I can't believe it. All along, I trusted that Bush and the White House team understood how important Supreme Court nominations are to the base (and how, essentially, it is only the activist core in each party that it matters to). Especially to a conservative religious base for whom the judicial branch is paramount. I trusted that they undertsood the strength of their majority in the Senate. I trusted that they realized how important it was to make a selection that energized the base going into the mid-term elections.
I trust no more.
There is almost nothing to reccomend Horrible Harriet. Her legal career doesn't distinguish her from any number of lawyers in the U.S. She has no judicial experience. She is too old (age 60). There is almost no indiciation, other than a few campaign contributions, that she is a conservative at all...let alone would be a conservative jurist that moves the Court to the Right of Kennedy. When you think about the rock stars (Scalito, McConnell, Lutig, Brown, Owens, etc. etc. etc.) passed over...just how demoralizing this nomination is becomes apparant. She has two 'qualifications' that reccomend her. Bush likes her...and she's a woman. That's what why we've worked so hard to defend the Bush presidency? That's why we worked so hard to get Republican majorities in the Senate? Have we been betrayed? Yup! Horrible.
Indeed, it is so bad it has me looking at the Roberts nomination in a different light. There I managed to convince myself that internal work had confirmed for the Bush crew that he was a reliable conservative...but how can we trust that that is the case given this tin-ear nomination? Horrible. Furthermore, this confirms my earlier stated belief (seen here) and here that the Bush White House was stuck, much like the old saw about generals on the battlefield, fighting the last war. The last time Republicans were nominating to the Supreme Court they faced a strong Democratic majority in the Senate...at least then there was an excuse for a stealth candidate. There is absolutely NONE now. You could get Bork confirmed with this Senate. How can the politicos at the White House not know this? And even if they weren't certain of it, how can they not understand the importance of an energized base going into a mid-term election where most presidents loose seats in the Congress? I defended other Republican presidents who had unsatisfying appointments because they lacked the votes in the Senate to get a truly conservative nominee. Bush has no such excuse. Horrible.