Looking at the big picture: a question for conservatives
The fallout from the radioactive Miers nomination has revealed a rift on the right that was always there but was never quite so clear before (at least to me): a gap between those whose overriding focus is the war on terror/Islamofascism, and those who would throw it all over in a heartbeat for a chance to fight for a strict constructionist majority on the Supreme Court and other aspects of the conservative domestic agenda. And all this before the latter group even knows for sure whether Miers wouldn't in fact be pretty closely aligned with them in fighting for that conservative domestic agenda.
Weigh the two against each other and see which is more important. Remember, we're not talking about a gaggle of Chomskyite far-leftists who think the war on terror is a crock anyway, and who see Al Qaeda members as persecuted victims of the West. No, we're talking about people who, just a few short days ago, thought the war was of paramount importance and that Democrats could not be trusted to run it.
But, surprise, surprise; it turns out that, at least to a certain segment of conservatives, having the Supreme Court populated by an originalist is far more important, important enough to concede the next four years to the Democrats.
I don't know what percentage of conservatives feel this way. But here's one of them, a commenter at the Anchoress:
I admit that this nomination may well fracture the right for an election cycle. I’m perfectly happy to do that if it means that the right returns stronger and more resolved to integrity and the core principles the right has championed for decades. I’m more than willing to cede the Presidency to the Democrats for four years if it means that we spend that time remembering what it is we really stand for on the right.
"What it is we really stand for on the right." So okay folks, what is that? Is it the domestic conservative agenda above all? I understand that you feel that Bush's nomination of Miers has betrayed this aim, and that in his presidency he's betrayed other basic conservative principles, such as limitations on government spending.
But is all that really more important to you than the war against Islamofascism? That's a real question, not just a rhetorical one, by the way. And yes, of course Bush has made mistakes in the conduct of the war. The important issue is whether you think the Democrats would do better.
So, do you prefer to stick it to Bush and allow the Democrats to handle that, and let the chips fall where they may?
[Note: after this post I just may declare a Miers moratorium for a while.]
[ADDENDUM: Dr. Sanity, whose conservative bona fides are strong whereas mine are nonexistent, asks the same question. And the good doctor doesn't pull her punches.]