I pretty much expected loud and overwrought wails of spite from Bush's Supreme Court Nomination, but not from the conservitives. That the liberals' heads aren't exploding, more than anything, seems to be the biggest problem that conservatives have. We were all expecting a solid strict-constructionist with a long record of being so.
W seemed to have something else entirely in mind. Harriet Miers has been pulled from the shadows, and nobody seems to know anything about her. She has no record as a jurist, so no history of writing to see what her judicial philosophy is. She does not even have a great amount of appelate court briefings from what I understand, to delve into how she would approach Constitutional questions. All that she seems to have going for her are her gender and a record as one of the better attorneys from Texas. That is all well and good, but there's a big defference between acting on a client's behalf and acting as an impartial arbitrator who applies the law.
That being said, I will also say right here that if it were up to me, W would have nominated Robert Bork for the position. Failing that, I think Micheal Luttig should have been the choice. Many have mentioned the names Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown for the position, either of whom would have been fine with me, except that nominating them would have seemed like an affirmative action choice, and the thought of a Supreme Court seat being reserved for any "group" is an affront to my sense of individual rights, so a white male would have been a great counterbalance to that. (For those of you who are keeping track, you could make an argument that I am being hypocritical there.)
It seems that W just didn't want to have a big fight about this nomination, probably because he is having perceived problems with other areas of his administration- Hurricane Relief, the fact that Iraq isn't a paradise on earth yet, and wanted to keep things quiet. So he nominated somebody that he thought the Democrats wouldn't get too up in arms about. He didn't expect to get so much anger from his own party.
In the end, I say that I must defend the choice. George W. Bush knows that his is a historic Presidency, and has had a clear vision of where he wants the country to go. He has not shied away from trying to make his visions a reality. He knows that other than executing the War on Terror, changing the direction of the Courts is his greatest opportunity to have a long-lasting impact on the direction of the nation. He knows Harriet Miers, and has more than likely had a very long interview process with her before making this decision. While I don't think that she will be able to articulate and defend the strict-constructionist view of the Constitution as Scalia and Thomas (and hopefully Roberts, who definitely has the intellect and seemingly the philosophy) I do think that she will at least follow original intent as best she can when she casts her votes.
Am I overjoyed by the nomination? No. Am I happy with the nomination? No. Am I content with the nomination? No. Am I able to tolerate the nomination? Yes. I think that we should support the nomination, and see Harriet Meirs take her place on the bench.