“A Conservative Civil War”

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Republicans, Supreme CourtLeave a Comment

Boy, I like the sound of that term.  I’ve had a fairly busy weekend, but I sort of thought that by Monday, the whole Miers kerfuffle would have simmered down somewhat.  Apparently, I was wrong:

How Harriet Unleashed a Storm on the Right

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.

The president’s surprise pick to replace Sandra Day O’Connor has ignited a massive debate among his former loyalists, especially in the blogosphere, where I spend a fair amount of time. Wails of betrayal are clashing with assurances of the president’s brilliant strategic thinking. Meanwhile, the heavyweights of punditry drop columns like artillery shells into what already may be a conservative civil war.

The question on so many minds on the right is: What in Bork’s name was Bush thinking?

Wow.  There’s even serious talk of withdrawal.  And a few conseratives who once supported her are changing their minds.

UPDATE:  Influential Glenn Reynolds adds:

A MIERS MELTDOWN? More and more, I have to wonder what the White House was thinking with this. First of all, when you’re already under fire for cronyism, and you nominate someone who’s, well, a crony, you ought to be locked-and-loaded in terms of response. They weren’t.

Second of all, they seem to have managed to convince a lot of people on the social right that she’s too liberal, while people on the libertarian-right worry that she’s too much a fan of government power. Third, their response to critics and complaints has been slow and weak.