Six hours in, there appears to be a conventional wisdom developing that the Miers nomination is (A) A poor choice, (B) A political mistake on all sides, and (C) Likely to meet with Democratic dissent because it looks so much like another act of Bush cronyism when we just saw, with Mike Brown's performance during Katrina, how disastrous that cronyism has already proved to be.
For me, the test is this: Would anyone else in Bush's position have chosen Miers? With Roberts, the answer was clear: like him or not, his qualifications and reputation were almost unassailable. Miers, on the other hand, is up for a seat at the big table because she helped Bush get his two jobs, governor and president. She may have a distinguished background, but she's no Roberts. She's not even an O'Connor, and O'Connor could easily have fallen back on the excuse that she was distracted by familial obligations during her early career, an excuse Ms. Miers can't make as a lifelong bacherlorette. (Speaking of which, mustn't it bother the Bush base that Miers never married, never had children? Aren't these the foundations of a properly-lived life according to their value system?)
Speaking of miscalculations, why did Bush make the announcement early this morning, before many in the country were even out of bed--but too late for it to make the morning papers? An odd choice, methinks, and starkly in contrast to his prime-time unveiling of Roberts. Speaking of Roberts, SCOTUSblog notes a bit of impoliteness on Bush's part:
Another unresolved question as of Monday morning is why President Bush felt a need to upstage the ceremony in which Chief Justice Roberts formally joined the Court. There was no apparent need for urgency, and the effect was to overwhelm Roberts' investiture by the news of Miers' nomination. It was not an exhibition of refined manners. And perhaps it served mainly to draw an even more vivid comparison between the two of them, to her disadvantage.Roberts should ask Katherine Harris about how Bush treats the help once they've done their part for him.