Well, everyone in town is reading tea leaves and watching for sparks. Over on the Religious Right, that sound you hear is everyone grinding their teeth and trying, trying not to say out loud: Harriet Miers is single? Isn’t Justice David Souter single? She is highly dedicated to her mother? Wasn’t Souter said to be highly dedicated to his mother? Still, some mainstream evangelicals are holding the fort — like Chuck Colson. Ditto for Jay Sekulow and Co.
So many conservatives are not happy. You can follow many of the reactions today on the right over at National Review Online’s Bench Memos blog. David Frum is ticked. We are beginning to hear more and more conservatives using a very nasty word — crony. This is now coming from the right as often as from the left.
Some say she is very soft and will float with the Beltway tide to the left. Some say she is pro-life and others have doubts. So Miers is a very conservative Catholic? Says who? She donated money to U.S. Sen. Al Gore? Huh?
Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan says:
Think of her as a very capable indentured servant of the Bush family. She’ll do what they want. She’ll be a very, very tough nut to crack in the hearings. And I have no idea about her judicial philosophy. But I imagine that’s the point. When I described her as a flunky last July, a source close to Bush told me: “Don’t mess with Harriet.” I think they’ve found someone whose personal loyalty to Bush exceeds even Gonzales’. And in some ways, I see this very personal, very crony appointment to be a response to being told he couldn’t pick his main man, Alberto. Harriet is his main woman. I reserve judgment on her fitness to serve on the court.
Sen. Bill Frist has a stunningly strange lead on his comments (see this and many other reactions at The Washington Post‘s court blog), suggesting as some have said that Miers is what some say she is — a person the Democrats had pledged not to slime. Or perhaps it is that she is not on the list of women or minorities the Democrats had promised to slime or something like that. Can’t you feel the enthusiasm in this Frist sentence?
This morning, after a bipartisan and inclusive consultation process, President Bush nominated Harriet Miers as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Much more to come, I am sure. Meanwhile, watch this space.
UPDATED: Once again, the blogs are the place to be today. Over at the influential conservative magazine World, editor Marvin “compassionate conservative” Olasky is running a series of short pieces on Miers that includes some interesting original reporting hours out in front of the MSM pack.
Three cheers for this new information. His readers are very divided. You should give it a look. It also seems that she was raised Roman Catholic (can’t find a clear affirmation on that), and Olasky says she now is part of the Valley View Christian Church. If you study the site, this appears to be an independent Christian congregation from the center or right of the Independent Christian Churches. I know that crowd pretty well, since I taught for six years at Milligan College. This crowd can be anything from left of center Protestant to mainstream evangelical. It is very non-creedal and it strictly avoids stands on social issues, unless the all-powerful local congregation chooses to do otherwise.
A key source for Olasky’s info is Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht, who has served as an elder in this church. It seems that he, like Miers, never married and they have dated in the past. Yes, friends, expect questions at the hearings about all of this — somehow.