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Pardon Me


J.D. Pendry


If I choose not to ditto the conservative “thinkers” on the nomination of Harriet Meirs to the Supreme Court. 


Actually, I’m concerned about many of them.  They’ve been holding hands in a conservative ring around the President and eloquently expressing thoughts that might emanate from such brilliant minds as Michael Moore’s or Old Weird Howard’s.  George Will said the President is too stupid to pick a good Supreme Court Justice.  Ann Coulter, bless her conservative heart, believes that a lowly law degree from 52d ranked SMU is a disqualifier for the Supreme Court.  Charles Krauthammer tells us the nomination is a joke and shows the President retreating into smallness.  Michelle Malkin calls Ms. Meirs a Harry Reid endorsed Cheer Bear.  My favorite college dropout, Mr. Rush Limbaugh, his comments now well quoted “as a conservative right-wing icon” all over the liberal websites tells us that this nomination shows weakness.  Such as it is all over all over the conservative blogs, syndicated columns and talk shows.  Combined, they’ve given Candidate Hillary more useable campaign fodder than could ever muster – all while the liberals are a gigglin’.  I’ve seen only two attempts, in my up the holler opinion, to actually analyze the nomination - former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker, here and here. 


I support all of these folks by reading their columns and buying their books, but I’ve learned something during my leisure time.  Camera time, microphone time and tapping out an opinion for syndication or the blog doesn’t make you smarter than anyone else – only loquacious.  Those who write for a living, do.  Those who talk for a living, talk about what the writers write.  Writers comment about other writers.  The writers and talkers listen to what other talkers and writers have to say.  Bottom line, they’re talking to one another about the state of the world while the rest of us try to determine in which dimension or galaxy it is both entities exist.  So, highly paid and well-regarded pontificators toss a gym towel over your writing and talking awards (and for many of you your PhD’s and law degrees) for a minute and let me share some old soldier wisdom with you. 


When the President nominated Ms. Harriet, he demonstrated for you some insightful leadership.  The problem is that you’ve so rarely seen true leadership come from politicians, you don’t recognize it for what it is, you don’t know how to deal with it and you’re left seriously wanting to offer us an analysis of it.  In my past life, leaders and the led survived when the leader knew the capabilities of his team.  An armor battalion commander is not going to look for a force on force frontal engagement if his unit has shown they’re not ready for the fight.  A leader weighs the capability of the team by assessing their past performance.  Like all of us, the President has repeatedly watched while Democrats slapped around the Republicans in the Senate like a group of scared third graders giving up their lunch money to playground bullies.  The President, a leader, is not confident that his team can overcome a confirmation battle and deliver to the Supreme Court a “real conservative with a paper trail.”  So, he went with someone unknown to the pundits, but not to him.  When it’s time to make decisions, it’s what the leader knows that counts.  That’s why we make them leaders in the first place.


Know what else is bothers me.  Most of the talkers and writers, to whom I read and listen, never faced a true leadership challenge.  Don’t ya’ll get too upset, but I wouldn’t trust very many of you to lead hungry hogs to the slop if my welfare was depending on it.  If I need someone for a fiery speech or column, I’ll check with you first.  Yet - you insist that your insight exceeds that of the man who leads the free world making daily decisions that would cause some of you to wet your drawers if you had to make them.  Did you ever notice that the bleacher bum with a hotdog and a beer could always call a better game than the leader on the field can?  Sorry, but most of you Al Frankened this one.


Finally, most who read my columns have military leadership experience and have worked closely with many top-notch leaders.  If I looked any of them in the eye and told them they didn’t know what they had when they worked closely with someone for more than a decade they might wonder aloud about the maintenance and functioning of my brain housing group.  No one that I’ve heard and read in the past few days knows any thing about Ms. Meirs – other than she’s written fewer opinions than they have.  They’ve never had a conversation with her, yet they know from their gift of insight that she’s a bad choice.  They know her better than the man who trusts her judgment, advice and competence at the highest level of government does.


It wasn’t too long ago that conservatives were lamenting the possibility of a Ronald Reagan Presidency.  Harriet Meirs, as Ronald Reagan was, is a recovering Democrat with strong Christian values.  That’s all I know about her, but it’s a solid start.


Copyright © JD Pendry