More on Miers, Intellectuals, and Evangelicals:
Over at TNR's Etc. blog, Noam Scheiber responds to my post criticizing the argument that the conservative reaction to the Miers nomination reveals a divide between intellectuals and religious conservatives. He writes:
  Sure, people like Perkins and Santorum have hedged their bets, taken a wait and see attitude, maybe even expressed some reservations or concerns. Even James Dobson has backed off his early enthusiasm for Miers a bit. What these people haven't done is make a principled case against Miers, which means they can still be persuaded to support her--and, I suspect, they probably will once they see more evidence of her political and social conservatism.
  On the other hand, a principled case against Miers is exactly what conservative intellectuals like George Will, David Frum, and Bill Kristol have made.
  I think Scheiber is confusing two different questions. The first question is whether Bush made the right call when he nominated Miers; the second question is whether Miers should be confirmed by the Senate. What Scheiber presents as a divide between intellectuals and religious conservatives is really a divide between conservatives debating the first question and conservatives debating the second question.

  Dobson and Santorum have been focused on the bottom line of whether they support the confirmation of Miers (and in Santorum's case, whether he will vote up or down). In contrast, Will, Frum, and Kristol have harshly criticized the President for having nominated Miers in the first place; to my knowledge, none of them have taken the position that that Miers should be defeated in the Senate. George Will comes the closest when he says that "it might be very important" that Miers is not confirmed, but I don't think that's quite enough.

  In sum, the two groups aren't disagreeing, but rather answering different questions. The commentators are ruminating on process, while the politicans and political leaders are focusing on the bottom line vote.

  UPDATE: In response to a comment below, I should have been explicit that the two sets of positions aren't inconsistent. Lots of conservatives feel that Bush made a poor choice, given the options, and they feel conflicted about whether the Senate should now vote to confirm Miers. The commentators are focusing on the former, the political leaders on the latter.