One of the more regrettable effects of the Miers feuding in the Conservative Movement in general, is the way that specific individuals were treated. Without relighting old fires by pointing to specifics, grossly undeserved insults were thrown at Conservatives by other Conservatives, purely spiteful articles were written and broadcast, and once the nomination was withdrawn, there were many on both sides which wished to continue the fighting. While it is certainly wise to pursue ways to put the matter behind us, and to repair the damage done, it would be very foolish, as some are trying to do, to ignore that real damage has been done, and that victories in the future depend on addressing the present condition.
While it may seem arrogant to do so, I will take that chance and present my own name as an example. If one goes to Technorati and enters “DJ Drummond”, the responses include a variety of opinion. ApparatChick is very unhappy with me, says I am writing “screeds”, and Ember Days says I am no longer worthy of respect.
On the other hand, Antimedia says I am exactly right, and the Strata Sphere concurs with that position. Curiouser & Curiouser says I am right in line with his thoughts, and Red State Rant thinks I am correct.
An Avenging Cantelope (now there’s a blog name!) says “DJ says exactly what I have been reaching for”, and The Anchoress, in no way an extremist or fanatic, says “DJ Drummond makes some excellent points and probably is quite right”.
Am I taking those links to claim that Miers should have been confirmed? Not at all, nor am I saying the people opposing Miers did not have reason or right to speak their mind. However, the methods used, and many of the words chosen, have done damage, and it is very important to understand that I am not nearly alone in sending this warning.
The issue is not Miers now, but the Conservative Movement. Demanding people ignore the fact of very real injuries is simply not reasonable, nor would it be wise for people to seek to continue the feud. The question at hand is not an argument over things done, but the question about what to do to heal and regain momentum. While many Conservatives will find it easy to put this behind them, we have never had enough stability and unity to assume victory in key fights, which in fact is why we are still fighting so many battles in 2005, which ten years ago we would hardly have believed a Conservative-dominated Congress and White House would allow to linger. While we can dispute their number, there are Conservatives who voted in 2004, who are now inclined to sit out the next round. There are Conservatives who feel that they have been mocked and degraded, simply for their own principles, no less valid than the ideology which won the day against Miers. The Liberals, never reluctant to press an advantage, will certainly press this opening.
What, do you think, is the best thing to do to repair the damage?