Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito first step in winning back conservatives

The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito the Supreme Court is the first step for President Bush to take control of the agenda that he set forth in his 2004 election campaign. The recent history with an unsuccessful attempt at Social Security reform, hurricane relief efforts, and the nomination of Harriet Miers to the bench have not been high points of the Bush administration’s five years. While the appointment of Chief Justice Roberts to the Supreme Court was a victory that will help conservative efforts for years to come, it was somewhat lost among other recent events. The appointment and successful confirmation of Judge Alito will help to change the momentum of the Bush White House.
In both 2000 and 2004, President Bush ran on a platform of conservative values. As I sat in the Republican National Convention, I watched a string of conservative speakers take the podium and espouse the ideals that the party was going to stand for. While speakers like Senator John McCain and Mayor Rudy Giuliani had their moments in the spotlight, the primary focus was on ensuring the continuation of a conservative agenda in the Bush White House. A 3 million vote majority showed that a predominance of Americans were in agreement of the direction of the country. However, since the election, the agenda has gone adrift. A failed attempt to push privatization of Social Security, a good idea which was not communicated appropriately to the American people, started the drift. Allowing news to obfuscate the reality of the progress in Iraq was the next failure of the administration. I have many classmates who have served in the Army in Iraq, and they bespeak of the progress that is being made, contrary to the continued morass that the media would like to portray. Having served in deployments before, I understand that the reality of what is happening on the ground often somehow does not get conveyed through the lens of the media.
The latest misstep was the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. It is entirely possible that Miers’s positions on cases would have reflected the conservative values that the Bush team and the Republican Party would hope for. After all, Miers was President Bush’s personal attorney and he has known her for many years. That story was never told, though, and because President Bush never made a compelling case for the jurist that Miers is, he lost credibility with the conservative base that brought him to the office.
The nomination of Judge Samuel Alito should help to mend fences with the conservative base that the President relies on. Judge Alito has a long track record of conservative writings and decisions and will likely continue along those lines as a Supreme Court justice. Once confirmed, Judge Alito will be a signal to conservatives that President Bush still has an appropriate conservative agenda that he wants to push forward to help make this country a better one than what it was on his first day in office.

No comments: