Alleged conversations between Senior White House Advisor Karl Rove and Christian Conservative James Dobson may wind up costing Harriet Miers a seat on the Supreme Court.
Ironic, isn’t it? Rove was trying to help President Bush by landing a key endorsement from Dobson, a prominent Christian conservative.
On the Oct. 5 edition of his Focus on the Family radio show, Dobson discussed “confidential conversations” he had with friends and supporters of Miers — conversations that led him to believe Miers was against abortion rights. In the same show, Dobson offered endorsed Miers’ nomination.
The Christian Science Monitor later reported that Dobson supported Miers after “extensive lobbying by the White House,” while the New York Sun said White House senior adviser Karl Rove did the convincing. Paul Weyrich, founder of the Free Congress Foundation and one of the capital’s leading conservatives, said Rove placed four telephone calls on Oct. 2 or 3 to Dobson.
Not surprisingly, the “confidential conversations” didn’t sit well with Senators from both parties who sit on the Judiciary Committee.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the senior Democrat on the Committee, said Miers had told him she’d made no promises as to how she’d vote on any issue that might come before the court, including Roe v. Wade.
“If assurances were given of how any nominee, whether this nominee or anybody else, and somebody gives assurances how they’re going to vote in an upcoming case, I would vote against that person,” Leahy told ABC’s This Week.
Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) said he will investigate whether Rove gave Dobson assurances.
“If Dr. Dobson knows something that he shouldn’t know or something that I ought to know, I’m going to find out,” he said on This Week. “The Senate Judiciary Committee is entitled to know whatever the White House knew.”
Committee member Charles Schumer (D-NY) said should be called as a witness during hearings next month on Miers’s nomination.
“Karl Rove ought to let the public know what kind of assurances he gave James Dobson,” he said on CBS’ Face the Nation.
And there’s no shortage of non-religious right conservatives who would like to see the Miers’ nomination scuttled. If it’s because of Dobson’s big mouth, so be it.
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), who is exploring a run for president, emerged from an hourlong meeting with Miers on Thursday and said he was prepared to vote against her.
Conservative pundit Pat Buchanan said on NBC’s Meet the Press that Miers’ “qualifications for the Supreme court are utterly non-existent.”
“This is a faith-based initiative,” he said. “The president of the United States is saying, ‘Trust me.’ And when you have the decisive vote on the United States Supreme Court, that is not enough.“
The Weekly Standard, a bible for dyed-in-the-wool conservatives, today called the choice of Miers ‘at best an error, at worst a disaster’ which should be reconsidered.
“The best alternative would be for Miers to withdraw,” editor Bill Kristol wrote. “Her nomination has hurt the president whom she came to Washington to serve.”
This item first appeared at Journalists Against Bush’s B.S.