What does James Dobson know that you don't?

The Focus on the Family leader says he's backing Harriet Miers -- but that he's "not at liberty" to disclose some of the reasons why.

Published October 5, 2005 4:08PM (EDT)

Who died and gave James Dobson a security clearance?

While other leaders of the religious right are reacting cautiously to the nomination of Harriet Miers, Dobson says he's all in. Karl Rove lobbied for the support of the Focus on the Family leader even before Miers' name was announced, and his efforts paid off: On his radio show, Dobson is telling listeners that they should get behind Miers now.

What makes Dobson so comfortable with Bush's nominee? He won't say, exactly. "Some of what I know I am not at liberty to talk about," Dobson tells the New York Times.

How's that again? The White House says it can't talk about the Valerie Plame case because the special prosecutor has expressed a "preference" that it not do so. John Roberts says he can't talk about issues that matter to the Senate Judicary Committee because they might come before the Supreme Court some day. George W. Bush says he can't talk about advice Miers has given him at the White House because doing so would undermine executive privilege.

OK, fine. But why can't James Dobson talk about what he has learned about Harriet Miers?

We're not the only ones asking. Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, who has had his spats with Focus on the Family before, says that if Dobson knows some secret about Miers, he should share it with the rest of the class -- especially if he heard the secret straight from the White House. "It seems to me, all of the [information] the White House knows about Harriet Miers should be made available to the Senate and the American people," Salazar says. "If they're making information available to Dr. Dobson -- whom I respect and disagree with from time to time -- I believe that information should be shared equally with a U.S. senator."

Update: Is Dobson having a change of heart? According to a Daily Kos poster, Dobson said on his radio show today that he's awaiting a sign from God before making a final decision on Miers. According to the report, Dobson said that, if he has made a mistake in suggesting that Miers should be confirmed, "the blood of . . . babies that will die will be on my hands, to some degree."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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