Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Now, a Word About Sheep

The nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement, Harriet Miers, graphically points up an interesting facet of the party system in general, and the Republican Party especially: The fact that the people who make up a party's political base act, and are treated as, sheep.

It's already clear that conservatives are nervous about Miers, due mainly to her lack of a track record. After all, the last time something like this happened, they got David Souter, a supposed conservative who turned out to be anything but. ABC News reported that, "Conservatives in some cases are expressing outright opposition, some are in wait-and-see mode and some are silent, all bad signs for a Bush administration used to having the full backing of all wings of the GOP when it takes on the Senate's minority Democrats over judicial selection."

The hard-right loonies are even more irritated: Troy Newman of Operation: Rescue called for Bush to withdraw Miers' name from consideration, saying, "My position to these leaders is that we cannot afford the babies cannot afford to wait and see. . .We did it with Souter, we did it with O'Connor and we did it with countless others. Now's the time to be vocal."

Yet, within three hours of Bush's announcement of Miers, the Republican National Committee sent an e-mail to the base exhorting them to support, and show their support, for the nominee. The reason, it said, that Republicans needed to rally was: "Before Ms. Miers was even announced many Democrat groups said they would oppose her."

Do I really need to go on? Why would a party tell its rank-and-file to support a nominee on faith, when the leadership of that party is not convinced? It's because they're sheep. The party leaders treat them as if they have no thoughts except those placed there by the party, and for the most part they actually do think only what they're told. Doesn't that strike you as a bit un-democratic?


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