Sorry, Sam, but I must stand with Ben and Hunter on this one. This nomination is one of the worst moves Bush has made so far, and I'm not a Republican cheerleader who has overlooked and excused his previous miscues.
I realize that people are reaching back into history to find nominations similar to Miers's, and to reassure themselves that some of those (Rehnquist, for example) turned out not so badly. I think this is misguided, for the simple reason that the Court today represents a power that it has never represented in the past, and thus demands a type of legal mind -- one that is philosophically committed to undoing its usurpation of that power -- that was never a requirement in the past.
I am not in any way reassured by these reverse arguments from silence. Elite lawyers, like any other professionals, make decisions about what is important to them and these are reflected in the kind of law they practice. Sunny smilers like Hugh Hewitt seem to think that it's just happenstance that Harriet Miers has never spent much time visibly engaged with constitutional law. Horsefeathers. She hasn't spent time becoming a constitutional scholar because it wasn't important to her, in the way it was important to fifty other conservative legal minds I could name off the top of my head, including a dozen women.
I am also not being won over by Bush's increasingly petulant manner when defending his nominee. It suggests to me that he did not anticipate the level of conservative disappointment he was courting, which suggests that he's not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, which suggests that the argument that we should trust him is somewhat misplaced.