I agree with George, Miers is a lightweight, regardless of her political or religious leanings, and should not be confirmed on that basis. There are some serious things coming before the court this year, and we should, at least have serious people to deal with them.
She is the president’s choice. If you want a different system of choosing Supreme Court justices, then lobby for a constitutional amendment to implement a different system.
As much as I would like to see a Supreme Court justice speak out about the harm that comes from faith in the irrational, it doesn’t change her first (and only really important) qualification: she was chosen by the president (with or without minimal or extensive input from other members of his staff and administration) as the nominee.
I am not a registered member of the Republican Party (nor any other political party); I just think this is the rational view.
I disagree. I guess it all boils down to how any of us interprets “advise and consent”. To me, it does not mean that a minority (of 41% of senators) gets to obstruct nominee afer nominee until they… effectively… co-opt the choosing process to themselves.
I actually do not believe that any such minority will be able to do this to nominee Miers. But one thing’s for sure: the events will be what they will be - - without my participation.
If you care (and you’re not required to, in the slightest), I have described some of my views on “things” on (my second post to) http://www.samharris.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=636 - - the most important element of which (to this thread) is that I am intensely apolitical. I am quite strongly opposed to belonging to a political party, as I would be to having a (religious) faith in things irrational.
So, actually, I don’t really care about the success or failure of the Miers nomination. Certainly not pasionately. I don’t hate you, if you do, just as I choose not to hate those people who believe in God(s).
Too many of both of you.
But I feel no respect for those who feel an affinity for a “call to political action” - - to oppose her nomination (or almost anything involving the choice of individuals into public office).
I hope that these views are not too cynical for me to be able to be welcome here!
p.s. I don’t have a signature quote (yet) - - but this would be good for this thread… for my position on this…
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. - Voltaire
(I hope that I have quoted this accurately - - these things sometimes get perpetuated with little twists on the internet - - and I only searched quickly and maybe, superficially).
I have mixed feelings on Miers, but I get upset when people think that political posturing over Supreme Court nominees is something new. The truth is that many candidates have been blocked for political reasons (and for presumed cronyism) in the past. The senate has the right to block an appointment, and they sometimes do.
Thus, even if people do not have a direct say in this process, they can exert political pressure.
I love to debate though, and I really care about the details, but I assure you, there is no ill will. Welcome to this patch of cyberspace.
[quote author=“rexbickers”]She is the president’s choice. If you want a different system of choosing Supreme Court justices, then lobby for a constitutional amendment to implement a different system.
Art. II, Sec. 2, Cl. 2 provides that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . judges of the Supreme Court.”
It bears mentioning, first, that this is not so much a grant of power to the President as it is a direction or a mandate that he do the things described—first nominate and then, with advice and consent, appoint. It is a subtle distinction, but likely was intended to be an important one.
By contrast, the enumeration clause of Article I affirmatively grants Congress the power to do many things—lay taxes, borrow money, regulate commerce, declare war, raise armies, make laws, etc.—without consulting the President at all (except, of course, as the veto power may be seen as negative consent).
My point is this: selecting a Supreme Court Justice is supposed to be a collaborative process, much more so than many people think or would like to acknowledge. It is not within the President’s constitutional authority to make such an appointment unaided or against the Senate’s will, expressed as a simple majority. His is not a choice that they (the Senate) or we (the People) can be forced to live with. If the Framers had so intended, they could have accomplished that result by changing just a few words, or by using the equivalent of a veto/overrride mechanism such as in Art. I, Sec. 7, Cl. 2.
All that being said, Harriet Miers is an awful, truly awful, Supreme Court nominee. She is, believe it or not, even less qualified than Clarence Thomas. She is Nino Scalia sans intellect but with an intact hymen.
[quote author=“rexbickers”]I guess it all boils down to how any of us interprets “advise and consent”. To me, it does not mean that a minority (of 41% of senators) gets to obstruct nominee afer nominee until they… effectively… co-opt the choosing process to themselves.
You, like many people who make this argument, seem to think that the filibuster tactic can go on in perpetuity. But it can only go on as long as that 41% continues to hold office. All you have to do is wait until the next congress. If the filibuster is not supported by the voters, then it will fail because eventually a sufficient number of filibustering senators will be ousted from office. If the filibuster is supported by the voters, then it will continue. This is how the authors of the Constitution intended our government to work, by and with the consent of the American people.
The problem is that you seem to think that every issue has to be resolved in a month or two, as though government is supposed to be some kind of well-oiled machine. That view couldn’t be more wrong. These so-called “obstruction” mechanisms are methods of slowing things down, so that our government isn’t a slave to short-sighted, tyrannical whims of narrow majorities, which is exactly the situation we are facing now.
I would be a gadfly at any Republican gathering (where I would never submit to becoming a member), as I would at Mister George Will’s coffee table… and I think I have to learn to choose carefully which threads here I pick out… as targets for making a comment.
No shortage of folks here on this forum who take _faith in politics_ way more seriously than I ever could/would - - and quite similarly to faith in the irrational - - I am drawn to drop out of the dialogue (diatribe?)
With politics and religion both, I am a product of so, so many years of conditioning myself - - to just not listen… to just not care.
No shortage of folks here on this forum who take_ faith in politics_way more seriously than I ever could/would—and quite similarly to faith in the irrational—I am drawn to drop out
of the dialogue (diatribe?)
To a certain degree, I share your disillusionment with politics(mabye not for the same reasons you do, but I can’t say for certain). In any case, my own negative feelings are generally
directed towards, POLITICIANS, as a group. I just feel certain
kinds of people (speaking very generally here) are drawn
towards political life and I think there is a disproportionate
number of sociopaths and just all-around unsavory characters
who get into politics. One of the few politicians (though he really
isn’t one, I guess) I may be happy voting for is Ralph Nader. But
I still do not trust him entirely. I also question his motivations and
have very many mixed and conflicting feelings about his ideas.
The problem I have mainly is with human arrogance. I just have
a tendancy, rightly or wrongly, to question anyone (or anything)
who claims to have a lock on objective truth and reality. Also, i’m
very wary about ideas that “sound good” to me. Hindsight is 20/20 and humans often have trouble seeing all potential outcomes
in just about any idea or policy. I suppose i’m like the, “Ents”, in
Tolkien’s, “Lord of the Rings”. I like to think long and hard about
any idea, especially if it only sounds good on an emotional level.
I try my very best not to hastily decide on the wisdom or folly of anything, no matter how good it sounds, even on an intellectual
level. Then again, it is sometimes neccessary to make snap decisions and all I can do in those cases is hope that i’ve made the
right one. This is why I do not like too much responsibility. I have no Children and don’t want any. I work for myself, so whatever
mistakes I make will usually come back to me only. I hate being
a juror, a voter, or anything of the kind. I just think that many
people who have gladly taken on major responsibilities have
often been the ones who screw things up the most. But again,
that is certainly not always the case. Considering the current
state of world, i’d say there’s been quite a few, “responsible”
screw-ups who we have entrusted with major responsibilities.
Nevertheless, politics has a large (if not the largest) influence on our lives, whether we like it or not. Therefore, I do feel a responsibility to be involved, no matter minumal my role
may be, in the political life and processes of my country.
I abhor the choices we get in the democratic and republican
party. But I feel compelled to submit my, “lesser of two evils”
vote eventually. I voted for Kerry in the last election, but I
really did not like him. I just hated GWB worse. I do feel (but
I claim no certitudes) things would be better, however slightly,
had Kerry been elected. This has nothing to do with partisan
loyalty. If John McCain would have been running against Kerry,
I very well may have cast my vote for him (though my positive
feelings toward McCain are quite limited too). I just think GWB
and his adminstration is one of the absolute worst this country
has ever seen. I don’t think I can honestly say anything good
about them. Certainly, the democratic adminstrations of Carter
and Johnson weren’t much better, if better at all, IMHO.
You described yourself as a; “Secular intellectual hippie republican”.
I suppose I would agree with you on many issues (?).
I am certainly no intellectual, but unlike some in this
country, I do not denigrate or envy those who are
smarter and/or more educated than myself. The
secular thing is all good with me and i’ve never quite
understood what people have against hippies.
Though the term is entirely subjective, I suppose.
There are many more groups far more deserving of
contempt and ridicule than hippies, I think.
I don’t like silly political labels like, republican-democrat, right-left
liberal-conservative, etc…But I will admit, the last thing anyone
has ever accused me of being is anything right, conservative,
republican,etc… With that said, I am fairly sure there are
many areas where we would disagree.
Nonetheless, I sincerely hope any potential disagreements we may have can remain respectful and civil. I can get a little hotheaded at times (some may say more than a little) so
by all means, let me know if I ever get out of bounds. In
any case, welcome to TEOF and I hope you enjoy yourself