Much has been written over the last couple of weeks regarding qualifications, experience, judgment and conservatism. The wailing and gnashing of teeth over the nomination of Harriet Miers has prompted an astounding number of conversations in realtime, on blogposts, comments, and chatroom discussions. Most of these conversations have come down to an examination of exactly why Ms. Miers is not an ideal choice for the Supreme Court, and how so many others would be. Sometimes the conversations go deeper and talk about the political makeup of the Senate and/or the President and administration, again noting how this member or that decision indicates ideological weakness or betrayal. There are conspiracy theories, rumors of paybacks and deals, speculations on the President's sanity or disloyalty.
There is such a huge push to block this nomination on the not-ideal principle, yet we have continued to tolerate the not-ideal from our President, members of the Senate and House, governors, state legislator, and on down to the local dogcatcher. The standard to which Ms. Miers is held would preclude most of our existing judiciary at all levels as well as government at all levels, from being filled with ideal candidates. One of the most ideal nominees in my lifetime, Judge Bork, was turned away and a weakened Reagan administration was forced to cough up a truly not-ideal Kennedy. Justice Thomas, who most would consider ideal, was also a stealth candidate who had never really done any conlaw, was basically an administrative lawyer and had only a couple of years on any bench. Rehnquist was never a judge prior to being elevated. By today's standards and elitist requirements (from our side, no less!), neither of these justices would have been supported, possibly not even confirmed.
Of course, the major difference is that the Supreme Court is a lifetime posting. I will concede that this fact alone allows for more scrutiny and perhaps a greater weight placed on the ideal.
We also do not REALLY know how ideal or not-ideal Ms. Miers is. Again, trillions of electrons have been lit up with descriptions of past statements, affiliations, and facts that appear not-ideal. The only thing the pro-Miers crowd really has to hang onto in Trust in the judgment of the President. It is frustrating for everyone, pro-Miers and anti-Miers, that the President and administration will not or can not make a strong case in the PR arena. Perhaps it is a tactic to not divulge too much prior to the hearings (and give ammo to the Dems), or maybe there is nothing there. Again, it comes down to Trust, which is going to swing wildly across the spectrum of conservatives.
The MSM and all of blogdom, right and left, have listed example after example of how conservatives are not being represented in the manner to which we expect. Border control, runaway spending, "collegiality" and "comity" with the ideological enemy, McCain-Feingold, pork, the Education bill, judicial activism (Roe, Kelo, etc.), Bill Clinton's non-removal via impeachment and many others are examples of not-ideal conservatism but in which our "conservative" elected officials have all had a hand.
We have settled for the not-ideal many times. Is this one more? Or is this relative unknown truly an ideal under wraps?
Does the President have a plan? Almost certainly. Will it result in an ideal candidate for Associate Justice (or as ideal as we could have at this point given the Senate RINO factor)? We all hope so.
The thing that bugs me most about all this is that if we would spend half the energy we've spent bickering over Miers, and focus that on '06 and '08 primaries and support only TRUE CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES for elected office at all levels, we'd sweep the Socialist Marxists right in the dustbin where they belong.
You want ideal? Start with the people who make the decisions, from the bottom up and the top down.
That means no McCain or Giuliani for nominee. That means getting rid of the SSS (Senate Spineless Seven) for good. That means ditching the House Rep that has been there for 20 years and is good at bringing home the pork. That means we may lose a seat in one house or the other due to getting rid of a strong incumbent (R) that is wobbly, ineffective, or NOT-IDEAL. It may even mean a stint in the White House for the Lizard Queen. It may take just that to galvanize our side.
It is most important we have conservatives in place in the Senate and President in 2008. Justice Stevens will retire during the next president's term, if not before. Ginsburg most likely will as well, and by that time Scalia will be 82. In addition, Kennedy will be 82, Breyer 80, and Souter 79. Thomas will be 70. The 2008 and 2012 president(s) will have a MAJOR opportunity to shift the Court.
I grew up in the country. When I was a kid my dad would occasionally come home with a flamethrower and burn off part of the acre of yard around our house, leaving a huge patch of ugly blackened earth. When I asked him why he did that, he told me that the weeds in that part of the yard were so bad as to resist herbicides and had taken complete control; fire killed the weeds and the grass returned and eventually won out. For awhile it was bleak but before long that section was green and soft and we could run around barefoot without getting stickers in our feet.
Conservative ideas, principles, and IDEALS are strong and will win. Sometimes it takes stepping in with a flamethrower and burning the weeds away so we can have room to catch some sun and rain to prosper. But once we have the foothold (roothold?), there's no turning back as long as we tend our yard.
If we had IDEAL people in the Senate, perhaps the not-ideal Miers would never have had an opportunity to stir us up like she has. Don't blame the President for this choice. I think it was as ideal as he could have at this point.