"As culture war, the backlash was born to lose."
For the Beltway Republicans and Bush co, the Culture War has always been a means to an end, never the end itself. Getting lower and middle-class Americans to vote against their own interests is hard work. For a large enough segment of voters it works very efficiently.
Professional Politicians, the Super Rich and the Corporate Media Kewl Kids have very different priorities than those of the masses. They are concerned primarily about themselves. The ruling class could give a shit about abortion, gays and brown people crossing the border. It makes no difference to their lives and their portfolios' bottom line.
Harriet Miers makes sense in this context. Bush and his inner circle may very well fear the middle-aged Jedi FitzKenobi. Harriet will definitely help them out of that jam (and any others) if called upon to do so. It's not like it hasn't happened before. Digby's post about Abe Fortas seems to show that a President's personal lawyer who became a Supreme Court justice failed to recuse simself even though silly things like the US Code said they should. It looks like it caught up with Fortas in the end, but I'm sure he made himself useful in the meantime.
Even if BushCo is not worried about De Plame or even if that case does not come to fruition, Miers is sure to look out for them and their Corporate buddies above anyone else. And that's what's most important to them.
Still, why didn't Bush go for a twofer and nominate someone who is a staunch loyalist AND a christian conservative culture warrior? The two qualifications are definitely not mutually exclusive. And it's not like the Democrats could (or would) stop him.
This might be an interesting explanation:
Whassamatta with Kansas, p. 121. With apologies to Thomas Frank for the butchery.
Even when it is judged on its own terms - as a struggle over values, patriotism, national honor, and the correct way to worship the Almighty - the backlash has pretty much been a complete bust. Culturally, it has achieved almost nothing in the past three decades.
Nevertheless, the leaders of the backlash - the same canny people, remember, who are responsible for such masterpieces of political strategy as the Florida 2000 election result and the campaign for Social Security privatization - have chosen to wage cultural battles where victory is impossible, where their followers' feelings of powerlessness will be dramatized and their alienation aggravated.
As culture war, the backlash was born to lose. ...
Consider the endgame. If the Republicans succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade, what will they use to get so called Religious Conservatives whipped up into a frenzy? The Culture War was built methodically over three decades and it has just recently (2001) started paying dividends for the ruling elites. Why fix what ain't broke?
But I haven't seen anything yet to prove that Miers is not a twofer. Besides the confused howling of the low level propagandists who are after all paid to instigate the culture war day in and day out. Is there really any doubt that If Bush tugs on her Roe v. Wade string, she would raise her marionette gavel and outlaw abortion?
In the end, Bush gets who he wants on the Supreme Court and that will suck for Americans for the next 30 years. The Dems will find excuses to cave in a very clever way, as usual. The only way Miers can be stopped is if large amounts of Beltway Republicans oppose her. Not going to happen. BushCo today already started wink-wink, nudge-nudge TV appearances to reassure the base so the GOP congresscritters don't have to fear their constituents when they do his bidding. Maybe the hidden message to the base is: "Bush owns this woman. You better be nice to him or he won't pull her strings in your direction."
American public opinion is a top-down situation. It's a big industry. The main task of the elites (be they Republican or Democratic) is to persuade the masses to accept decisions which benefit the elites personally but are contrary to the masses' wishes. It's always been the main task of every society's elites.