But as a doctor X-rays the leg before he sets the broken bone, it's important for conservatives to understand the problem generated by a vocal minority before we get around to repairing the damage.
Old Soldier, whose well reasoned comments on this issue have been more restrained than my own has this wrap up to offer. Words of wisdom:
Those of us who have served in the military learn the distinction between tactics and strategy. The conservative borking of Miers is a classic example of tactics, with a very narrow and short term strategy of seating a demonstrably conservative jurist (acceptable to a few) on the Supreme Court. If the true conservative strategy is to roll the Supreme Court over to originalists, the tactic of OPPOSING Miers may have cost us the overall war.
I was not particularly pleased that Ms. Miers did not have that desired history of originalism, but President Bush did have a history if nominating demonstrably conservative jurists to appellate court positions. We will never know what Miers could have been; one other commenter suggested she may have been a steel magnolia. I chose not to prejudicially condemn her. Yes, I read the reports of the poor speech, she once contributed to the Democrats, she once spoke in favor of quotas, she didn't respond well to the Senates obtuse questions, etc. None of it did I find demonstrably indicative of what she would be on the bench. Obviously, I didn't have access to the crystal ball used by the boisterous conservative minority.
As I indicated earlier, I have no problem with disagreement. It is opposition that I do not condone; especially when the opposers do NOT have the endorsement of or a commission from the majority they supposedly represent. You spoke for me without consulting me! Worse yet, you spoke for me in spite of what the numbers were telling you. I take exception with that. That is the way the liberals work, not the conservatives that I have been supporting. And in so doing the minority have compromised some of our own fundamental principles. That speaks well for our integrity, doesn't it?
As a party the GOP must have conservatives and centrists. If we as conservatives start excluding the centrists, they are going to migrate back to the left side of the spectrum, should the Democrats actually start standing for something. The MSM is having a field day with this radical right controlling the GOP claptrap. Perhaps we will get that demonstrably conservative originalist jurist as the next nominee, but at what consequence?
Are you so sure the gang of fourteen will not permit a filibuster? If another Supreme Court position opens up, do you think the liberals won't die fighting a confirmation? You may have assured a fourth originalist is confirmed and a fifth is filibustered. I just think the potential consequence is far more impacting than considered. Time will tell.
Old Soldier expands on this theme in a further comment, where he accurately tags the conservative minority who opposed Miers as "the few."
My feathers are ruffled because a few have decided to act on my behalf without my endorsement. I consider that a hijacking of sorts. I acknowledge their right to speak out, to redress their grievances, etc. I acknowledge their belief in firmly standing upon a principle. I will not belittle that right or freedom, because I have personally stood in the gap for 31 years wearing our nation's U.S. Army uniform.
What I want now is an acknowledgement from those that have presumed to speak for me that they accept full responsibility for the forthcoming consequences. There have been many times that good people have gone down standing upon a principle. When standing upon a principle becomes defensive in nature, it extremely limits the maneuver room necessary to influence the outcome of the situation.
I also want the few to recognize that the consequences may be far more reaching than merely getting a demonstrably originalist jurist as the next nominee. There could be dire consequences should another Supreme Court position open up; our chances to effect a majority of originalists on the bench may be severely compromised. If that becomes the result of this tactical victory we've made a strategic blunder.
I (and I believe Mike, too) have been trying to get the idea across that this conservative movement is a team effort that requires a majority. That majority includes a lot of voters who are non-party aligned centrists. They vote for the people that they feel will best lead the country at the time. We need them to vote conservative in order to remain in the majority. This debacle of causing Ms Miers to withdraw can easily be viewed for what it is an extreme left tactic. If the perception is there is no distinction between the left and right conservativism may suffer.
Finally, I would like the few to acknowledge the notion that the GOP senate will unequivocally fight and succeed in confirming a demonstrably conservative originalist jurist is extremely simplistic. Triple the noise generated to effect Miers withdrawal may not be sufficient to cause the gang of fourteen to deny a filibuster. Threatening GOP senators up for reelection in 06 is absolutely counterproductive toward keeping the momentum of the conservative movement it is merely one more tantrum to accompany the one just past.
I have read your defense of what you've done and I've raised my concerns. You have usurped my position without my concurrence. Now it is time for you to take responsibility for your actions. All your comments are purely an attempt to justify what you have done. I don't want justification I want responsibility.
Update On The Bush Poll:
I am dismayed to see that many of "the few" cannot even express overall support for President Bush. This says quite a bit about how much we can count on them to help win elections and advance an agenda.
The history of the 1992 presidential election provides a perfect example of how dangerous an unyielding stand on narrow sectarian principle can be. Pat Buchanan and his followers mostly sat on their hands that year and partially as a result, we were cursed with eight years of Bill Clinton.