Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bush Turns To Coats to Turn Votes for Miers

Yesterday, we reported that White House aides had a very heated meeting with a group of right wing fringe groups. Among Bush aides present at the meeting was Hoosier native and Bush go-to guy to the religious nuts, Tim Goeglein. Today comes word that the Bush White House has chosen former Indiana Senator Dan Coats, on whose Senate staff Goeglein once worked, to advise Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

As a refresher, Dan Coats is most famous for riding former Vice President Dan Quayle’s coat-tails (no pun intended). Coats, who has the worst comb-over in America aside from Purdue Men’s Basketball Coach Gene Keady, worked on Quayles’ congressional staff and succeeded to his seat after Quayle defeated former Indiana Senator Birch Bayh. When George H.W. Bush tapped Quayle as his veep in 1988, former Indiana Governor Robert Orr appointed Coats to take Quayle’s seat. In his first and only statewide race in 1990 for the Senate, Coats faced off against former Secretary of State Joe Hogsett whom he handily defeated. Six years later Coats opted to become a D.C. lobbyist rather than face off against then-Governor Evan Bayh. He was also an ambassador to Germany at some point along the way, but that really isn’t important.

Okay—so what’s the point of all this talk. Well, Senator Coats repeated ad hominem throughout his campaign against Hogsett in 1990 that he was unqualified to represent Indiana in the Senate because he was a 30-something unmarried man without children. Hence, he does not represent “Hoosier values.” Wink, wink, nod, nod. Now, Coats’ job is going to be to convince all those religious folks that a 60-year old unmarried woman without children represents their values. Hmmm. Is this the right man to make the case for Miers? I guess any good lobbyist worth his salt has long since learned to argue both sides of any issue just as effectively, so if Coats is half a lobbyist he won’t have any trouble performing that act. And with the morally righteous people like Coats it’s always “do as I say and not as I do” anyway.

As an aside, Hogsett didn’t make the same mistake twice. He found himself a wife just a short time before he ran for Congress against another former Quayle aid, David McIntosh, in 1994—I think she was a former high school sweetheart. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for him. He lost the election and, a short time later, he lost his wife to divorce. But don’t be sad. He found another wife. And he lost another race, this time for attorney general in 2004. And life goes on.

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