Monday, October 17, 2005

The H-Bomb: W kept his Word

If there has been anything consistent in the Bush administration it's that W keeps his word. Love him or hate him--when he tells you he's going to do something, he does it.

In 2004 millions of socially conservative voters went to the polls in the belief that W would appoint socially conservative judges. Not many doubted that W had kept his word with the appointment of John Roberts as Chief Justice.

But the last two weeks have seen a volcano of suspicion erupt over fears that Harriet Miers would turn out to be a judicial liberal/moderate in the mold of Souter or Kennedy or O'Connor.

Now comes the H-bomb, the Harriet bomb: a long distance conference call with Texas judges Nathan Hecht and Ed Kinkeade who have known her for years:

What followed, according to the notes, was a free-wheeling discussion about many topics, including same-sex marriage. Justice Hecht said he had never discussed that issue with Ms. Miers. Then an unidentified voice asked the two men, "Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?"

"Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade.

"I agree with that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur."

This will, no doubt, stir up a tempest on Capitol Hill.

Hecht is a member of Miers' home church, and has known her closely for fifteen years--he is a Texas pro-life leader, and the two attended two or three pro-life fundraising dinners together in the late '80s and early '90s.

I don’t believe and have never believed that Hecht doesn’t know her position on Roe. Since she ran a pro-life campaign for Dallas city council and clashed with Dallas feminists on this numerous times, her pro-life position has been well-known in Texas. Hecht has been trying simultaneously to keep her pro-life past from killing her with the NYTimes/Senate/Specter, AND trying to rally evangelicals/conservatives to support her.

Now things have gone badly awry.

Hecht is from her home church; she dated him; there’s every reason to think she’s been open with him. Kinkeade is apparently also another Christian conservative; they’ve known each other for 25 years. As someone who spent most of his adult life as a member of a GARBC Baptist church, evangelicals will frequently open up within their home church about things they would never discuss at work.

I don’t think this is just a prediction by Hecht/Kinkeade.

They know.

To put it differently: I’ve been arguing for a while that she has since 1990 a consistent pro-life record. The evidence isn’t totally bullet-proof; each item can be questioned seriatim; but in the end, when the record is looked at as a whole, the probabilites that she wants to reverse Roe on the basis of the public record have always seemed to me quite high. The Hecht stuff just confirms the other items on the list.

Needless to say, the Kossacks of the Left are delighted:

Armando at DKos says this:
“Will this reassure the Religious Right? After all they’ve invested in righteous rage? Will it be the tipping point for pro-choice Democratic Senators? Do you have to ask?

My friends, let us have a moment of silence. The good lady is toast.”

They'll have to deal with W first. And the GOP may well have enough votes to confirm.

But for now let us be clear on one thing: when it came to
appointing judges, W kept his word.


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