Evangelicals vs. Intellectuals
Stephen McGarvey Stephen McGarvey's weblog
- Published Oct 06, 2005
Why is the Miers nomination causing such a turmoil in the Republican Party? Slate's political correspondant John Dickerson has written a concise and provocative assessment of the situation.
In this battle, the White House has clearly sided with the churchgoing masses against the Republican Party's own whiny Beltway intellectuals. The Bushies have always mistrusted their own bow-tied secularists, but the rift has never before been so public. "This is classic elitism," says a senior administration official of the GOP opposition to the Miers nomination. "We often blame the left for it, but we have it in our own ranks. Just because she wasn't on a shortlist of conservatives who prepared their whole life for this moment doesn't make her any less conservative … and just because she hasn't penned op-eds for the Wall Street Journal doesn't mean she hasn't formed a judicial philosophy."
And that's the debate. Miers, it appears has the right worldview, but does she have the legal mind to do the job and garner the respect she needs? Will this nomination go down in flames due to lack of support from Republicans? Dickerson doesn't think so.
Beyond the religious ties, there's nothing that will make Bush fight harder for his nominee than an attack by the intellectuals, even if they are from his own party. Those who put others down as second-rate minds with weak credentials get relegated to that class of snobs he first learned to hate at Yale, when he walked through their Vietnam protests in his leather bomber jacket. Those who lack skill in what [George] Will called "constitutional reasoning" are already pressing the president's anti-intellectual buttons. Bush loves the idea, say aides, that Miers strikes a blow for real-world simplicity.
Time will tell.
Read the full article: Gods vs. Geeks