Forest for the Trees

NYT, Aug 17: “It was Mr. [Ed] Meese, said C. Boyden Gray, White House counsel to the first President Bush and a leading judicial strategist, who pressed Republicans to force the recent Senate fight over use of the filibuster. In brokering consensus between Christian conservatives and business conservatives on judicial nominations, said Jay Sekulow, a top adviser to evangelicals, it was Mr. Meese who often helped the two sides define common cause.”

The Times‘ Lynette Clemetson does an admirable job of revealing the ongoing influence of this Reagan era lightning rod for controversy, but aside from the graf quoted above, she pays scant attention to the man’s main concern: Jesus, and particularly a Jesus amenable to big business. A few years ago, I attended what I was told was a weekly meeting of businesspeople, diplomats, and American politicians presided over by Meese, Bible in hand. Last fall, the Norwegian daily Dagbladet documented Meese’s ongoing participation in the group. One might question the shape of Meese’s Christian faith, but its strength and importance in his thinking is obvious; so why can’t the Times see the Jesus for the judicial nominations?