In the midst of all the celebration over Miers here -- and the amusement we all feel watching the right wing consume itself with self-righteousness -- I want to inject a strong note of caution.
When this is said and done -- and it's hard to imagine Miers failing at this point -- the Republican Party is going to be dealing with a serious internal fragmentation: God-nut versus Money-nut. The America we love is going to pay for the repairs.
First: how they got there. I'd like to believe that the Democrats have convinced the GOP leadership that the left is poised to take advantage of Bush's tanking poll numbers and fading moderate support. I'd like to believe it, but I don't; the Democrats have consistently proved ineffective in this kind of high-powered wrangling, and there's nothing I've seen in the core of the Democratic leadership that leads me to believe otherwise.
Instead, it seems pretty clear to me (and it is slowly becoming clear even to the evangelical wing) that Bush never intended to overturn Roe. Such a move would be a disaster for the Republican party, which relies on the moderate center for a chunk of its support.
It is necessary for the Republican party to present an anti-choice dogmatism to those whose only care is the protection of the embryo. From this stems the corruption of the FDA morning-after pill decision, as well as the infinitude of bills designed to chip away at abortion rights: parental notification, "informed consent", and so on.
But going so far as to actually outlaw abortion at the Federal level? Hardly. Such a move would endanger huge numbers of the Republican party in Congress and at the state level, and would jeopardize the main goal of the Bush plutocrats: more money for them and their cronies. The lie at the heart of the GOP is that they want to stop abortion.
Some evangelicals will realize this. They will leave the party, and join splinter groups. Miers will hurt the Republicans. But the party knows it has to keep the bulk of the General Jesus crowd, and soon after Miers makes America safe for the Republican party, they will go into extreme damage control.
We're sorry about Miers, they'll say, but we're on your side. Here, let us prove it to you. Do you want more government funds for your church? Do you want more repressive laws against gays? Do you want ideological checks for public University and government agency employees?
When Miers gets on the court, we are going to see a full court press from the plutocratic wing to convince the evangelicals that they're on God's side. I can only imagine what they'll try.