Only Yesterday

December 5th, 2011 at 11:42 pm David Frum | 24 Comments |

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Newt Gingrich endorsed Harriet Miers.

Conservatives should feel confident with the selection of Harriet Miers to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court for a simple reason: George W. Bush selected her.

Recent Posts by David Frum

24 Comments so far ↓

  • Graychin

    Mr. Frum, you have buried the lead.

    I wouldn’t knock Newt simply for supporting Myers. It’s the thought process by which he got there that worries me. And should worry anyone who thought Bush was a less-than-great president.

    • Rabiner

      Isn’t that the same thought process of a David Frum when he says he’ll vote for the R regardless of who that person actually is simply because he’s a Republican?

      • jorae

        Conservatives can trust in Miers

        October 07, 2005|

        WASHINGTON — Conservatives should feel confident with the selection of Harriet Miers to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court for a simple reason: George W. Bush selected her.


        You have to wonder what Mr. F was Googling when he stumbled onto this gem. It appears, he does just like the the rest of us, when you dislike someone… you look for dirt…then spread it around….

        Dirt can be the truth…and here we see ‘lock’ step between GW and Newtie. She had no business being selected…Were they hoping no one would notice? Is that the type of government officials we should admire or even want?

        The more you know about Newtie…the better for his demise.

  • Ray_Harwick

    Newt liked this: “She was unwilling to allow an umbrella organization to dictate to its chapters what position it must take on controversial issues.”

    Grover Norquist has quite a few “chapters” in congress these days. One of them is my Representative, Mary Bono Mack. I know that’s true because I saw her press release announcing her membership to Grover’s Big Umbrella Club. So, the locals tried to get the newspaper to ask her on the record if she was working for her district or Grover Norquist. The newspaper, owned by Gannett, declined the opportunity to inquire. That’s because they were busy awarding their 57 year old CEO a $29 million retirement going-away present they were able to finance by “restructuring” the staff until there were 3,000 less employees nation wide. My local newspaper held a reader contest to vote for the (soon to be ex-) employee they liked most. The winner won a trip to somewhere in South America – with no job to come back to – and the losers simple lost their jobs.

    It was sort of like the Miss Fresno contest: winner wins a week in Bakersfield. 1st Runner-up wins two weeks in Bakersfield.

  • Fart Carbuncle

    David Frum:

    “You must elect Mitt Romney because I say so, and I will undercut anyone who threatens him.”

  • ottovbvs

    Oh Boy, the Republican establishment (aka DF) are in full Newt Dump mode this morning. He supported Harriet Myers…..oh laudie….err….didn’t George Bush and Dick Cheney support Harriet Myers?

  • nhthinker

    The obvious problem with Harriet Myers was she was WAY TOO OLD (and looked it) to be the newest justice to the Supreme Court. For that reason alone she was a bad selection. Newt’s support for her was well written.

    But Myers was certainly NOT the worse selection by a Bush- That goes to HW with the Souter selection.

    H.W.: “I think the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe versus Wade was wrong and should be overturned.”
    “At first, I didn’t see Joe; then I spotted him waving at me from far down the platform,” Rudman later recorded in his memoirs, Combat: Twelve Years in the U.S. Senate. “Joe had agonized over his vote for David, and I knew how thrilled he must be. We started running through the crowd toward each other, and when we met, we embraced, laughing and crying.”

    An ecstatic Biden wept tears of joy, telling Rudman over and over: “You were right about him [Souter]! … You were right!”

    H.W. will always be known for the worse selection in Supreme Court history.

    • ottovbvs

      “The obvious problem with Harriet Myers was she was WAY TOO OLD”

      Thinker…what is this hatred you have of older Americans? What was it Myer’s preppy clothing?

      • Graychin

        Miers hadn’t yet attained the ripe old age of 60 when Bush nominated her to the Supreme Court. That’s younger than any of the Republican presidential frontrunners are today.

        Much younger.

        • nhthinker

          Not surprised that Graychin does not think in the long term- after all, Graychin is a liberal.

          Presidents serve at most 8 years. A good justice can last 50 years if they are not already 60. Appointing anyone that is 60 is increasing the odds that they will be forced to retire during a presidential term of the opposite party.

        • Frumplestiltskin

          A good justice can last 50 years if they are not already 60.

          50 years?! Good lord, you would advocate a 35 year old be nominated to the Supreme Court? And then be there for 50 years? Even for you that is nuts. No, pushing 60 is not “too old”, that is a good 20 plus years on the bench.

          I want the Supreme Court justices to have sufficient breadth of experience and knowledge on the bench before they get to the Supreme Court, regardless of party, because, unlike you and your hyper-partisanship, I love America.

        • Graychin

          This morning Senate Republicans filibustered and probably killed the nomination of Caitlin Halligan for a seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, apparently abrogating unilaterally the “Gang of 14″ deal reached in 2005 (under a Republican president) to give judicial nominees up-or-down votes.

          Thinker, is that the sort of long-term, strategic thinking that I don’t get because I’m a liberal?

    • LFC

      “But Myers was certainly NOT the worse selection by a Bush”


      “That goes to HW with the Souter selection.”

      PUH-LEEEAZE! HW nominated Clarence Thomas, quite probably the worst Supreme Court nominee in my lifetime. He’s an outlier who doesn’t seem to understand the law, he’s unwilling or incapable of asking questions, he sexually harassed women, and he proved himself to be crooked by hiding his obvious conflicts of interest concerning his wife’s career. So that makes him incompetent, skeevy, and corrupt. Talk about a trifecta!

      • Nanotek

        + 1

        Souter was superb …

        conservative activist Thomas? intentionally hides his wife’s income … what a prize

        • Graychin

          I’ve always wondered how we were fortunate enough to get the Souter nomination out of the same president who nominated Clarence Thomas.

          From Wikipedia:

          John Sununu (GHWB’s Chief of Staff, and former New Hampshire governor), is responsible for recommending David Souter to President George H. W. Bush for appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States, at the behest of New Hampshire senator Warren Rudman. The Wall Street Journal described the events leading up to the appointment of the “liberal jurist” in a 2000 editorial, saying Rudman in his “Yankee Republican liberalism” took “pride in recounting how he sold Mr. Souter to gullible White House chief of staff John Sununu as a confirmable conservative. Then they both sold the judge to President Bush, who wanted above all else to avoid a confirmation battle [after Robert Bork].” Rudman wrote in his memoir that he had “suspected all along” that Souter would not “overturn activist liberal precedents.” Sununu later said that he had “a lot of disappointment” about Souter’s positions on the Court and would have preferred him to be more similar to Justice Antonin Scalia.”

  • icarusr

    Seriously? No, I mean … seriously? Newt is bad because he supported the nominee for the Supreme Court of Frum’s old boss?

    Oh the irony! Seriously, who is the bigger culprit here? Bush – whose every single appointment was a disaster for the Republic – or the party hacks who supported every single idiotic decision? Brownie alone should have been enough to get any sane person to change parties; the sight of Gonzales – and his Bible College lawyers running the Justice Department – should have made any sentient being give up hope for the hackocracy; and so on … and here we have Frum criticising Newt for supporting Miers?

    This is too rich :)

    • torourke


      I’ll be blunt. You have no idea what you are talking about. David Frum was against the Harriet Miers nomination from the beginning. Read this post to get a taste of the arguments he was making. If you make it down to the bottom, you’ll find a link to a petition that people could sign opposing the very nomination you assert Frum supported.

      • Frumplestiltskin

        I will be even blunter, you have the reading comprehension of a small child.
        I will have to break it down for you. This is called a question: who is the bigger culprit here? Bush (or Newt)
        Bush was Frum’s old boss. Someone who David Frum willingly worked for. As Otto said: He’s personally deeply complicit in many of the actions and activities he now criticizes.

        This is an example of cumulative weight, Frum actively supporting many, many bad Bush decisions so whether or not Frum supported Myers, to selectively point out one example where Frum and Bush disagreed but Newt and Bush did as evidence that because of this Newt is now unqualified is too rich, as Ick says.

        And you write: you assert Frum supported.
        But where is that evidence, ick simply pointed out that many hacks supported all of Bush’s decisions. He does not specifically call Frum a hack for supporting Myers. You simply can’t make up facts when they are not in evidence, unless you yourself think Frum is a hack and jumped to that conclusion.

        I hope this was helpful to you, but I doubt it.

        • torourke

          My reading comprehension is just fine thank you very much, although I will admit to being a bit taxed by the logic and syntax of much of what you just wrote:

          “This is an example of cumulative weight, Frum actively supporting many, many bad Bush decisions so whether or not Frum supported Myers, to selectively point out one example where Frum and Bush disagreed but Newt and Bush did as evidence that because of this Newt is now unqualified is too rich, as Ick says.”

          Let’s hope you’re not an English instructor. But all snark aside, your point is simply infantile. Frum cannot criticize Newt for his support for Miers because Frum agreed with Bush on other things? Seriously? In order to criticize Newt’s position on Miers, he must disavow every other position or nominee emanating from Bush in order to be, um, non-hackish? Do you realize how idiotic that is? Frum is a conservative and a Republican, which is not to say he agrees with every conservative and every Republican on every issue.
          And while it may self-evident to someone of your bent that Bush was a disaster, and that he got every issue and every nomination wrong, I’m guessing that Frum probably agreed with many of the positions and nominees that came out of the Bush White House. That’s probably why he agreed to work for them in the first place. That doesn’t mean that he cannot consistently criticize that same White House (even if he had once worked for it) on an issue where he thought they went wrong. Why, to suggest otherwise is to engage in the sort of thinking a small child might indulge in.

      • icarusr

        Er … what Frump said. :)

        “and here we have Frum criticising Newt for supporting Miers?”

        The point is not whether Frum supported or criticised a specific decision made by W. The point is that Frum actively supported a president whose every appointment (just about) was as bad as the Miers nomination, and whose every decision came from the same wellspring of bad judgement. So yeah, Frum didn’t like Miers; but he wholeheartedly supported the administration of which Miers was the least deranged symptom; he didn’t much like Palin, but he fully supported the tortured and cancer-ridden man who would foist her on the Republic; he repeatedly admits to Romney’s cynicism for the sake of the pitch-forked crowd, and yet he still supports him for Presidency. And so on …

        That, my friend, is why Frum’s criticism of another hack’s support for Miers is rich :)

        • torourke

          See what I wrote to Frump above icarusr,

          I’ll admit to misreading your post, although in my defense, my interpretation of your meaning was actually quite a bit more charitable than what you are actually saying. To suggest that a lifelong conservative Republican cannot criticize a President he once worked for because he doesn’t agree with you that said President was a total disaster is simply infantile. Would it be “ironic” if James Fallows had some pointed criticism of something Jimmy Carter did as president (and by extension, a fellow Democrat who shared Carter’s view on that particular subject), even though Fallows served Carter in the same capacity as Frum did for Bush? Not if you actually know what the word “ironic” means. Do you think you’re being clever when you argue that Frum cannot legitimately criticize Bush–and by extension, Newt Gingrich–on one thing because he agreed with Bush on other things? Do you really think David Frum, the guy whom many on the right despise, who was fired from AEI, who is not known for being shy to criticize his fellow Republicans, is merely just another hack like the politician Newt Gingrich? Do you really think that the word “hack” applies to someone who mostly disagrees with you, even if those disagreement are in good faith? Do words have any meaning for you at all, or are you just a garden-variety lefty troll who likes using emoticons? I think I know what the answer is.

  • ottovbvs

    “This is too rich”

    It’s why at the end of the day the entire Frum shtick is not to be taken too seriously. He’s personally deeply complicit in many of the actions and activities he now criticises.

  • nhthinker

    After some digging, it seems Gingrich impression of Miers was a lot like Frum’s first impression…

    Dark Horse (Frum on Miers- July 4 2005)
    National Review ^ | July 4, 2005 | David Frum

    Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 3:59:26 PM by RobFromGa

    JUL. 4, 2005: DARK HORSE … … in the Supreme Court sweepstakes: Keep an eye on Harriet Miers, White House counsel. Miers was the first woman president of the Texas Bar Association, a co-managing partner of a 400-lawyer firm in Texas, a one-time Dallas city councilor, and by the by, the personal lawyer to one George W. Bush. She joined his staff as governor, served as staff secretary (Richard Darman’s old job) in the first administration, and now oversees the White House’s legal work. She is quiet, discreet, intensely loyal to Bush personally, and – though not ideologically conservative – nonetheless firmly pro-life. Plus she’s a woman. Double plus – she’d be a huge surprise, and the president loves springing surprises on Washington and those pundits who think they know it all.

    There are minuses too of course, beginning with that same discretion that recommended Miers as counsel: Supreme Court justices are often expected to have achieved a certain public profile before their appointment, while Miers has gone out of her way to avoid it.

    But if the nomination process bogs down – or if President Bush’s first choice of nominee should somehow stall or fail – then Miers might well be his back-up nominee. Scoff if you like. But if it happens, please remember that you read it here first.


    Question: did Frum’s opinion of Miers change or was he just dishonest in the July 2005 publication?

  • jjack

    Ok, but why is there a picture of Bush with Emperor Palpatine at the top of this page?