The Spectacle Blog

We Ain’t Seen Ugly Yet

By on 10.12.05 | 4:06PM

Wlady: Sure, it's been ugly. But what is coming soon is going to redefine the word. The president now says that Miers's religion was a major factor in the nomination. That opens a door that was closed from 1776 until this morning: a barrage of questions to savage Miers about how her religion will shape her judgments. Questions of religious belief that were as bad only in 1960 when JFK was accused of placing Catholicism over patriotic duty. It was wrong then, and off-limits since.

Now, the hyperlibs have been given an open season on religion and there's no bag limit. The anti-religion lefties will be screaming for a secular court, and the MSM will pile on enthusiastically. The only good thing about it is that some of the libs may be too scared to join in this Inquisition. Schumer, Durbin and Leahy won't be. They'll do a Torquemada on Miers.

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The Evolutionary Credo

By on 10.12.05 | 3:42PM

Here we have another liberal getting red-faced and dogmatic as Intelligent Design scientists expose the pretensions of Darwinists. Jacob Weisberg likens ID'ers to segregationists; Kurt Andersen likens them to "Holocaust deniers." Neither of these guys could explain evolutionary theory. But what they can do is repeat the Darwinist creed over and over again and hope that their Leninist smears (Lenin said never engage your critics, just call them "traitors" to good causes and people will know "what's what") will dissuade too many people from questioning it.

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Stand Up, Sit Down

By on 10.12.05 | 2:40PM

"This is gonna get real ugly." Jed, you mean what's happened the last 10 days has been ugly, but not real ugly? The Bush coalition has split, Democrats and libs are doing victory dances around the campfire, and no one even remembers what they did to Tom DeLay's scalp.

When you mentioned "the president's statement that he hadn't sat down with Miers and discussed Roe v. Wade," it reminded me that when asked at his October 4 press conference whether he'd ever discussed abortion with Miers, Bush prefaced his reply with the Clinton-era standby, "Not to my recollection." Richard Cohen may have been right again when yesterday he surmised that Bush talked to Miers about abortion only while standing.

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What Did James Dobson Know and Why Did He Know It?

By on 10.12.05 | 1:32PM

Is anyone other than me puzzled by the continuing revelations by Focus on the Family's James Dobson on the Miers nomination? And the White House's total silence on whether Dobson's claims are true? The transcript of Dobson's radio broadcast yesterday indicates pretty clearly Dobson's claim that he was told Miers was almost certain to be the nominee days before the President announced it:

"And what I was referring to is the fact that on Saturday, the day before the President made his decision, I knew that Harrier Miers was at the top of the short list of names under consideration. And as you know, that information hadn't been released yet, and everyone in Washington and many people around the country wanted to know about it and the fact that he had shared with me is not something I wanted to reveal."

Worse still, Dobson claims that Rove explained to him Miers's "judicial philosophy":

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Religious Cronyism?

By on 10.12.05 | 1:28PM

Re Dave's post, now Bush's selection of Miers looks like flat-out religious cronyism. Why did I select her? Well, we're both evangelicals ... That's basically his answer. The White House has managed to combine here hopeless PC pandering -- witness Laura Bush's inane feminist defense of Miers -- with bone-throwing to the Religious Right.

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Vinocur Clarity

By on 10.12.05 | 12:06PM

You wouldn't know from domestic coverage, but Angela Merkel accession as German chancellor is a big victory for U.S. foreign policy. In its editorial today, the New York Times suggests that the "grand coalition" arrangement Merkel had to agree to in order to become chancellor cost her "half the seat in her government, including foreign affairs..."-- the implication being that she'll have weak impact on foreign policy and that Germany will continue as before in its anti-U.S. drift.

Not so, if you read John Vinocur in the International Herald-Tribune. Vinocur, an excellent former Times foreign correspondent and then editor of the Times-owned IHT for which he continues to cover Europe as a senior correspondent, has never succumbed to the temptations of European neutralism and easy anti-Americanism. Which might explain why his work is so rarely if ever seen in the New York Times itself these days.

Here, straight from the top, in a story emphatically headlined, "A Coalition It May Be, but Merkel Has Won," is Vinocur's take:

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Leaky Leahy

By on 10.12.05 | 11:25AM

The Washington Post, evidently irritated that Pat Leahy called its account of his meeting with Harriet Miers "not really all that accurate" on This Week, runs a little follow-up story today in an attempt to vindicate its reporting that Miers said "Warren," before saying "Warren Burger," in answer to Leahy's question about her favorite justices. Leahy, according to the Post, had told the story loudly to several aides who heard "the senator describe Miers as stumbling over Burger's name, at first calling him 'Warren'."

Neither Leahy nor the White House disputed the Post's account of the story last Friday. But for some reason Leahy felt the need to change his story on Sunday morning. The White House, no doubt thrilled that the new version of the story was less damaging to Miers, quickly said it agreed with Leahy's new account of the conversation.

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Barr Bomb

By on 10.12.05 | 10:08AM

"You obviously have picked her because she believes the sun rises and sets around you."

This and more from our friend Bob Barr, who urges the president to "take a mulligan" on the Miers pick in today's AJC.

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The Full Ugarte Treatment

By on 10.12.05 | 9:22AM

The link between the murder of former Lebanese PM Rafiq al-Hariri and Bashar Assad has now been identified, at least by the best of circumstantial evidence. Former Syrian Interior Minister and intelligence boss Ghazi Kanaan reportedly has suicided. Kanaan had been questioned by UN investigators looking into the Hariri assassination and, after making a rather despondent phone call to a radio station, killed himself at 11 am. The tongue-in-cheek Al-Jazeera report says that, "It was not clear whether he shot himself." Apparently, they haven't yet determined how many times he did so, or whether he was shot trying to escape.

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