I also know that no decision would be made without Karl Rove's steely hand involved. I'll be the first to admit that he is brilliant, far smarter than I am.
So, the question still remained. Why Harriet Miers?
Then I read a piece today in Roll Call that reported on a conference call that Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, held yesterday with conservative leaders to address their concerns about Miers. That's where I think I may have found the answer to the quandry.
He stressed Bush’s close relationship with Miers and the need to confirm a justice who will not interfere with the administration’s management of the war on terrorism, according to a person who attended the teleconference.
We all know that Bush likes absolute loyalty. We also know that Bush sees his role on the War on Terror is his legacy. We also know that there has been a lot of questionable calls by the Bush administration when it comes to the detainment and treatment of terrorists and enemy combatants and what role the civilian courts should play in their final adjudication. Whether you agree or disagree with the administrations actions, the courts have decided both for and against the administration on the matters. The only way for Bush to maintain the staus quo is with friendly court rulings. Many court cases in regards to the detainees have already been brought, and many are still pending. Many will make their way to the Supreme Court. Bush sees his ability to keep these detainees out of the civil legal system as crucial to fighting the War on Terror. A hostile court could be disastrous to his vision of how the war should be fought.
He knows how Miers feels on this. She is his personal attorney who has advised the president on these specific issues. Bush, Rove and Cheney are not going to roll the dice on an unknown candidate such as Owen or Brown. Their legal philosophy is definitely conservative, but there is still an unknown factor in how they would rule on such cases.
I think the War on Terror is the reason that Bush sold out the religious right on the nomination (assuming she would not overrule Roe). Nothing happens without reason in Washington, especially with this administration. If this is Bush's intentions, then he has chosen superbly on the matter. She is unlikely to be filibustered, and should get easily confirmed. He gets what he wants without a fight. Stealthy nominee, indeed.