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WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 - The White House scrambled on Monday to prevent conservative opposition to the president's choice of the White House counsel Harriet E. Miers as his next Supreme Court nominee.
Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, started calling influential social conservatives to reassure them about the pick even before it was announced. He called James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, over the weekend, and Richard Land, a top public policy official of the Southern Baptist Convention on Monday morning, said several people briefed on the calls. Paul Weyrich, the veteran conservative organizer, said Ed Gillespie, the former Republican Party chairman lobbying for confirmation, called at 7:10 a.m. to tell him the news.
In each call and in a series of teleconferences throughout the day, representatives of the White House promised their conservative supporters that as White House counsel, Ms. Miers had played a central role in picking the many exemplars of conservatism among Mr. Bush's previous nominees.
Some of the efforts evidently bore fruit. By day's end, Mr. Dobson, one of the most influential evangelical conservatives, welcomed the nomination. "Some of what I know I am not at liberty to talk about," he said in an interview, explaining his decision to speak out in support of Ms. Miers. He declined to discuss his conversations with the White House.
Dobson dedicated his entire half-hour radio show to the Miers nomination today. Below is my short write-up of what he had to say:
Dobson is clearly conflicted about this, at times literally begging the Lord for guidance. Dobson said this has been "One of the more difficult weeks that I can remember" and that he needs to "speak [his] heart" because of the "unprecedented significance" of this nomination.
Dobson cited the Bible when he talks about the split among the right-wing over the nomination, saying "There have been many disagreements in the Scripture between men of faith who were seeking the mind of God and I think that is what's going on here."
He went on the claim that "I'm getting calls from members of Congress saying 'tell us your take on this, we're not sure what we think of Harriet Miers.'" He then admitted "It was leaked to the media that I've had conversations with Karl Rove and the White House, which is true."
He said "There is so much in the balance [with this nominee], there is no way to put it into words . . . Because of that, Dobson is begging the Lord: "If this is not the person you want on that Supreme Court, all you have to do is tell me so, and do it through any means you want to."
He finally then discussed why he is supporting Miers, saying "I can't reveal it all, because I do know things that I'm privy to that I can't describe, because of confidentiality." He then states that Miers "is a deeply committed Christian" and that people who know her have all told him that "she will not be a disappointment."
"I believe in trusting this president and this time because of the stand that he has taken and the way he has implemented it consistently for four and a half years. When you put that with all the other information that I have been able to gather - and you'll have to trust me on this one - when you know some of the things that I know, that I probably shouldn't know, that take me in this direction, you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, why I have said why I believe that Harriet Miers will be a good justice."
He then states that "if I have made a mistake here ... the blood of those babies that will die will be on my hands, to some degree. And that's why it has weighed so heavily on me" before telling the right wing to let the confirmation process play out and not undermine Miers before the hearings.
Originally posted by marg6043
And for Rove I still can not understand what in the heck he is still doing walking free in our nation, he, cheney and Libby should all be in jail for treason.
..."Some of what I know I am not at liberty to talk about," [Dobson] told the newspaper.
That statement bothers Salazar, a first-term Denver Democrat who describes Miers as a "blank slate" whose views are little known.
"It's troublesome to me the comment would be made," Salazar said at a Tuesday news conference in Denver. "It seems to me, all of the (information) the White House knows about Harriet Miers should be made available to the Senate and the American people. If they're making information available to Dr. Dobson - whom I respect and disagree with from time to time - I believe that information should be shared equally with a U.S. senator."
Dobson and Salazar had a widely publicized clash over judicial nominations earlier this year, after the political arm of Focus on the Family began running ads pressuring Salazar to give all Bush's judicial nominees up-or-down votes.
Salazar began blasting Dobson and his group and publicly accused them of trying to "hijack religion" and turn the United States into a "theocracy." In one interview, Salazar called Dobson and his organization "the antichrist of the world," although he later expressed regret and said he only meant to call their actions "un-Christian."
The latest controversy has more to do with the White House and its policies about sharing information with senators charged with confirming or rejecting the president's judicial nominees.
Originally posted by RANT
I don't know if James Dobson is really the anti-Christ, but I'm pretty sure he's keeping his seat warm. And he seems to think he's real damn important when it comes to running the US Government.
[edit on 5-10-2005 by RANT]
John: It’s Wednesday. I’m John Fuller and you’re tuned to “FOF” with psychologist and author, Dr. James Dobson. And Doctor, what a crazy week you’ve had!
JCD: Well, John, if our listeners and friends have been monitoring the news on radio and television and the Internet and if they have been listening to other talk shows in the past week, then they know well, that I have been a topic of conversation from the nation's Capitol to the tiniest burg and farming community. And the issue that's propelled this unprecedented interest in something that I've said is my conversation with Deputy White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove, that occurred on October 1st, just a few days ago. And that was the day before President Bush made his decision to nominate White House Counsel, Harriet Miers, to be the next Justice of the Supreme Court.
Now, as you know and as I'm sure many of our listeners know, there are members of the judiciary committee who are running from one talk show to another, threatening to subpoena me to find out what occurred in that conversation with Karl Rove. And I am going to make their job easier (Laughter), because in the next few minutes, I'm gonna tell them what I would say to them if I were sitting before the judiciary committee. And this is the essence of what transpired between the Deputy Chief of Staff of the White House and me. So, is that clear?
John: I think that is. And for our listeners, you wouldn't believe all that's going on here at Focus, as so many of the mainstream media--most of the mainstream media--is contacting us. They, like those Senators, want to know, "What does Dr. Dobson know? What did he talk about? Tell us, please."
JCD: Well, John, I think it's time that I did that.
John: Okay, before you do though, it probably would be helpful for our listeners to understand why you can talk about that now and previously you couldn’t.
JCD: Yeah, I haven’t been willing to. The reason is because Karl Rove has now given me permission to go public with our conversation. And I’m gonna say a little more about that in a minute.
John: Okay. Well, fill us in then on what happened.
JCD: Well, let me go back through the sequence of events and...and explain what happened.
So, I wouldn’t reveal any of the details about the call, although I did say to these pro-family leaders, which has been widely quoted, that Karl had told me something that I probably shouldn’t know. And you know, it really wasn’t all that tantalizing, but I still couldn't talk about it. And what I was referring to is the fact that on Saturday, the day before the President made his decision, I knew that Harrier Miers was at the top of the short list of names under consideration. And as you know, that information hadn’t been released yet, and everyone in Washington and many people around the country wanted to know about it and the fact that he had shared with me is not something I wanted to reveal.
But we also talked about something else, and I think this is the first time this has been disclosed. Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list, and that many conservatives are now upset about were highly qualified individuals that had been passed over. Well, what Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter, that they didn’t want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it.
So, even today, many conservatives and many of ‘em friends of mine, are being interviewed on talk shows and national television programs. And they’re saying, “Why didn’t the President appoint so-and-so? He or she would have been great. They had a wonderful judicial record. They would have been the kind of person we’ve been hoping and working and praying for to be on the Court. Well, it very well may be that those individuals didn’t want to be appointed.
John: For understandable reasons, because the grilling that they get in that confirmation process is just brutal.
JCD: Well, it’s true. The Democrats have so politicized that process that it’s become an ordeal and many people just don’t want to go through that. And I’m not sure I blame them.
If there was anybody that has been sort of the social glue of the court, it's been Sandra and I will miss her," Scalia said.
Had Dobson received an assurance from Rove that Miers, now the White House counsel, would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade? Democrats suspected so, and said they would call Dobson as a witness at her confirmation hearing, which is likely to begin late this month or in early November.
According to Dobson, Rove said the President "was looking for a certain kind of candidate, namely a woman." Rove added that Miers "was at the top of the short list of names under consideration," but that others had withdrawn from consideration. "Some of the other candidates who had been on that short list, and that many conservatives are now upset about, were highly qualified individuals that had been passed over," Dobson says. "What Karl told me is that some of those individuals took themselves off that list and they would not allow their names to be considered, because the process has become so vicious and so vitriolic and so bitter, that they didn't want to subject themselves or the members of their families to it."