This is Newt Gingrichs attempt to persuade reluctant (and angry) conservatives to give support to Bush and Miers. R.J. Pestritto is not persuaded and uses Alexander Hamiltons warning
against the nomination of candidates "who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which [the president] particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him," to make his point. Pestritto:
"The point here, of course, is not that the president should be prevented from nominating his allies or associates, but rather that ones friendship with the president should not be the primary qualification one has for office. Yes, Hamilton and Marshall were close allies of the men who nominated them, but independent of this they also happened to be supremely qualified for the posts to which they were appointed, as everybody at the time recognized. By contrast, this is exactly where the Miers appointment runs into trouble: If one omits the jobs that were given to her by President Bush—the jobs that allowed her to be named to lists of the most powerful lawyers in the country—all you have left is a corporate attorney who has shown an ability for administration, both in her firm and in bar associations. Although admirable, these, without any evidence of a developed and clear understanding of the Constitution, are not the qualifications of a Supreme Court justice. Or, to put it more bluntly, the substantial weight of the evidence of her capacity to be a justice—that is, the key government positions she has held—are all the fruits of her continuing relationship with the president. If this doesnt raise serious questions about cronyism, Im not sure what does."
And his concluding paragraph:
"Miers may turn out to be a perfectly fine justice, but there is nothing in her record which would give us any basis to believe that. Ironically, by attempting to avoid the pitfalls of modern senatorial "advice and consent," President Bush has triggered more stringent scrutiny under the framers understanding of that term as a check against the nomination of home-state cronies who lack the objective qualifications for the office. The Senate should therefore diligently exercise its check of advice and consent—not in the modern sense as a litmus test concerning ideology, but as the framers intended: to assure that her qualifications extend beyond mere friendship with the president."
If Republican Senators take this advice seriously, as they surely already took note of betrayal felt among the rank and file, there is a very good chance that Miers nomination will not make it out of the Judiciary Committee. Sometimes you can just feel the ground--public opinion in this case--shift under your feet. This may be one of those times. I think Bush may be losing this mess that is his own creation. Charles Krauthammer doesnt want to wait until the hearings start. He says that this nomination is a retreat by Bush into "smallness" and asks Bush to withdraw it.