OK, even the most casual peruser of this blog knows of my fondness for W. But for the life of me I cannot fathom his selection of Harriet Miers, whom is essentially his personal lawyer, as his nominee for the next Supreme Court justice. It reeks of cronyism at a time when many of Bush's appointees are seeing their credentials for their posts coming under increased scrutiny as a result of the Michael Brown/FEMA mishaps. Even if she was a truly outstanding candidate, this would be the wrong time to pick a loyal associate for such a critical position.
But she is not an outstanding candidate. Bush's choice of Justice Roberts was astute - he was obviously a brilliant legal mind, albiet a conservative one (in the truest sense of the word); and as the American center has tilted towards the right, Roberts was viewed by most Americans as a logical fit on the court. Democrats, for the most part, looked foolish in bashing him.
Miers is but a shadow of the most recent nominee; and will present a much easier target for lefties out to drag Bush down. There is no doubt that many Republicans, sensing this is a weak candidate, will jump on the anti-Miers bandwagon, leading to an overwhelming repudiation of Bush and weakening him while fighting a war (and finally doing it right - see here: http://jerseynut.blogspot.com/2005/10/bush-gets-it-right-finally.html). And the media, of course, will have a field day. How ironic that W. will bring about his long-promised bipartisanship by uniting both parties against him...
While I have always admired Bush's ability to ignore the drone of ill-informed criticism of his policies from the media and the Left, I fear that he may be developing a type of tone-deafness that doomed his father's presidency. Remember the first President Bush's famous vacation snaps, fishing gleefully from his cigarette boat, while the country was mired in recession? It suggested a type of aloofness from the average man - their President did not understand them, was not one of them. Could the blatant loyalty pick of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court be George II's "Cigarette Boat" moment?
Let's hope he wises up and allows this nomination to go to quick defeat (he would never withdraw the nomination, it's not a Bush thing to do, although if things get hot, he might ask her to "fall on the grenade"). There is too much at stake in the world right now to allow this folly to continue on for long...
UPDATE: Dan Drezner links to many more on both sides of the political spectrum with thoughts on the Meirs nomination here http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/002351.html ...here's a taste, from Ann Althouse:
I have yet to see a single piece of writing by Harriet Miers dealing with an issue of constitutional law or even anything purporting to demonstrate the analytical, interpretive skills required to serve on the Supreme Court... Can we have something in writing that shows her mind in action, that inspires confidence that this is a person whose judgment we should all trust for the next two decades?