In a couple of hours, Bush will announce his nominee to replace Justice O'Connor. There are going to be millions upon millions of dollars spent on supporting/opposing the nominee no matter who he names. If it's someone to appease the Religious Right, moderates and liberals will be in arms. If it's a moderate conservative, the Religious Right is planning to attack, and I expect that liberal groups will as well.
I'm not going to like the nominee no matter who it is, but unless someone can show me that there's something more than an ideological quarrel (or someone like Janice Rogers Brown who wants to roll jurisprudence back at least 75 years), I want no part of the fight. It isn't enough to say I won't agree with the nominee -- it's the president's prerogative to name him/her. If we as a nation were stupid enough to put Bush back in the White House, then we as a nation deserve whatever we get as a result. Yes I want to limit the damage, but I also want energy to be focused on where we can do the most good. The "end of the world" mentality I see in the subject line of every moveon.org e-mail has made me tune them out altogether (I haven't unsubscribed from their mailinglist, but almost all of their e-mails are deleted, unread). Maybe I'm in the minority of liberals, but I'd rather they prioritize than make every political fight BIG. Seriously, moveon will do battle no matter who Bush nominates, because he isn't going to nominate someone they agree with. That's absurd -- liberals didn't win the election, so we don't have a basis for asserting the right to approve the nominee. As far as I'm concerned, such a mentality severely affects their credibility.
Admittedly, a Supreme Court justice in his/her early-to-mid-50s could do a lot of bad for a long time. I guess what I mean by "the most good" takes into account the likelihood of success -- with 55 Republican senators, plus a likely defector or two such as Senator Ben Nelson, it'd take quite an improbable turn of events for the nominee to fail to get confirmed if it's simply a matter of ideology. There is of course the possibility of a filibuster, but I'm skeptical the Democrats would be able to pull it off (due to the nuclear option and how some of the Republicans in the group of 14 that "preserved" the filibuster interpret their agreement).