I am about as disappointed as I can be right now. I never operated under the illusion that Bush was a true movement conservative. However, I thought he would at least throw the base a bone when it came to SCOTUS nominations. Lets face it, for most of us that has been the most important issue, especially in light of the increasingly lawless left-wing tilt of the court. But what happened when Bush got the chance to nominate a SECOND justice to the Supreme Court? He punted! He passed up any number of strong proven conservative judicial choices and picks a no-body that just happens to be a friend of his.

That’s what we get for supporting President Bush. A wink, a nod, and a cheesy grin coupled with a promise that “she is one of us.” Well, that is just not enough for me. I am sick and tired of being told “so and so says she is good to go” or “this or that president of this or that conservative group gives her a thumbs up.” Here was an opportunity to have a national debate about originalism and the role of the courts in society, to move public understanding about our Constitution in a positive direction. Instead, Bush cops out and nominates someone no one has ever heard of in the pursuit of political expediency. That’s just wrong.

Even if Miers turns out to be the second coming of Scalia, which I doubt very much, the reasons and the process by which she was chosen will still have a negative impact on the legal side of the conservative movement. From here on out, judicial conservatives and academics will always be mindful that participation in the Federalist Society or the expression of strong opinions may very well be an automatic disqualifier for the federal bench. Better to keep quiet and avoid associating with those who have made their feelings known if you hope to go very far.

Such a development is not only bad for the conservative movement but for the health of the Republic as well. The process and reasons by which people in our Republic reach high office should be such that the people have a better than average chance of knowing what they are getting. We need to know where these nominees stand and what philosophy, if any, guides them. However, if the only people nominated to the highest court in the land are those who throughout their careers have successfully managed to hide their true beliefs and avoid associating with those who don’t then we will end up with a court of cowards and opportunists. I am not implying that Miers is a coward or an opportunist (I certainly hope she isn’t); only that a system that elevates stealth candidates favors such people and arms them with the advantage of anonymity, an advantage unavailable to those who are willing to take a stand for their convictions.

Our Republic deserved better.

cross posted at Southern Appeal.

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