A) Bush has decided to make his nomination of Harriet Miers based on his personal relationship, than on any judicial reckoning. This is acceptable on face-value, but does hint at cronyism.
B) Although Miers has a nearly non-existent paper trail, Bush knows something that “we” don’t and is daring Democrats to vote against her in much the same way as his father dared Senate Democrats to vote against Clarence Thomas. This may seem plausible, but one wonders if Bush was “pulling a Thomas,” then why didn’t he nominate a Hispanic-American and thereby make a Presidential First instead of a Presidential Third?
C) Bush has “blinked” in a Constitutional showdown. Bush, realizing his evaporating political capital, has decided to offer a moderate nominee who will more easily sail through confirmation and, thereby avoid the filibuster threat. In the spring, Bush may have prevailed politically and personally, but with the myriad of recent events and while Bush could have prevailed in the Senate, he would have sacrificed any political capital for the remainder of his term. Unfortunately, in “blinking” to the Democrats, Bush has agitated his most loyal political base who will feel betrayed that the nominee is not a Renquist-Scalia-Thomas clone.
And the answer is? We should know in fifteen years or so…
The Democratic Spin: The Democrats should applaud Miers as much as possible, making her out to be their choice all along. This gives them increased stature and will surely exasperate the conservatives’ sense of betrayal.
The Republican Spin: The White House and Republican allies should offer Miers up as an example of fulfilling the campaign promises of bringing people together and changing the culture of Washington.