Well, Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination to be placed on the Supreme Court.
I don't for a second believe that she made this decision on her own -- her lemming-like loyalty to the President means that she'd never go against His Will -- so we can take this as a recognition from Bush that no matter how much lipstick (and dark black eyeliner) he stuck on this pig, no one was going to buy it.
Personally, I'm a little let down. I was looking forward to watching this all play out before the Judiciary Committee, with the costs of Bush's cronyism exposed in Miers' ignorance of constitutional matters and the schism in the Republican Party exploited as the far right had to break away from the right. And as long as the nomination was standing, the internal fighting in the GOP ranks could continue.
So what happens next? Well, there are two scenarios. First, you could argue that Bush desperately needs a victory here and will try to find another John Roberts -- moderately conservative, eminently qualified, and easily passable. But I don't think that'll happen. Bush has a chance to win back his base, and with the Plame indictments coming down soon, he's going to want them rallied around him. So I think we might see him reach deep into the nut factory and pull out someone like Janice Rogers Brown or Priscilla Owens.
However, even if Bush does put forth a troglodyte for the next nomination, I think the Democrats now have the cover to shoot her down. Bush is now deeply unpopular, and the indictments of his administration will surely make him more so. Rebelling against Bush is no longer a political risk; it's fast becoming a political asset. What's more, now that the Republicans are all on record for standing up to Miers -- demanding documents, announcing their opposition, playing the media -- it becomes much easier for Democrats to do the same with the next nominee.
It's hard to predict the future, but I think we can now look back on the Miers nomination and pinpoint the moment where it all went wrong. Decades from now, historians will look back and, I am confident, seize upon the homespun wisdom of the sage prognosticator who said: "Nice knowing you, Harriet. Go back to writing 'Mrs. Harriet Bush' in cursive on your Trapper Keeper, because this other dream just ain't gonna happen."