No wonder the president is madly blinking and fidgeting on TV these days.
His conservative base is expressing more and more reservations about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. This afternoon the Family Research Council, which has not taken a position on her nomination, took offense at the charges of "elitism" and "sexism" coming from the White House in defense of its nominee.
"The latest set of 'Talking Points' being circulated by the defenders of the Harriet Miers nomination may be doing more harm than good by charging critics of the nomination with 'sexism' and 'elitism.' Yesterday, even the First Lady echoed the claim," wrote FRC president Tony Perkins in his daily e-mail newsletter. "The Bush Administration has built up a strong record with social conservatives. They need to make the positive case for Miss Miers and avoid disparaging their conservative critics. It's the left that resorts to name calling -- like the gratuitous charge of racism where it is has no basis -- and it cannot substitute for an open and reasoned debate."
Gary Bauer, in his "end of the day" e-mail to supporters, expressed bafflement at the idea of gender coming up in the first place: "First, the sex of the nominee is irrelevant," he wrote. "It doesn't matter if there are five men and four women or any other combination. All that should matter to us is if at least five of them, no matter what their sex, understand that nothing in our Constitution requires us to permit a million unborn children to be destroyed every year, that our founding document doesn't mandate same-sex 'marriage,' and that 'under God' must be removed from our Pledge of Allegiance."
Along with concerns about Miers' lack of a record on those issues, Bauer said it is "disturbing that so many on the far left are celebrating the nomination. I just finished reading an article in a leading homosexual rights newspaper in Dallas, Texas. The article is filled with glowing praise for Miss Miers from homosexual rights extremists."
Bauer also insisted that it's not enough to just trust the president's judgment on Miers. Quoting Rush Limbaugh quoting Ronald Reagan's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in 1980, he wrote: "'Trust me' government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what's best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties."
We trust that it won't calm Bush's nerves to hear that chestnut trotted out.