The reaction on the Right to the Supreme Court nomination of Harriet Miers has made it clear how fragile the coalition of factions that ruled the US for the last five years really was.
-Evangelical Christians who are focused on moral issues.
-Movement Conservatives intent on fiscal restraint, federalism and a restricted role for the federal courts.
-Neoconservatives obsessed with foreign policy and "national greatness."
The alliance of these groups has proven unstable. This was pathetically clear today on the weekly TV talkathon in the statements made by representatives of these groups. The level of abandonment of Bush by those who have been his faithful "friends" was striking. Statements were made that essentially imdicate that he is believed to be "unreliable" and "untrustworthy." One should not want to hear that said about a US president, any president. National polls indicate that such sentiment is spreading.
At this point it looks as though only the evengelicals are going to stick with the president on the Miers nomination. She may squeek by for confirmation in the Senate but the battle will be so bloody that her creibility as a jurist will be forever harmed.
Why will the evengelicals persist in backing Bush on her nomination? It seems clear that they have been given indications in the "back channel" that she will certainly vote on the court in ways that will please them and President Bush.
Does this mean that she will vote to end the federal protection of abortion rights? It seems likely given her life story and associations. Some people think that Bush does not really want to reverse "Roe v. Wade" because of the damage that this would probably cause the party among women voters. Given his personality it seems unlikely that President Bush would let the welfare of the party be a governing concern once he has left office.
Senator Specter will be intent on learning if it is that it is true that Harriet Miers is as committed to the "pro-life" cause as people tell me she is.
In any event, the conservative coalition is badly split. Considering the multitude of crises faced by the Republican Party, it will be very hard to put that coalition together again.