Democrats accused the White House of buckling to extreme right wing of the Republican Party.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a member of the Judiciary Committee, said not one Republican lawmaker called for the withdrawal.
“It was the very extreme wing of the president’s party,” Schumer said. “If the president continues to listen to that extreme wing, on judicial nominations or anything else, it can only spell trouble for his presidency and for America.”
“It’s an astonishing spectacle,” said Ralph Neas with the left-leaning People for the American Way.
“The un-elected power brokers of the far right have forced the withdrawal of President Bush’s own Supreme Court nominee, before a confirmation hearing has even been held,” Neas said.
Watch for the media to pick up on this talking point as well. I’m reminded of a piece Media Research did on how the media treats Republicans and Democrats differently in terms of how they portray fulfilling campaign promises to their respective bases. Flashback:
— On ABC, Peter Jennings claimed that “President Bush begins by taking a tough line on abortion.” White House reporter Terry Moran alleged that the re-instatement of a ban on U.S. funding of pro-abortion groups overseas “was designed to appeal to anti-abortion conservatives.”
But exactly eight years ago, on January 22, 1993, Jennings said the opposite deed by Clinton was the act of a promise-keeper: “In a moment, President Clinton keeps his word on abortion rights,” he announced before a commercial break. Introducing the story by Jackie Judd, Jennings repeated, “President Clinton kept a promise today.” No one at ABC that day said Clinton was merely trying “to appeal to pro-abortion liberals.”
— CBS’s Dan Rather spun the news of Bush’s new order as a pay-off: “This was President Bush’s first day in office, and he did something to quickly please the right flank of his party.” White House correspondent John Roberts stated Bush had “waded into controversy on his first day….abortion rights activists fear there’s more to come.”
When a Democrat president does something to, in part, please his base, he’s “keeping a promise” or “keeping his word.” When a Republican does it, he’s acting to “quickly please the right flank of his party.” I’m sure over the next several weeks we’ll hear a lot of terms being thrown around by the MSM like “extreme right wing” or “far right flank” and other such descriptions of the people who opposed Miers nomination.
More: Jeff Goldstein writes:
Question: how many “bases” does the President have, exactly? I mean, for years we’ve been hearing from Democrats and the legacy media how James Dobson, Hugh Hewitt, the evangelicals, et al, are Bush’s “right wing” conservative base—but these are the very people who, in addition to GOP party pragmatists, by and large were most supportive of the Miers nomination.
And yet today, all I’m hearing is that Bush caved to his “extremist” “right wing base.”
Read the whole thing. I’m with Jeff in wanting the media to please clarify just exactly who they think “Bush’s base” really is in hopes that they’ll settle on one definitive description.
(Cross-posted at Blogs For Bush)
Friday a.m. Update: From a ‘Senior Administration Official’ (heh) in the comments section here :
We used the “extreme right wing” phraseology in a flowchart we just made of what we can expect from Barbara Boxer and her ilk when they get the next nominee in their sights. We think it’s kinda funny; it shows a Republican President just can’t win.
If interested, it’s here.
It’s called the “Bork-o-matic” 😀