There's been much online fuss about Harriet Miers, Bush's Supreme Court pick and his personal lawyer, with doubtless more to come. Immediately, the most entertaining reaction comes from the howling right, where the likes of Michelle Malkin and David Frum are ranting about Bush's cronyism (ha!) and Miers' inexperience and apparent lack of trog values, while John Podhoretz stumbles around National Review's Corner, beating his head against the wall in protest.
It's a lovely sight, made lovelier still by Bush fawners like Hugh Hewitt, whose pro-administration contortions would have, in an earlier time, made him a top draw on the Ringling Bros. circuit, and James Dobson, Christian Phalange family planner who backed Bush's choice, if I may use so loaded a word when speaking about Dobson. That the Bush gang are touting Dobson's endorsement in the face of wider rightwing protest tells you just how unpopular the Miers pick truly is.
(Though John Dickerson of Slate suggests that Dobson's quick endorsement stems from his long association with Miers in Dallas' evangelical circles, and thus Dobson knows something that his fellow wingers do not. We shall see.)
Naturally, many lib bloggers are also enjoying the show, and some have suggested that the present tumult signals the beginning of the end of rightwing dominance and political sway. If only. Far from showing weakness, the fact that the right is so openly split over Bush's nomination further proves just how much power they retain. American political discourse has moved so far to the right that those who benefit and profit from this reality can be much more candid, direct and honest about their anger and dissent. The present media framework favors them, so they have nothing to lose by acting out, no matter how foul their opinions (see Bill Bennett and his pickaninny abortion remarks). The rightwing movement of the past 40 years has been remarkably disciplined and united, esp in leaner times, and this, among other factors, helped them to grab the political power they have. Even when Reagan first met with Gorbachev, supposedly contradicting the Gip's long-held anti-Sovietism, few wingnuts complained, apart from Howard Phillips, who blasted Reagan as a Kremlin "dupe" before fading into far right Third Party Land.
So those libs tossing confetti are rather premature in their celebration. While they laugh at the bellowing trogs, they defend a craven national party that is pro-corporate power, pro-war, pro-death penalty, pro-police state, anti-worker, anti-poor, anti-Fourth Amendment, and many if not most of them see no problem with voting for Hillary Clinton in '08, who openly embraces the above positions. Also recall that Hillary and husband/President Bill not only supported the anti-queer Defense of Marriage Act, they both appeared on rightwing Christian radio to promote the legislation. Yet you'll never hear snickering from the Kos/Atrios/Air America crowd about Hillary & Bill's pandering to the basest and most backward elements crawling around the states.
While I wish that the reactionary onslaught was diminishing, there's no point in lying to oneself, esp with an "opposition" party that has for years assisted in these attacks. Indeed, I often wonder why today's libs have so much contempt for those with whom they share so many positions. You'd think that that realization might inspire some righteous anger of their own.