October 5, 2005

GEORGE WILL makes an important point on why the Bush Administration’s “trust me” argument is falling flat:

In addition, the president has forfeited his right to be trusted as a custodian of the Constitution. The forfeiture occurred March 27, 2002, when, in a private act betokening an uneasy conscience, he signed the McCain-Feingold law expanding government regulation of the timing, quantity and content of political speech. The day before the 2000 Iowa caucuses he was asked — to ensure a considered response from him, he had been told in advance that he would be asked — whether McCain-Feingold’s core purposes are unconstitutional. He unhesitatingly said, “I agree.” Asked if he thought presidents have a duty, pursuant to their oath to defend the Constitution, to make an independent judgment about the constitutionality of bills and to veto those he thinks unconstitutional, he briskly said, “I do.”

My emailers are invoking this very thing, and it’s illustrative of the way that the Miers nomination is upsetting the base in ways that go well beyond Miers herself, or the usual hot-button issues like abortion.

UPDATE: Mystery Pollster has the numbers from Gallup and the base seems displeased.

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