good point when he opines:
"We just don't know."
A paper trail is the mark of a lawyer, a scholar or a judge who has shared the action and passion of his or her time, taken a stand on the great questions, accepted public abuse for articulating convictions. Why is a judicial cipher like Harriet Miers to be preferred to a judicial conservative like Edith Jones? One reason: Because the White House fears nominees “with a paper trail” will be rejected by the Senate, and this White House fears, above all else, losing. So, it has chosen not to fight. Bush had a chance for greatness in remaking the Supreme Court, a chance to succeed where his Republican precedessors from Nixon to his father all failed. He instinctively recoiled from it. He blew it. His only hope now is that Harriet Miers, if confirmed, will not vote like the lady she replaced, or, worse, like his father’s choice who also had “no paper trail,” David Souter.