John Fund details how the vetting process failed and also reports on threats from the White House directed at some prominent Texas conservatives:
Not only did the vetting fail to anticipate skepticism about her lack of experience in constitutional law or the firestorm of criticism from conservatives, but it left the White House scrambling to provide reporters with even the most basic information about the closed-mouthed nominee. Almost every news story seemed to catch the White House off guard and unprepared.
The skepticism is not abating. Back home, the Liberty Legal Institute, the only conservative legal foundation in Texas, has declined to endorse her. Several large GOP donors in Texas have met to discuss spending large sums to run ads calling on Ms. Miers to withdraw. "They include both male and female friends of hers who don't think the confirmation process will be good for her or the country," one told me. "They're not sexists, they're realists." This even though the White House has ominously put out the word in Texas: "If you oppose this nomination, you oppose the president." Everyone knows what the political ramifications of that can mean in the world of George W. Bush and Karl Rove.
You can read the whole article here.
Meanwhile, Ann Coulter addresses the charges of "sexism" in the Miers nomination:
Between cooking segments on the "Today" show this week, Laura rolled out the straw man – sorry, "straw person" – argument that the criticism of Miers was rooted in "sexism" (which is such a chick thing to say).
I'm a gyno-American, and I strenuously object.
In the meantime Professor Bainbridge has linked to new book, "Imposter: How George Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy." He gives a quote:
Though widely viewed asan arch conservative in the major media, Bruce Bartlett increasingly finds himself alienated from the president of his party. Bush's policies, he warns, have been anything but conservative.
Bartlett faults Bush for moving away from free trade, adopting Keynesian economic theories, increasing government regulation and doing an extremely poor job of developing and selling conservative initiatives, such as Social Security reform. As such, George W. Bush, he says, has been a disaster for conservatism. Criticism of Bush from the right has largely been confined to fringe elements outside the mainstream of the conservative movement. Bartlett is the first from within the conservative mainstream to make the case that Bush is not "one of us" and does not deserve conservatives' support. As the next presidential election looms, Bartlett warns, a new standard bearer must be found who will correct the many errors of this administration and get America's fiscal house in order.
Just in time for the 2006 elections. In the meantime, the ever artful Peggy Noonan has this to say:
Can this marriage be saved? George W. Bush feels dissed and unappreciated: How could you not back me? Conservatives feel dissed and unappreciated: How could you attack me? Both sides are toe to toe. One senses that the critics will gain, as they've been gaining, and that the White House is on the losing side. If the administration had a compelling rationale for Harriet Miers's nomination, they would have made it. Simply going at their critics was not only destructive, it signaled an emptiness in their arsenal. If they had a case they'd have made it. "You're a sexist snob" isn't a case; it's an insult, one that manages in this case to be both startling and boring.
Patrick Buchanon also detects sexism in the nomination of Harriet Miers:
Indeed, if one defines "sexism" as denying consideration for high office of all members of one gender, regardless of ability, or a conscious favoritism rooted in gender alone, it is President Bush and the first lady who are guilty of sexism in the nomination of Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court.
For we have it on the word of Dr. James Dobson that, in filling this decisive swing seat on the Supreme Court, President Bush, at the prodding of his wife, eliminated from consideration every male lawyer in the United States -- and more than 80 percent of all U.S. district and appellate court judges -- solely because of his gender.
Meanwhile, Ryan Sager accurately describes White House Spokesman Hugh Hewitt:
No one serious (and perhaps no one at all) is making the case that Miers is "qualified," in any conventional sense of the word, to serve on the Supreme Court. Instead, some are making the case that Miers is Bush's pick and that should be good enough for conservatives; or, at least, that trying to derail her will only hurt the president and the party.
In the current conservative crisis, there are going to be a lot of pragmatists running around yelling that everything is fine - in large part because that's what's easy and expedient. But it seems unlikely that they will be able to stifle debate. Conservatives were hungry for power in 2000, after eight years of Clinton, and ready to unite behind anyone who looked like a winner. Debates about the meaning of conservatism could wait until another day. Not so this time around.
This gets more discouraging by the day.