The opposition was, from the get-go, some weirdo intersection of the Hearty Republican bloggers, and the egghead lawyers & academics. Subset C was highly populated, given the tendency of eggheads to bloviate endlessly. Bottom line, though — there will be much jackassery, but this one will bite the instant experts in the ass.
And that is what is left of the conservative movement. We now have two factions who will never trust each other, and where name calling skirmishes will break out more and more often. It has already started. The genie is out of the bottle and cannot be put back in now.
Now, however, a big slice of conservative punditry has decided that the long march back isn't worth the risk that Harriet Miers isn't who the president and her close associates say she is. On the basis of a very thin set of papers --some of them distorted, and all of them cherry-picked-- and with an absolute refusal to entertain any of the many arguments and testimonies on her behalf, this caucus has seized on the very tactics most conservatives have long denounced in order to do what?
To deny Harriet Miers a hearing and an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.
To accomplish this objective, a group of high profile conservative pundits and activists have gone so far as to raises hundreds of thousands of doallrs from secret sources to run hit ads on the nominee in prime time. George Will has taken to denouncing high profile evangelical leaders as "crude." National Review, the oldest brand on the right, allowed its cyber pages to be used to brand the nominee the worst since Caligula's horse and to suggest the president might send up Barney next.