That’s it Blue Oregonians, we lost. That’s right, I’ll not so boldly predict that Samuel Alito will indeed be confirmed to the Supreme Court. He’s no moderate; in fact I think he’s our worst nightmare. He’s a conservative ideologue. His politics, much like Ralph Nader’s politics on the left, do not represent the beliefs of a majority of Americans. In fact, far from a majority.
Alito upheld a law that required a woman notify her husband before having an abortion, later overturned by the US Supreme Court.
This year the Supreme Court threw out death penalty case Alito had upheld, on a deciding vote by the Justice he will soon replace.
His mom says proudly of Alito “of course he’s against abortion.”
The list goes on and on. This guy’s bad. During the 2000 campaign, NARAL tried to spin off of the effective 1992 message that helped elect an obscure southern governor over a sitting President, by saying “it’s the Supreme Court, stupid.” It seemed goofy to me at the time but five years later to the week, their worst-case scenario has finally begun to play out.
As soon as White House Counsel Harriet Miers backed out, Alito’s name was at the top of the list to replace current Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner. His name has been floated as a possibility from her first announcing her planned resignation. We have had the needed days required to plan how we would cream this guy, and the President for nominating him. Hell, we’ve had weeks and months. His nomination came this morning, and what was our response?
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid pondered whether Alito was "too radical for the American people."
Harry Reid squandered an incredible opportunity. You see, I think that he made the best political move of any Democratic Leader in a long time: I think he suckered Bush into nominating Miers. He played nice with now Chief Justice John Roberts’ nomination – hard not too. He then gave a quiet thumbs up to Miers, and I think he knew the conservatives would eat her alive. What he did was show America that the Democrats are reasonable on judges so that when he raised the red flag on the conservative nightmare that could certainly come forth, he’d have credibility.
What at the usual suspects saying? Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer are fighting back but America stopped listening to them long ago. They don’t have Reid’s cache on this appointment. Not even in their home states.
What did Oregon’s own Senator Wyden say? “It appears to indicate a step to the right.” Granted he’s not on the Judiciary Committee so has little say at this point, but as an Oregonian, I would have appreciated a stronger response.
The timing of this nomination is supposed to help get the news of Scooter Libby’s indictment, stop the Harriet Miers chatter and brush over the 2000 deaths in Iraq. If he can do that for just one day, the news about those subjects will never get the full coverage they so richly deserve. The story the average American will read tomorrow will read something like this:
An extremely experienced conservative justice was nominated. Liberal Democrats whined while others remained silent. His confirmation is expected later this year.
In a few days when we get around to either doing our homework or talking about it and want to talk about how bad he is and why we might filibuster (and how is it that the age old filibuster got reframed as the “nuclear option” last year, making it somehow seem so extreme, though it’s been around as long as we’ve had a Senate), America won’t understand, because Alito will already seem okay in their eyes.
We had one day and now it's over.