finding a replacement
Here's what's going to happen:
Bush will nominate a moderate, right-leaning judge; the least controversial figure he can find that holds to a vaugely constructionalist view of things. Probably someone obscure who, I think, will be pro-life personally but not express any desire to overturn Roe v. Wade. This person will be of some type of minority, probably hispanic, maybe a female. Their professional credentials will be pretty much impeccable.
The liberal pundits will go bugshit, screaming about how this person is just another right-wing nutjob seeking to further the hardline Christian-right agenda. They'll find some minor flaws to pick at, amplify, and worry at endlessly.
The right-wing pundits will insist that this person is really just a center-of-America, regular Joe. Even though they will probably be somewhat right of center, and will probably bear as much resemblance to your average millhunk as Elton John.
Some or all of the "Party of seven" will object, with many soundbites and endless non-debate ensuing. If they eventually cave, the nominee will go to the Supreme Court. Grousing from the democrats will ensue, but the "Spirit of cooperation" will be the riding theme. If they don't cave, that nominee will go away and another, virtually identical candidate will take their place. The process will repeat, and this time, the nominee will almost certainly be sucessful after the pressure to just get it over with has come to a head. Spirit of cooperation and compromise is the buzzword once again, with more or less bitching involved depending on how vitriolic the debate over the first candidate was.
Bush dosen't have the political capitol for a serious right-winger, but he has too much hubris to put up anything less than a moderate conservative, and a political base that would murdify anything less. The Democrats don't wield enough power to fight that forever, and while their natural tendancy is to fight every single thing Bush does, eventually they'll be forced to give or wind up looking like sour grapes.
There, I just saved you hours and hours of cable TV and talk radio.