Ed Morrissey, writing in the Washington Post, sums up the Miers nomination problem in his first paragraph. Note how his statement seems remarkably similar to The Monk's comment in response to TKM's favorite Illinoisan Chris earlier this week:
Well, he's finally done it. By nominating White House lawyer Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, George Bush has managed to accomplish what Al Gore, John Kerry, Tom Daschle and any number of Democratic heavyweights have been unable to do: He has cracked the Republican monolith. Split his own party activists. And how.
Proof? Stalwart rightist activists went to the White House last week with four words: What was he thinking. From Morrissey:
Most conservatives feel betrayed after working so hard to get enough Republicans elected to confirm almost any nominee. That's why heavyhitters like Paul Weyrich, Grover Norquist and others confronted the president's men about the nomination at the White House last week.
Most notable to The Monk is that the primary supporters of Miers are evangelical Christians. Why is this important? The evangelicals are not anti-Big Government nor are they necessarily proponents of strict constructionism. Their primary voting issue is social mores and they despise the Roe decision, but one justice of nine on the Supreme Court will wield surprisingly little influence without a dedication to a coherent strict constructionist viewpoint, which Miers likely does not have.
Ultimately, this pick says more about Bush than Miers, and it bolsters these trenchant observations from Mark Steyn:
. . . what's left is the base's distress and the perception of weakness on the president's part. The first is real and may cause problems in 2006, though I can't see it costing the GOP its congressional majorities. As for Bush personally, he was the better of the alternatives in both 2000 and 2004, but come on, the "compassionate conservative" thing was, in its implications, far more insulting to the base than the steel tariffs or the proposed illegal immigrant amnesty or the judicial nominees. Bush, it seems ever more obvious, is the Third Wayer Clinton only pretended to be.