MEMO TO MY FRIENDS ON THE RIGHT: Miers Isn't the Issue; Weak-Kneed Senate GOP Leadership Is
I've been reading all of the pro and con commentary in the Blogosphere and the MSM from fellow members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and, while I sympathize mainly with those who believe Bush has missed an historic opportunity by not nominating a Brown, McConnell or Luttig, it appears to me most everybody is missing the fundamental point.
That point is this: As long as the Senate GOP leadership refuses to confront head-on the Democrats' abuse of the filibuster and end it, the Democrats have a veto if they choose to use it. And choose it they will for any nominee short of one with an undeniably perfect record - John Roberts - or one with no record at all, Harriet Miers.
Bush knows all hell would break loose politically if he nominated a candidate from the Old Guard wing of the GOP who would satisfy the Senate Democrats. Such a move would likely spark a revolt among the GOP's conservative infrastructure (note, it's not just "the base"). The resulting Senate GOP majority of one or two and a paltry five or six in the House would mean Bush would twiddle his thumbs for the last two years of his White House residency.
So faced with a certain filibuster, which would quickly become bitter and impassable so long as the Senate GOP continued to shake in its boots and be terrified at the prospect of actually confronting the Democrats, Bush has only two choices.
Nobody expects the GOP majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote the Miers nomination down and barring a miracle, her utter lack of written commentary anywhere in the known world deprives the Democrats of the usual ideological reasons to vote no. About all they have left is arguing that she lacks the appropriate "judicial temprament" or that she is another Abe Fortas presidential crony. Those last two dogs just won't hunt, as Slick Willie might say.
Put simply, with Frist and the Senate GOP leadership, we get a Roberts or a Miers. There is no in-between.
California Conservative notes the glee with which the Left is greeting the anger and disgust on the Right with the Miers nomination.
UPDATE II: The Captain Explains Everything
Captain's Quarters' Ed Morrissey is in The Washington Post Outlook Section this morning with an explanation of "How Harriet Unleashed a Storm on the Right." The storm is quite simply dividing President Bush's once-loyal legions into three semi-warring camps: The Loyalist Army
led by Hugh Hewitt, the Rebel Alliance led by many, including Michelle Malkin, and the Trench-Dwelling Dogfaces, who aren't real happy but who want to win the war, not just the battle. It's an excellent piece with a "liberal" helping of Ed's usual insightful analysis and vivid expression.
Me? I'm in the fourth category: "Long-time Loyal GOPer Looking for a New Party."
UPDATE IV: Hugh Hewitt Responds
The BlogMeister posts one of his longest ever, in a detailed, thoughtful and challenging analysis of the arguments against Miers from the Rebel Alliance. President Bush would do himself and the country a great favor by naming Hugh Special Assistant to the President for Whatever Needs Fixing.