Two Coalitions? Nay, Sir, There Is But One…
I write this post as a call to arms directed at all past, present, and future Coalitioners, and a call to merge our interests with the second, more focused Coalition formed by the great Patrick Ruffini. The two Coalitions are not exactly equivalent, and of course, each member is free to opt out, as it were, but there is a definite synergy between the two.
There are differences: Patrick was opposed to the filibuster deal made by the Gang of 14; I thought it an unqualified win, and still do. Patrick is unabashedly in favor of the Miers nomination; my support is more qualified, in that I give her the benefit of the doubt, but am hoping for more convincing proof that she is a wise pick.
Yet there is one big similarity that overrides the differences, at least for me. The focus of the original Coalition was to protest the extremist, apolocalyptic rhetoric that immediately erupted in the aftermath of the Gang of 14 Deal. The outburst following the Miers nomination was almost identical. Some of the players changed, but the substance of the message did not. Whether intended or not, the overwhelming impression was of fair-weather fans who are ready to desert the President the minute he deviates from the presumed conservative orthodoxy.
I don’t question the motives of all those who oppose the Miers nomination; that would be presumptous and wrong. Instead, I question the mad rush for the exits that occurs within hours of these decisions. I don’t look for ideological purity in a politician; those who put their faith in a man, any man, are inevitably headed for a big letdown. Instead, I look for a person who strikes me as genuinely concerned with doing the right thing, even if his or her right thing and mine diverge from time to time.
I am convinced this President is such a man. I don’t look at him through the haze of hagiography; he is a man of many flaws. I find that appealing, as I have a couple myself. I do believe he has a good heart, and a strong will, and that on the big issues, the issues of Democracy, Freedom, Liberty, and yes, Capitalism, he will do the right thing more often than not, in my eyes and his.
My support for President Bush, then, is such that it does not flutter away each time he disappoints me; instead, I give him my conditional support, until I am convinced of the rightness or the wrongness of the position or nomination or decision. And even then, even if I disagree with the issue, I don’t stand betrayed by the man. I don’t pledge loyalty to George W. Bush; I pledge loyalty to my country, the Constitution, and the Office of the Presidency (yes, even if were held by John Kerry – one can be loyal even in opposition); however, I am pleased to say that George W. Bush is a man who has earned my respect.
So, for me, this Coalition has the personal quality of a request for consideration before action, of thinking before condemning. If you have made a considered, rational decision that you cannot support the nomination of Harriet Miers, then, in my view, you have a place in the Coalition; if that decision means you feel personally betrayed, this is probably not the group for you.
Participation is quite simple. You can lend your voice two ways: (1) trackback to this post of Patrick Ruffini’s with a post of your own, or leave a comment there; and/or (2) partipate in the upcoming Carnival of the Chillin’ at AJStrata’s place (but please, send him your entry quickly at ajstrataATstrata-sphereDOTcom today, if possible (and replace that AT and DOT appropriately, that’s a spam-killing tactic)). We’d love to have you on board…