More on Miers
The RealClearPolitics take is interesting, disagreeing with the George Will column which many conservatives appeared to be latching on to this morning.
We still know nothing about Ms. Miers, other than Harry Reid likes her so far, and conservatives fear that she will be the ideological twin to David Souter based upon her lack of a paper trail.
But Reid cannot criticize her now, which may have hamstrung any attack which his party may lead. Granted, her credentials as a conservative Christian as Tom Bevan notes above are a typical target for the sleazier of the Dems, but such attacks are increasingly being seen for the bigotry they are. The left's hate for Christians seems to follow a pattern similar to the ideas held in central Europe in the early 1930s about another religious group who had fallen out of favor with the ruling socialists of that day. Their ideological counterparts of this day have just substituted the name of one faith for another. And it's still just as wrong.
And her politics of days gone by are a non-issue. Ignore her Democrat past. It is a red herring that Bush may be using to get her through the process. Texas is a different landscape when it comes to party affiliation, but lay that aside for a moment. The Republicans' biggest hero, Ronald Reagan, was a former Democrat. So was Peggy Noonan. So was a conservative like Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL). And one of the biggest pro-life names nowadays is this one. People change teams, and when it is a polar shift, people tend to stay converted.
And it's true for former Republicans too. John Anderson, a former Republican, ran as an independent in the 1980 general election for President. Both of the votes he got probably took away from Reagan. But after that, he descended into the pit of weirdness. I believe that John McCain (R-AZ) will likely follow a similar track into political obscurity, being denied the presidency and throwing a fit over it. But looking solely at Supreme Court Justices, Earl Warren, William Brennan, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and David Souter, all listed as Republicans and appointed by Republican presidents, went left and reliably stayed there.
And while I am not thrilled with the initial impression I take from this judge, let's hold off for just a bit. Bush is not his father. He remembers what happened when his father worked with the Democrats on an economic package in 1991--it cost him a campaign promise and thus his presidency. And this Bush is well aware that his presidency will be marred if he appoints a dud justice in an environment where the Courts are the battleground for the culture wars. Reagan got away with appointing weak characters like O'Connor and Kennedy because the seriousness of appointments was not as clear then as it is now. Bush knows that the continued success of his judicial appointments will be a significant part of his legacy.
But perhaps Bush has set another trap for an overzealous Democratic Senate Caucus. If they somehow suggested that they would approve of Miers believing her to be a moderate, with Bush knowing quite differently, he may have jumped on an opportunity to surprise them. And if she turns out to be a bit more conservative than the Dems are comfortable with before her confirmation, they will have shot themselves in the foot with a cannon, unable to backtrack. And it's even worse if Justice Miers takes her tea with Scalia, Thomas and Roberts.
As I opined previously, we never would have thought even six months ago that we could see a Chief Justice nominee skate through the Senate. Nor would we expect it to happen a second time for an Associate Justice, but a nominee who comes across to the Dems as a "compromise" will most certainly scoot through. Pity for them if she ends up being a reliable originalist/conservative. It will have significant repercussions in 2006 when certain Dems go looking for campaign funds.
This Bush is patient and rather enjoys a good finish at the expense of the Democrats. He won't let the opportunity slip to cause them embarrassment after their behavior over the past five years if he can help it.