Maybe George W. Bush is flat out tired of taking media hits. But what a time to go wobbly (if that is what he has done–the optimistic and perceptive Hugh Hewitt says “trust the president.”)

Speaking only for myself (the IWF’s position is on our homepage), I am dejected that the president has now semi-officially made Sandra Day O’Connor’s seat on the Court a “woman’s seat.”

So far, the nomination is turning out to be a hard sell for conservatives–a vote-online poll on the conservative Townhall was running 75 % against Monday night.

Weekly Standard editor-in-chief Bill Kristol didn’t say he is dejected, but he is “disappointed, depressed, and demoralized”:

“Roberts for O’Connor was an unambiguous improvement,” Kristol notes. “Roberts for Rehnquist was an appropriate replacement. But moving Roberts over to the Rehnquist seat meant everything rode on this nomination–and that the president had to be ready to fight on constitutional grounds for a strong nominee. Apparently, he wasn’t. It is very hard to avoid the conclusion that President Bush flinched from a fight on constitutional philosophy. Miers is undoubtedly a decent and competent person. But her selection will unavoidably be judged as reflecting a combination of cronyism and capitulation on the part of the president.”

Powerline, a blog written by lawyers, has softened from its original “Disappointed” post–but not much:

“I think it is entirely possible that, as Vice-President Cheney has been saying, ten years from now we will conclude that Miers is a solid, conservative Supreme Court Justice. But I think that ignores an important reality: it is significant that Bush appoint someone who turns out to be a conservative, but it is also important (albeit less so) that he be perceived as doing so.

“Bush is at a very significant point in his second term. Things have not been going great for him on a number of fronts. The one real triumph he has had so far this term was his selection of John Roberts as Chief Justice. Bush needs to keep the party’s conservative base aggressively in his corner. He also needs to show that, notwithstanding his mostly-superficial second term problems, he can get what he wants from the Senate when the chips are down. He had the opportunity to do that with another top-notch nomination, and he had great candidates available. Instead, it is widely perceived that he punted.

“The base is in no mood for a stealth candidate who donated to Democrats throughout the Reagan administration. For Bush, vindication ten years from now will come too late.”

If you want tepid, the National Review’s The Corner has Republican Senator Rick Santorum’s official statement (and a lot of good discussion of the nomination):

“As the Supreme Court opens its session,” the gentleman from Pennsylvania opines, “I am pleased that the President has named his choice to replace Justice O’Connor. I intend to carefully review the nominee’s credentials and assess her qualifications and commitment to the rule of law.”

“I look forward to learning more about Ms. Miers’ background in the days and weeks to come and it is my hope that she will be treated with dignity and respect as were previous nominees throughout this process.”