The biggest problem for the White House in the Miers fiasco has been the sharp stinging reaction it has received from so many supporters on the right. They expected a flurry of negative press and posts from the MSM and left wing blogosphere, but had no clue of the scope of the reaction they would receive from the conservative side. It has left the White House gasping at straws. Because they don't understand why the right doesn't "get it" here. It's the presumption that the base should just know and implicitly understand the reasoning without having it explained to them. We've seen it before. On too many occasions.
In the past it has seemed that whenever liberals have tossed rediculous accusations about (Republicans want to take away your Social Security check, put Grandma on the street, kill your babies, take away school lunches, make you drink dirty water and breathe dirty air, whatever the asinine claim), conservatives ALWAYS IGNORED the chatter and assumed the right and center would see through the hysteria. It sometimes bothered quite a few on the right that the Republicans didn't defend themselves more. Sometimes it was a miscalculation.
In this instance, you have to know the White House understands the stakes here are just as high or higher as any previous time. So why aren't they making a concerted effort to dispell any concerns coming from the right with concrete thoughtful answers? I submit they can't afford to.
It's like pulling the star player out of the game at a critical moment and having everyone question your motives before the next play. Coaches can't stop the game and explain why the commentators and fans "don't get it". They presume the decisions they make are the correct ones. Even if they take a bunch of flack for making them. In fact, if they did stop and explain, then the other team would know why it's happening and adjust accordingly. I submit it's similar here.
I've noted previously (and others have as well) nose counting in the Senate may well be the real reason for this nomination. For whatever reason, the President does not believe he could get one of the "superstar" conservative candidates through the Senate, and a lost vote on a Supreme Court nominee would be a crushing defeat for both the President AND the conservative movement. He also knows his Dad made a foolish pick with someone with whom he was unfamiliar, but came with high recommendations (Souter). He knows a repeat would be just as devastating.
So he picks someone he KNOWS and TRUSTS. Someone he knows so well he's certain of how she thinks and how she will perform in her new job. But he can't disclose all of this because Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats on the Committee and in the Senate THINK Miers will be another O'Connor, and that suits them just fine. In fact, they know another O'Connor would be the best possible outcome for them given THIS President.
Only the President holds all the cards on this. He knows what they don't. He's sure of it. He knows Miers is the best possible choice because he can fool the other side into going along with him. But he had to know the base wouldn't like it initially. I submit was part of the calculation, because it would serve to encourage the left into being certain they're getting the best they could ever expect. The negative reaction from the base is much more vocal and sustained than the White House could have expected, but remember: they can't say WHY. Because they don't want to give away the play.
So we get the lamest excuses: "she broke the glass ceiling", "it's sexism", "it's elitism". Because they can't really say why -- until that unknown substitute player takes the "safe" off-tackle dive play and turns it into a 65 yard touchdown run. Then the coach is called a "genius". By the same people who called him an "idiot" moments before.
Does that help?