I'll begin by admitting that I am not a Supreme Court nominee or confirmation process aficionado. The Miers nomination has piqued my interest far beyond what it has ever been.
As I wander about the blogoshpere listening to the catfight over the Miers nomination I hear several recurring themes.
One is, for lack of any better term leaping to mind, "betrayal". Apparently some folks who consider themselves "conservative" view this nomination as a betrayal of all they hold dearest. Those who feel this way are threatening to drop out. They'll never again lend their support or vote to any candidate anywhere on the right side of the spectrum. Since they can't have a President of Supreme Court Justice who fits their definition of a "conservative" the way a custom made glove would fit their hand, they are taking their ball and going home, never to darken the conservative movement's doorway again.
My mom, in my younger days, was fond of reminding me not to cut off my nose to spite my face. For those who believe the best way to move our nation in the proper direction is to leave the field to those who would gladly move in the opposite direction I can only say, good-riddance, you're too high-maintenance to suffer your lack of commitment for whatever gain you bring to the "conservative movement".
Another, somewhat stronger, theme is "we coulda had a contendah!" I'm not a big user of sports analogies but sometimes they are apropos. Those spouting this theme strike me as the sorts of football fans who would want their favorite team running nothing but deep strike pass routes. Go for the touchdown, always, all the time. Five yards on first down is not good enough. Moving the chains is not good enough. Holding a lead is not good enough. They want the jugular, the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat, the smell of napalm in the morning or the quiet repose of the cemetary. No half measures for them.
These folks call to mind a coach from younger days who was fond of telling us that none of us could hit a grand slam unless three others of us managed to get on base first. And there is no such thing as a five-run homer.
Is the "conservative movement", whatever that is, really so weak, so socially tenuous, that it cannot weather some screaming at one another? Are teammates really going to quit the team if the next play isn't the one they'd call?
And speaking of calling plays, why do so many view this nomination as the key opportunity within the two-minute drill? It isn't that at all. It's a play being called during timeout while the wide-recievers are sucking on oxygen bottles. And we aren't in the final two minutes of the game - we're smack in the middle of a game with no clock that expires. It's a running play designed to get six yards, maybe a first down. If you're gonna quit over it, good-bye. If what you want is more points on the board then calm down and exercise some patience.
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