As the New York Times breathlessly reports on the “ruthless attacks” from conservatives against Harriet Miers, it needs to remember exactly who said what.
Hugh Hewitt and Marvin Olasky, two principled conservative Christians that I respect very much, opine today about the abuses suffered by Miers at the hands of the right. (Much of the criticism is directed to the National Review, who responds here.)
The NY Times pieces points to “weeks of ceaseless, often vicious, criticism of everything from her intellect and credentials to her makeup and wardrobe,” then goes on to quote Democratic friends of Miers lashing out at conservatives for their attacks. The clear insinuation is that Democrats and Liberals were all in favor of Miers, but evil Republicans stopped this consensus nomination.
One of the people quoted by the Times, James Parsons III a Democratic state judge, blamed “the religious Taliban in the Republican Party.” That is an odd statement since the majority of support for Miers came from the Evangelical Christian circles like Hewitt, Olasky and James Dobson.
Another quoted somehow worked the CIA leak case into it and blamed the White House for not paying enough attention while “the right just chewed her up. It was like a gang, a lynch mob.” And of course no one on the left had anything negative to say. There were never charges of “cronyism” and the like.
Do Times reporters actually read their own paper. I know the paper’s readership (and profits) is down dramatically, but you would think those employed there would at least have a copy to see how the Times editorial board felt about Ms. Miers.
On Oct. 20, they had this to say:
But as time went on, it became increasingly clear that, ideology aside, the qualification question looms large. So far this nominee has yet to demonstrate that she can even satisfactorily fill out a questionnaire about her attitude toward important constitutional questions…
After her nomination was withdrawn, NYT continues to pile on. They called her “a legal lightweight,” “not qualified,” “a poor choice,” and incapable “of filling out the Senate’s questionnaire without a do-over.” Sounds like they were part of, if not leading, the pack for her removal from consideration.
We can look at people like Sen. Ted Kennedy who yesterday said:
They [conservatives] had a litmus test, and before giving her a fair chance to have her own voice heard, they decided Harriet Miers didn’t meet it. That’s not what the Supreme Court is about.
The United States Senate was ready to give Harriet Miers a fair chance and a fair hearing and she should have been given that chance.
That’s easy for him to say, since he was insinuating croynism and calling on the President to release all of Miers’ White House documents (the stated reason for her withdrawal) on October 5.
Not only are Democrat Senators changing their tune, but so are the RINO Republicans. Sen. Arlen Specter held a joint press conference with Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy expressing their disappointment with Miers and her answers to the Senate’s questionaire. During the press conference her answers were referred to as “incomplete,” “insufficient,” and “insulting.”
Yesterday, however, Specter was just completely discouraged by Miers’ withdrawal:
I’m sorry to hear that Miss Miers has decided to remove her name from consideration. I think that this is a sad episode in the history of Washington, D.C. … The way Harriet Miers has been treated is really disgraceful.
I was ambiguous on Harriet Miers’ nomination. I was never really in either camp full fledged. Some days I would be disappointed, some days encouraged. But I honestly didn’t see any “vicious criticism” of her or personal attacks from any respectable person on the left or right.
But I am sickened by the media’s reports of the “right-wing takedown” when they had been attacking her and would ramp up those attacks during the confirmation hearings. The left will vehemently oppose virtually anyone that President Bush nominates.
The fact the left puts on their halo, bats their eyes and coos “Who me?” when evaluating the withdrawal irritates me almost as much as the media allowing them to get away with the charade by repeating their talking points.
National Review’s Bench Memos makes a similar point:
Ms. Miers’s had been strongly criticized by the “left”, and certainly would have been savaged by the “left” had many on the right not voiced their principled opposition (does anyone really believe that â€” but for the conservative opposition â€” Sens. Kennedy, Boxer, and Schumer would not have been hysterical in opposing a pro-life, evangelical, Bush loyalist?) … in today’s politics, there is no such thing, unfortunately, as a “consensus” nominee. Any one who is smart, experienced, on-record, and mainstream-conservative…, will be opposed by the Democratic Senators and the left-leaning interest groups, automatically and ruthlessly. Remember, even John Roberts got 22 “no” votes.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has another example of dishonest reporting at the New York Times.
UPDATE 2: The Washington Post tells New York Times, I see your bet (fluff piece on Miers) and I raise you one (attacking Miers in the same editorial where you attack conservatives for attacking her).
We shall see how the Times responds to this blatent challenge of their position as the most hypocritically left-wing paper in the nation by the Washington Post. Perhaps NYT may even allow us a one-day freebie of Maureen Dowd as she both calls Miers a “little legal lightweight unqualified for Law and Order,” while ripping conservatives for “cowardly and crudely attacking this courageous woman like guards at Gitmo.” We can only hope.