Senate Republicans now find themselves caught between their loyalty to the President and their entirely legitimate concerns about Ms. Miers's philosophy and qualifications. For their part, Democrats have so far largely been content to watch their opposition squirm and shout. But they will certainly play the opportunists, jumping on any opening on ethics or ideology to defeat her and embarrass the President.Conservatives simply expected better.
The liberal base may even demand it, given that one of the White House's private selling points to religious conservatives has been that she is both an evangelical and is personally opposed to abortion rights. (Hint: She'd vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.) These assurances, if that's what they were, may turn out to have been doubly counterproductive, given that they also undercut Republican claims to believe in process- rather than results-oriented jurisprudence.
Perhaps Ms. Miers will prove to be such a sterling Senate witness that she can still win confirmation. But so far the lesson we draw from this nomination is this: Bad things happen when a President decides that "diversity," personal loyalty and stealth are more important credentials for the Supreme Court than knowledge of the Constitution and battle-hardened experience fighting the judicial wars of the past 30 years.
Friday, October 21, 2005
The Wall Street Journal (sign-up required) editorializes on the Miers imbroglio and Byron York offers some insight into the problems the White House is having "selling" Miers. Charles Krauthammer is the latest to call for a do-over. From the Journal's piece: