October 11, 2005
What Dr. Dobson Knew
Focus on the Family has just released the transcripts of Dr. James Dobson’s radio program which will air tomorrow morning. (Dobson is a child psychologist who has a daily radio program on 3,000 stations nationwide and another 5,000 internationally.) Dr. Dobson has been one of Harriet Miers’ most vocal supporters, but comments he has made about knowing something that he “couldn’t talk about” and “maybe shouldn’t even know” have generated considerable controversy.
Dr. James Dobson
This weekend the Democrats began serious talk about asking Dobson to testify during the confirmation hearings about what he knows about Miers.
In response, Dobson taped a radio program to address the question.
Preview: no really big bombshells. But some interesting information, two things in particular I want to address.
So here are some excerpts from the transcripts, with my commentary interspersed.
Dr. Dobson begins by saying that he has two reasons for supporting Miers:
First, because Karl Rove had shared with me her judicial philosophy which was consistent with the promises that President Bush had made when he was campaigning. . .the President promised to appoint people who would uphold the Constitution and not use their powers to advance their own political agenda. Now, Mr. Rove assured me in that telephone conversation that Harriet Miers fit that description and that the President knew her well enough to say so with complete confidence.
This is good that he starts out with the Constitutional issue. Because he has also addressed her religiosity as a positive (and he does in the broadcast, too), some have accused him of applying a “religious test.” I hope in follow-up interviews he will underscore the point that this Constitutional issue was the key one for him — that’s how I read it and I think that’s true, but he does need to emphasize that more.
He then goes on to his second point which was that he talked directly with friends of Miers in Texas. I believe that was already common knowledge. He mentions specifically “a federal judge in Texas,” Ed Kinkeade, and a Texas Supreme Court justice, Nathan Hecht. No news there. Hecht in particular has been all over the media talking about Miers.
Then Dobson goes on to address the question about what he knew that he characterized as something he shouldn’t have known:
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.
I don’t know if I’m buying this. I believe this is what Rove told Dobson, but come on: what does “some” mean? How many? And who? You mean to tell me Janice Rogers Brown took her name off the list? Call me skeptical on this one.
It’s certainly an important point — that the political process involved in getting appointed to any high-level position these days is fraught with incredible stress, unjustifiably so. But to use that as
excuse reason for nominating Miers?
But then, here comes the kicker. Dobson goes on to say that Rove made another point about the Miers selection:
The Women’s Chair?
Courtesy Waco Kid!
He also made it clear that the President was looking for a certain kind of candidate, namely a woman to replace Justice O’Connor.
No, no, no! Come on. Mr. President! I thought we’d already settled this “no women’s chair” issue!
I’m very, very disappointed that Rove would make caving into gender politics so explicit.
Then Dobson goes on to address Miers being a Christian, and a member of a pro-life church — he says these were also issues that he was initially hesitant to address because he knew them prior to these facts becoming common knowledge.
So there are no bombshells here. Those looking for the other shoe to drop will be disappointed.
But I predict the Democrats will still bring Dobson up to testify.
Just for the media circus.