New York Times article on the subject.
Quote from the article: On his radio program last Wednesday, Mr. Dobson said, "When you know some of the things that I know - that I probably shouldn't know - you will understand why I have said, with fear and trepidation, that I believe Harriet Miers will be a good justice." He added, in a reference to aborted fetuses, "if I have made a mistake here, I will never forget the blood of those babies that will die will be on my hands to some degree."
Dana Perino, a spokeswoman for the White House, said Sunday that Mr. Rove did not provide Mr. Dobson "any insight into how Ms. Miers may rule on any particular case." But the attention to the private reasons for Mr. Dobson's endorsement underscores the delicate problem the White House faces in trying to quell conservative dissatisfaction with Ms. Miers without arousing the ire of liberals or, for that matter, the handful of Senate Republicans like Mr. Specter who support abortion rights.
We have to wait until tomorrow to find out how Dobson will spin this. I'm sure MediaMatters.org will cover it, but I'll listen if I can.
For a completely unrelated story, though it illustrates the amount of ignorant hate the man spews on a daily basis, go here.
John Fuller: 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
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: OK. Well, fill us in then on what happened.
JCD: Well, let me go back through the sequence of events
and . . . and explain what happened. The President
announced his decision on Monday morning, October 3rd,
that Harriet Miers was his selection and the debate was
on. And a few hours after that, many conservative
Christian leaders were involved in a conference call,
wherein some of those men and women were expressing great
disillusionment with President Bush's decision and there
was a lot of anger over his failure to select someone with
a proven track record in the courts. And I came in a
little bit late and I caught just a bit of that angst and
then I shared my opinion, that Harriet Miers might well be
more in keeping with our views than they might think and
that I did believe that she was a far better choice than
many of my colleagues were saying and that they obviously
Well, my reasons for supporting her were twofold, John.
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. Now he
told the voters last year that he would select people to
be on the Court who would interpret the law rather than
create it and judges who would not make social policy from
the bench. Most of all, 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.
Then he suggested that I might want to validate that
opinion by talking to people in Texas who knew Miers
personally and he gave me the names of some individuals
that I could call. And I quickly followed up on that
conversation and got glowing reports from a federal judge
in Texas, Ed Kinkeade and a Texas Supreme Court justice,
Nathan Hecht, who is highly respected and has known
Harriet Miers for more than 25 years. And so, we talked
to him and we talked to some others who are acquainted
with Ms. Miers.
So, I shared my findings with my colleagues, not only what
I just mentioned, but other calls I made. I talked to
Chuck Colson, my great friend, who is a constitutional
John: Uh-hm, uh-hm.
JCD: -- and talked to him four times. He helped me kind
of assimilate the information that we had garnered, but I
would not say much about the phone call from Karl Rove,
even though I'm very close to many of the people who are
on the telephone. Why would I not do that? Because it
was a confidential conversation and I've had a
long-standing policy of not going out and revealing things
that are said to me in confidence. That may come from my
training as a psychologist, where you hear all sorts of
things that you can't go out and talk about.
JCD: And I feel very strongly about that. And frankly, I
think it's a mistake and maybe even an ethical problem for
people to do that -- to go out and brag about being a
player on the national scene, maybe to make themselves to
look important. You know, I just wish that didn't happen
like it does and I certainly didn't want to be part of it.
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. So, Karl Rove shared some of that with me.
He also made it clear that the President was looking for
a certain kind of candidate, namely a woman to replace
Justice O'Connor. And you can imagine what that did to
the short list. That cut it . . . I haven't looked at
who I think might have been on that short list, because
Karl didn't tell me who was not willing to be considered.
But that many have cut it by 80 percent right there. But
I was not gonna be the one to reveal this. I knew that
people would eventually be aware of some of that
information, but I didn't think I had the right to say it.
And so, I made my comment.
Now there's. . . there's something else I'll say in a
moment that I was referring to. But let me just say that
some of my friends that I was talking to that day and
thought I was speaking in confidence, went straight to the
media and. . . and shared what I had said or what I had
not said. And that's where the firestorm began. You
know, "What did Dobson know and when did he know it?"
Now let me go back to the statement that there were some
things from my conversation with Karl Rove that I couldn't
talk about. And of course, the media has keyed on that
statement. I had no idea that was going to be released to
the media, but there it is.
So, what was it that I couldn't talk about? The answer
has everything to do with timing. It's very important to
remember that when I first made that statement about
knowing things that I shouldn't know, and shared that with
my colleagues the day that the President made his
announcement, maybe two or three hours after his press
And then, that very night, I went on the Brit Hume program
-- the FOX News program -- and. . . and talked about the
President's nomination. And then, the following day --
Tuesday -- I recorded a statement for FOF, which was heard
on Wednesday. And that is the last time that I said that
I had information that was confidential and that I really
couldn't talk about.
Why? Because what I was told by Karl Rove had been
confirmed and reported from other sources by that time.
What did Karl Rove say to me that I knew on Monday that I
couldn't reveal? Well, it's what we all know now, that
Harriet Miers is an Evangelical Christian, that she is
from a very conservative church, which is almost
universally pro-life, that she had taken on the American
Bar Association on the issue of abortion and fought for a
policy that would not be supportive of abortion, that she
had been a member of the Texas Right to Life. In other
words, there is a characterization of her that was given
to me before the President had actually made this
decision. I could not talk about that on Monday. I
couldn't talk about it on Tuesday. In fact, Brit Hume
said, "What church does she go to?" And I said, "I don't
think it's up to me to reveal that." Do you remember my
John: I do, yes.
JCD: What I meant was, I couldn't get into this. But by
Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, all this information
began to come out and it was no longer sensitive. I
didn't have the right to be the one that revealed it and
that's what I was referring to.
John: Well, I'd also guess, Doctor, that the answer you
gave here about the contents of that conversation and why
you couldn't divulge some of those matters, won't satisfy
the senators on the judiciary committee, who were looking
for some red meat.
JCD: Well, John, I have no doubt that what I've just said
will be a great disappointment to Senator Schumer and
Senator Salazar and Senator Biden and Senator Durban and
Senator Leahy and Senator Lautenberg and some of the other
liberal Democrats, because Karl Rove didn't tell me
anything about the way Harriet Miers would vote on cases
that may come before the Supreme Court.
We did not discuss Roe v. Wade in any context or any other
pending issue that will be considered by the Court. I did
not ask that question. You know, to be honest, I would
have loved to have known how Harriet Miers views Roe v.
Wade. But even if Karl had known the answer to that and
I'm certain that he didn't, because the President himself
said he didn't know, Karl would not have told me that.
That's the most incendiary information that's out there
and it was never part of our discussion.
One thing is clear. We know emphatically that Justices
Souter and Kennedy and Breyer and Ginsburg and Stevens
have made up their mind about Roe v. Wade, by politicizing
their decrees on that issue and others. They have usurped
the right of the people to govern themselves and they
imposed a radical agenda on this country. And John, as
long as I'm talking about that, let me say one other
More recently, they have been drawing some of their
conclusions, not from the Constitution and not from
precedent and not from the American people, but from
public opinion in Western Europe. You know, that's one of
the most outrageous developments in the history of the
Court. American public opinion is ignored and so are
previous Court decisions or precedent. And frequently,
the Constitution itself is bypassed. And instead they
favor the views of people who have no commitment to our
freedoms and our traditions that the Founding Fathers gave
So, I want the President to appoint someone who will go to
the original intent of the Constitution and tell us what
the founding fathers meant. If we don't like what they
wrote, there's a process to change it. But the way it
works now, every time the Court meets, it can be more or
less a constitutional convention, where five or more
justices reinterpret the meaning of that precious
Now Karl Rove didn't tell me all of that, but what he
said, in essence, is that Harriet Miers is a strict
constructionist, which is why the President likes her.
And you know, I've never met her; I don't have any
personal communication with her. I've never received a
letter or a phone call from her or any firsthand
knowledge, but I do believe President Bush is serious when
he says this is the kind of person I'm looking for and
Harriet Miers is such a person.
Nevertheless, what the Democrats have concluded in their
wildest speculation is that Mr. Rove laid out for me a
detailed promise that Ms. Miers would vote to overturn Roe
v. Wade and revealed all the other judicial opinions that
she has supposedly prejudged. It did not happen, period!
Senator Leahy was speaking on George Stephanopoulos's
program, "This Week" on Sunday, just past. And this is
what he said and I quote. This is word for word: "James
Dobson has said that he knew privately; he had private
assurances of how she would vote." Well, Leahy is either
lying or he's given to his own delusions or he's got some
problem somewhere, because that's flat out not true.
Nowhere have I been quoted making such a statement,
because it's not true.
Again John, last Sunday, Democrats were on all the talk
shows and nearly all of them mentioned me one way or
another. Senator Schumer from New York, referred to my
conversations with Karl Rove as a "wink and a whisper,"
you know, trying to make something sinister out of it.
It's obvious what the agenda is here.
Now John, I feel like I have clarified the nature of my
conversation with Karl Rove. Let me just say in the
conclusion to my comments here --and I want to speak
directly to members of the judiciary committee about the
possibility of my coming to testify-- if they want to do
that, then I just suggest that they quit talking about and
just go do it. I have nothing to hide and I'll be happy
to come and talk to you. But I won't have anything to say
that I haven't just told millions of people. And so,
that's really the end of my statement.
x-posted to my LJ