The Battle Unseen
October 4, 2005

Yesterday, President Bush made a whole plethora of Republicans upset and I must say, I couldn't be more proud of him. I count myself among the too frequently silent remnant that seem to genuinely believe that President Bush is the man for this hour. Not the man for the Republican Party. Not the man for the Conservative movement, but the man for such a time as this. Nevermind our disagreements. For even prior to his election, President Bush and I had our differences. In fact, on almost a monthly basis, our dear leader does or says something that drives me to frustration. The difference however is that I don't believe President Bush's success in office should be determined by what he has and hasn't done to further the "conservative agenda." His success should be determined by his obedience to what he knows to be right because like everyone else, President Bush will also give an account for his life, his decisions, and his stewardship of the responsibility of the presidency. Whereas it seems that some citizens want a presidential puppet, today I am convinced President Bush isn't out for man's approval. I submit to you that this is exactly the type of president we want to have.

Oh how I love it when the foolish things confound the wise.

It seems President Bush has kicked up quite a bit of dust in the conservative camp with his recent nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. The feedback is oh so telling of the shortcomings of left and right thinking. It's usually selfish and wrought with tunnel-vision.

Chanters from the supposed pro-Bush crowd have emerged in all their elephant hat wearing splendor to declare Miers "unqualified" for the job. Apparently these folks aren't familiar with 75% of the Bible--a living testament of unqualified people doing incredible things. Many people have criticized her lack of judicial experience, her relationship to the Bush family, her thin paper trail and her older age (60 years old won't give her a whole lot of time on the court). Nevertheless, the disappointment and feeling of betrayal with this nomination can be chopped up to one big gripe, "How do we even know she is a conservative?" Apparently, Miers doesn't have the appropriate conservative credentials. Perhaps someone can explain to me the substance of the alleged requisite credentials? A subscription to "The National Review" and a gun?

Now I may not be the most profound political theorist, and certainly I didn't graduate from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government but I know one thing: Planned Parenthood is afraid. Take note folks, they do their research. Fear is a good sign. Today on their activist site "saveroe.com," the following was posted:

President Bush has just nominated Harriet Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. If President Bush puts an extremist judge on the Supreme Court, there will likely be enough votes in place to reverse hard-won gains for women's equality. Some of the rights, liberties and freedoms that we now take for granted may disappear in this new court.
I am certain there is a laundry list of other people that we human beings in our infinite wisdom would deem "more qualified for the job." But I am convinced President Bush is after something bigger here. Years from now, when we look back in the history books, I'm not so sure Iraq or social security or the future of the Republican Party will be lauded as the key focal points of Bush's second term. I believe the major battle in America is the battle for the unborn. It makes perfect sense. The abortion movement isn't just killing babies; it's killing one of the greatest commodities on the earth right now: human potential.

The opportunity of appointing two Supreme Court justices is by my humble analysis, the most important decision of Bush's presidency. If the only reason President Bush is in office is to move this country one step closer to eradicating nationwide infanticide, then so be it. So I'm sorry Cindy Sheehan and all the others who are upset with George W. Bush. I deem this an important enough issue that would cause me to give him a vote of confidence even if it's the only thing he does right (which as far as I can see, won't be the case). Don't be deceived by those who say change is impossible. It is quite possible that Roe v. Wade could be overturned sooner than we think.

The Conservative Voice points out that above all political affiliations (my kind of language), Miers is an "Evangelical Christian" which (not getting into the umpteen improper definitions associated with that word including but not limited to the inaccuracy of the word "evangelical" itself) a little research will show, guarantees that Miers probably knows how to be a better "conservative" than even the most "moral" member of the Andrew Sullivan fan club.

Yeah I'm feeling my independent oats today.

Has it occurred to anyone that just maybe our president is attempting to be strategic? Could it be the very fact that Miers doesn't have a papertrail that may make her a stronger nominee? Time will tell. But the pro-choice (to kill children) camp made it quite clear that they are uneasy. They are uneasy that they can't pin Miers as a staunch Conservative, and they were uneasy with John Roberts' strategic answering of abortion-rights related questions. Answers that without much wisdom, could have surely lost him favor. Thus far, I see one throughline in all of Bush's nominations: calculated ambiguity. Which isn't to say his Supreme Court nominees don't have a clear stance on the hottest of all hot topics. Indeed they do, but they are using wisdom and truth in their reveal.

This is about far more than political gain folks. If we can't begin to see beyond our own man-made political affiliatory hang-ups, we are going play a part in running this country into the ground.

I'm breakin out the pink t-shirt.

President Bush, I trust you on this one.

Update (10/4): Blogger Patrick Ruffini makes it plain:

"At the risk of drawing the undying enmity of The Herd, I'm going to state categorically that conservatism is sitting pretty at this hour. That's because Harry Reid has just been hosed – and he doesn't even know it.

The navel gazers are nabobing about another Souter. That's silly. The Court will almost certainly move to the right as a result of the nomination and confirmation of Harriet Miers. And here's why.

It's true. Little is known about the views of Harriet Miers. But what is known, through official and unofficial channels, paints a picture of a conservative Texas lawyer with rock-solid beliefs on life, strong religious convictions, and a modesty that should allay fears of a renegade Justice determined to remake society through the courts. John Roberts was the silver-tongued, inside-the-Beltway pick for the Court; Miers is the plain spoken red stater."

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Ambra at October 4, 2005 3:10 AM in Politics
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Ambra, I agree. Even though Bush is not a polished extemporaneous speaker,(he once said "strategery"), he knows what he is doing. Bush reminds me of a friend from North Carolina who always says "If we can't out smart them, we'll just out dumb them".

I was saddened and ashamed to listen to Sean Hannity question the Presidents decision in this matter and to hear some Mr. Hannity's callers saying that the President was selling them (conservative, Christians) out. I'm not into politics and try not to stay in focus on current events overly much (not good for my blood pressure) but it seems to me that they were all being quite hypocritical. When Dems. point out the Presidents unequivocale position on the "war on terror" as a "narrow minded" short coming these same conservatives point this trait out as the positive character of the man. In this way they vocally stated their support for the Presidents decision with an unquestionable loyalty. Where is this same loyalty now?
I believe, as you, that the President knows the character of this woman and that her character is in line with his own. I also believe that the President understands the legacy that he is creating in this appointment. He may sound like a fool at times, but he doesn't think like one.
Thank you for, as always, your thoughtful comments.

I'm with you on this one, too. I think it is a very good thing to have both Republicans and Democrats unhappy about President Bush's choice. I don't want any government official that just goes around spouting the party line no matter which politcal party it is.

Hallelujah. Thank you very much! I agree with you and am grateful for your saying so, so eloquently. Aside from the fact that I trust the man, I also think that it's awesome that both sides are uncomfortable. Perfect! And I love that she (and Roberts, to some extent) is a hard-working, thoughtful person who has risen to this position. (As for speaking well, why does that matter so much? If he were slicker, he'd be a very different person.)

Sorry but I have to add one more comment. If 60 is old for her ("won't have that much time on the Court"), how come 50 was young for Roberts ("could be there for 30, 40 years)? Men die before women, actuarily speaking, so: huh?

It' a shame you're only 23.

It's a shame you're only 23.

You need some ground effects. :)

Hi Ambra. Nice to see you posting again, although I wholeheartedly disagree with most everything you wrote, and I think this is the first time for that. Miers aside, Bush has shown that he *does* care about politics, even though you don't. I agree with you that the defense of the unborn is one of the most important issues of our time, but he has done nothing about it. Not to mention the open borders, the Patriot Acts, forced government charity, forced mental screening of children, caring about other nations' sovereignty more than our own, and, most importantly to me, actively helping to divide up Israel. (I despise both major parties and I lean toward "small l" libertarianism, but I would be content with someone who simply followed the Constitution.)
So, no, I don't trust him with Roberts and Miers. I sincerely hope I'm mistaken.

Ambra... You amaze me. I confess that I was buying into the conservative disappointment voiced by all the Drudge Report Gang. I was thinking that President Bush had wimped out even though I am aware that he usually does just the opposite ..even to a fault.

So... a nominee whom Harry Reid is excited about could be the deciding vote that might well save our land from God's judgment? Wow. I need to go think about this.

Whatever happens and whoever is in office, we have to pray for our nation. I would do this no matter where I'm living or whatever citizenship I have.

Have I told you lately that I love you? Well, I do. You are my kind.

Absolutely, MJ. That goes without saying. We especially need to be praying for Roberts and Miers and the entire Supreme Court for that matter. The battle is unseen.

As for the borders issue....I'm sorry, but I find that not to be the main issue and not even the second main issue in America. If we don't close up spiritual borders first, the consequences will be much worse than some illegal aliens straining resources.

Count on that.

Ambra, you and I are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the question of accepting or rejecting political labels (I'm for 'em, you're agin' 'em). So I think it's entertaining--and perhaps meaningful in some way that I haven't quite teased out yet--that you and I are coming down on the same side of this issue.

I love the term "calculated ambiguity," by the way. Keep up the great work.

As a Progressive, it is nice to see the Right eating their own. However, I do think it will be short lived because sooner or later everyone will fall in line and do Bush's bidding. I don't think Miers is a good choice because I think the Supreme Court requires a higher degree of competence than just being a good lawyer and knowing the President.

If that is the case, then a good number of lawyers are qualified to sit on the Supreme Court... and that is not the case.

I didn't like Roberts, but you couldn't deny his resume. Harriet Miers? I don't think she comes close. As for the President, his statement of saying that Harriet is the best person he could find is a lie.

I think history will show Bush being one of the most incompetent presidents in recent times.

- Iraq will be a mess for a long time to come.
- We'll have structural deficits for decades
- Americans can expect to lose more civil liberties via the Patriot Act

And a host of others but I'll let them go for now.

"Calculated ambiguity" can also betray a naivete. You write eloquently and movingly about the supremely important and often unseen battle. I could not agree with you more in this conviction.

The problem is when the forces of good misunderestimate the power of the evil in a given situation. I thank God that we have a president who recognizes the degree of power in the greatest threat to us all today - Islamist fascism. He is taking them on with a ferocity and tenacity that is sadly required.

But he has failed to see the power of the "unseen" threats domestically. In this instance, he fails to see the dangers inherent in the "Law". The corruption of our system requires the strongest willed and most intelligent and savvy people we can muster. It is a must that with each opportunity, we put folks who are unafraid to express their righteousness (see Scalia and Thomas).

This fine lady was a lifelong evangelical Christian Democrat until her 45th year. She gave money to Gore. This is not the record of one who is righteous. This is the record of a politician. All Democrats tacitly support abortion rights by their affiliation.

In this case, Bush put up a decent collegiate prospect when he could have nominated an All-Pro (I love football!). He had the opportunity to make a transformative choice, but went with a practical one.

You write of transformation Ambra. I urge you to rethink your position on Bush's conscious choice to avoid it in the SCOTUS.

10 04 05

Hello:
I agree with Ed about the choice issue for the Supreme Court. I did a post on Clarence Thomas. He gets a bad rep but in truth, he uphold conservative ideals that we all cherish. See below:

http://mrigmaiden.blogspot.com/2005/09/why-i-like-clarence-thomas.html

Hopefully in time Ms. Miers will prove to be worthy of the nominatiion...

A couple of fallacies to refute.

First, the "both sides are mad so it must be right" mantra is simple-minded. A policy (or choice of person for a job) is either right or wrong, irrespective of who's upset.

The "I don't belong to either party, I'm 'independent,' love me!" line is a distinction without a difference. Do you support or oppose abortion? Do you support or oppose high taxes? Do people have the right to own a firearm?

These are yes or no questions and these and others like them go a long way in determining which party best represents your views. I have yet to meet a true "moderate" or person "in the middle." Under questioning, a trend can be found and which "side" you are on can be determined. There is no third way.

As for trusting Bush, I point you the a man in the bloodline of Christ--David. Imagine this, God comes to you, points you out and says: "You see this man? He's my kind of dude." What a compliment! Yet, he was imperfect and made wrong decisions as the King. I know David; David's a friend of mine; Mr. Bush, you're no David.

Man is capabable of all kinds of folly and a leader ordained by God is no different. That freewill thingy I think.

Statism is bad for America, how could I not oppose it and trump ideas that I think will work better?

PS: Abortion was declared legal largely because former Republican presidents (also ordained by God) picked the wrong people for the court. I did not support the president so he could repeat the mistakes.

PPS: As for the battle unseen, yep, but politics is not the battlefield where THAT battle is to be fought. Take that one to the streets. I cheated and peeked at the back of the Book and know how the story ends. It's gonna get worse before it gets better.

Thanks for the "englightenment."

Steven wrote: "First, the "both sides are mad so it must be right" mantra is simple-minded. A policy (or choice of person for a job) is either right or wrong, irrespective of who's upset."

Exactly. Which is what I clearly stated when I said...."The difference however, is that I don't believe President Bush's success in office should be determined by what he has and hasn't done to further the "conservative agenda." His success should be determined by his obedience to what he knows to be right because like everyone else, President Bush will also give an account for his life, his decisions, and his stewardship of the responsibility of the presidency."

No one is subscribing to the logic of everybody hates it, "so it must be right," and no one is suggesting that it's even that simple.

What I AM suggesting however, is that there is no direct correlation between the conservative agenda and the monopoly on righteousness (also known as "what is right.") Along with hip-hop, I will forever contend with you on this.

As for the droning on about the past, I say this: either we're going to get over past hurts and pray for the man and speak life into the situation, or we're going to watch America be cyclical in our shorcomings. In fact, the very fact that Republicans were partly responsible for Roe v. Wade goes to show how political parties fall short in producing people of character. It's the perfect addition to my argument. You want to point to David? Fine. Guess what happened after he fell? He became one of the greatest men of God known throughout the earth. Not only that, he was well acquainted with God's mercy and became a worshipper we could all learn from. Even to this day, his songs are sung throughout the Earth. Wow, what an impact.

And no Steven, the battle is not just in the streets...It's everywhere. I refuse to be dualist. That is not what Christ called us to be.

The understanding of the kingdom of God cannot even be fathomed within the realm of political parties. Trying to use human logic to make ourselves feel better about our own affiliations is what you choose to do. Not me. You and I will just need to agree to disagree on that. I can only account for myself and I know that I cannot in good conscience, join a political party.

What I battle here is not a disdain for affiliations (you be a part of whatever you want to be a part of) or some sort of plea for love for the sake of being independent (heck, I'm not even comfortable that label which in and of itself has become its own group). Much like my distaste for secret societies and greek organizations, I'd rather just be called a follower of Jesus Christ. Take note, my disdain in so many words has nothing to do with political parties. It has to do with the looming form of Godliness that denies the power. It's deceiving people into thinking that being a "good" person is all it takes.

When it comes to legislation, especially something as big as Roe v. Wade (which in my belief is more of a spiritual stronghold than any Christians want to admit) God is bigger than all this and He can use who he wants to use, how He wants, when He wants to, and we don't even have to be able to understand it.

Isn't sovereignty great?

You're welcome! :)

I never said that conservatives or Republicans hold a
lock on righteousness, quite the opposite. The Ohio
Republican Party is currently embroiled in several
scandals and have really made a mess of things. The
national Republican Party has backed off of several of
their reforms that they implemented after taking power
from a corrupt Democrat Party.

We have two choices; which party is closer to doing
the right thing? My faith is not in any political
organization. I too have faith that God can use anyone
or any situation for His purpose. I simply believe
that the GOP will allow freedom to reign longer than
the donkeys. Not perfect, but God has glorified the
USA so that our people can go around the world
preaching the Gospel, even using words sometimes. I am
not exactly fond of labels, but they make things
easier to understand and I don't make too much of
them. (When I was young, I though that the only two
black people who liked country music were Ray Charles
and Charlie Pride. You'd be surprised how many black
folks I have run into who like country. Stereotypes,
like labels, should serve as a guide--not Gospel.)

What I do is try to avoid confusing my Republicanism
with my Christianity. I know that my interpretation of
the bible is a little different from yours, but I
believe that while we are here on earth we must live
lives (and run government) the best we can as a
Christian nation, realizing that every individual
person has the right of free will to reject Him. My
libertarianism comes from what I have seen as a
biblical mandate. Quick explanation? Do the best that
we can while on earth realizing that our kingdoms are
not ones that will last eternity.

PS: The time is near when '80s music (especially heavy
metal) will have its last hurrah as my generation
limps towards Socialist Security and death. But until
then...

Iron Maiden Rules!

It is good to see you writing again; you never fail to
keep me on my toes. Good luck; I am praying for you.

Steven J. Kelso Sr.

You make an excellent point Ambra. With Roberts I wasn't sure but Miers confirms your assertion, he is being extremely strategic.

I wonder if his amnesty plan disquised as a guest worker program and lack of proper security at the borders is part of a greater strategy as well...am I stretching it a bit here?

Trust me, I am not being sarcastic or facetious I truly wonder if that is part of a greater strategy. Maybe too conspiratorial.

All I can say, Ambra, is AMEN!
I could not possibly have said it better.

It's about time. After so much hand wringing by conservatives it is refreshing to come across somebody who understands that the battle is not against flesh and blood. As an Orthodox Christian, I sing "put not your trust in princes" every Sunday during the Liturgy, and that also includes Supreme Court Justices. So many conservatives seem to feel that the New Jerusalem is only a few Supreme Court picks away. I have points of disagreement with the President, but I have no doubt about his honesty and humility. A bit of humility would be good on the part of those who are so ready to enjoy the pleasures of feeling betrayed. This is the first time I've vistied your site; I'll be back.
Scott

I disagree with you, Ambra. I watched President Bush yesterday during his press conference, and he tried to tell this nation that he picked Miers because she was "the most qualified person for the job."

I'm sure she's a fine lawyer, but "the most qualified for the job?" Give me a break. She's nowhere near the most qualified, except insofar as President Bush probably has a clearer sense of Miers personally than he does of any of the other potential nominees.

The President passed over alot of better-qualified jurists to nominate someone close to him who was lesser qualified. And I watched him flat out deny it. I have rarely been so disappointed in this President.

We shall soon see what unfolds during the confirmation process. It will be interesting, and no doubt it will produce some strange alliances.

Depends on your definition of "qualified."

I agree that the terms of a discussion ("qualified") should be defined. In this case, it's easy as pie.

When it comes to nominating someone to serve for the rest of her life as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, I would think that person should either have some experience as a judge (preferably in the federal judicial system), or else that person should have some history as a legal scholar (law school professor, or something like that). Miers has neither of these qualifications.

I draw small comfort from the President's personal knowledge of her character and lawyering skills. It's not enough that she be a good or moral or hard-working person.

If you want a scriptural reference point, I would point to Daniel. Yes, Daniel was God's man, but Daniel was also BETTER than the rest.

Do I think the Supreme Court will be damaged by this appointment? No. There are eight other justices to balance things out. But the President has missed an opportunity here to appoint someone who truly is the best qualified person for the job.

Ah, it's good to find a site not frothing at the mouth over Bush and his stealth nominee. I can only conclude that the elite is dripping (no it's rushing) down the long faces of of "conservative" opinion. Lol, they do love to O_pine. I'm not surprised to see George Will upset, nor the folks who make a living as talking heads.

Will is upset because Bush chose one of his own, rather than an elite. Late at night, Will and his liberal professorial counterparts have one thing in common. They all wonder how the heck "W" got to be president instead of them...

I'll make this brief for the conservatives of which I am one. Bush chose an evangelical corporate lawyer. What are the odds she will be pro life, socially conservative, and pro business for all you stockholders, small business owners, and profit mongers?

What more doth a conservative want? Style points?

I'll take her votes and be perfectly content.

Laserlayer, I disagree.

First off, you named mostly worldly positions--not qualifications. Who's to say Miers isn't a legal scholar? Because she isn't a law school professor. Because she hasn't published any articles? Given my own life as an example, I'm far less likely to dismiss someone's intellect and understanding because their qualifications don't match up with what makes us comfortable.

I don't think President Bush's definition of "qualified" is the same as yours or ours. That's why I don't think he was lying when he said, "She's the most qualified for the job." And yes Daniel was absolutely the most qualified. But Daniel served a specific purpose to his generation. Miers purpose may be different. Interestingly enough, I LIKE the fact that Miers doesn't appear qualified because in the end (should there be one) the credit doesn't go to self.

After surfing dozens of views on Pres. George W. Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court vacancy, I was looking for a “stopping place.” I found it with your post, Battle Unseen (on the pro side, the best). But there is some amount of “hope” in this. For example I hope Miers has an for-American-sovereignty, and against-abortion type posture (posture meaning she will not be harassed and harangued otherwise in the next 10-20-30 years). One writer had said regarding the John G. Roberts nomination that Pres. Bush had “threaded the needle.” At least one writer today says regarding Miers that Bush did even moreso (echoing your views on legacy of the future). But some on the right “don't know” and do not want to take it “on trust.” Almost everyone acknowledged 1) the political pressure currently facing Bush (Iraq, Katrina, deficit), and 2) the dogfight looming (which some wanted) if Bush had nominated a Scalia or Thomas type (like Janice Rogers Brown or Pricsilla Owen). For the direction of our country, we hope those who trust this one, will be not dashed but pleased in coming years. Thanks for a great read which shot no blanks but was a bang.

I agree 100%.

I meant of course I agree with you, Ambra. I haven't read all the posts above, and I expect I would dissent from some.

amber i hope and pray that you are on target with your analysis.

if so this could be the moment to save countless lives in the future.

i pray it is so

Ambra,

I wonder if your choice of a surgeon would be so trusting in the absence of prior experience.

I certainly hope you are right, and that if Miers is confirmed, she turns out to be a Deborah for this generation. I don't think God has made a mistake; but I do think President Bush has made a mistake. Thankfully, there is still time to correct it.

If Miers is confirmed, I think it will be because enough Democrat Senators voted for her to make up for the Republicans who didn't.

Do right-wing conservative Christians, especially men, really love ALL of their neighbors, even those who don't look like them?

I'm with you Ambra.

It looks like it's you, me and Hugh Hewitt...and that's about it.

And Beldar.
And me.

Well, even the administration toadies, shills and kool aid drinkers for Miers, after a day's pummeling by real conservatives, need a blog world like this to go to, where they can sing hosannas to King Bush and his whims, where you're called upon to trust but aren't permitted to verify, and where the president didn't lie about picking high quality Supreme Court nominees of the caliber of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

I believe Bush wants to serve God and that’s what drives him. He puts his decisions in God's hands and drives forward. I believe this and pray that God picked Bush along time ago for the job he has today. I trust God and therefore trust Bush because of what I believe.

Finally! Someone who thinks as I do about this whole subject. I'll be keepin' the faith with you....

To: 4pawz

So, whatever President Bush does is right?

"I'm breakin' out the pink t-shirt".

LOL!! You go, girl!

Miers withdrew her nomination. I'm relieved.

One day after Miers' nominatiom was withdrawn. Cronyism has been defeated. No bonanza for the underqualified. No more praise of mediocrity. The wise have triumphed over the fools. All is once again well.

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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Why I'm Not a Republican Parts I, II, III, IV
Reflections on the Ill-Read Society
The ROI of a Kid
The Double-Minded Haters
Hindsight
Hip-Hop in Education: Do You Wanna Revolution?
Oh parent Where Art Thou?
Requisite Monthly Rant: the State of the Nation
College Curriculum Gone Wild
Walmart Chronicles
An Open Letter to American Idol
Gonorrhea and the City