Robert Gates Is to DoD What Harriet Miers Is to Supreme Court

Remember Harriet Miers? George Bush’s White House counsel who was nominated last fall to an Associate Supreme Court Justice position, was laughed at by Democrats and forced out by Republicans, and replaced in less than a month as a nominee by Samuel Alito?

The conventional wisdom is that Bush picked Miers as a result of her personal loyalty to him. She was criticized as a political crony without judicial experience or a written record. Conservative commentators came out swinging against her. Despite statements that Democratic Sen. Harry Reid had approved of her nomination, the clamor from the right is credited with forcing her to withdraw her name from consideration. Bush then selected Alito, who seemed to conservatives and moderates a much more sensible choice.

How much of it was real and how much was a game? Was Miers a real choice or was she a sacrificial pawn, meant to make someone like Alito look good?

My question has to be, is the Robert Gates nomination as Secretary of Defense another pawnish move? And who’s the real nominee waiting in the wings until Gates gets shoved out for his 1980s support of people like Osama bin Laden and falsification of intelligence on the Soviet Union?