Now he’s gone and done it.
President Bush today named appeals court Judge Samuel A. Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. Alito, 55, serves on the Philadelphia-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, where his record on abortion rights and church-state issues has been widely applauded by conservatives and criticized by liberals.
Alito, appointed to the appeals court in 1990 by George H.W. Bush, has been a regular for years on the White House high court short list. He was also among those proposed by conservative intellectuals as an alternative to Harriet Miers, the White House counsel who withdrew as the nominee last week.
Some Democrats, including minority leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev), have threatened to oppose Alito, however.
It’s War! War! Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of ditto!
Now, a fat, old, curmudgeonly man such as myself might ask a simple question like “Hey George! Why didn’t you nominate this guy the first time around?” You and I might not like the answer to that one so let’s just let sleeping dogs lie and concentrate on the upcoming Fight of The Century.
If you think you’ve heard apocalyptic rhetoric from the loons on the left prior to this, I’ve got news for you; the outpouring of invective, gloom, doom, and hand wringing on the part of liberals will make anything previously pale in comparison. Listening to them, you may be fooled into thinking that securing the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court will end all life on earth or, at the very least, cause the sky to blacken, the moon turn red as blood, the stars fall from their sphere’s in the sky, and the sun to grow dark. In short, even though many of the Moveon crowd would be angry at the comparison, their rhetorical excesses will evoke images from the bible, the Koran, and probably the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.
I’m laying odds that the first commercial showing a pregnant woman slinking down a dirty back alley to be met at a door by a Dr. Frankenstein look-alike with a rusty saw in his hand will be out by next week. And don’t forget the weeping celebrities who will threaten to move out of the country if Alito is confirmed. This time, let’s send them one way tickets to to Kathmandu just to shut them up.
On a more serious note, the blood left on the floor after this fight will probably mean that Republicans will keep control of the Senate next year. As long as other issues like the economy and the war don’t get much worse, enough of the base will be energized to come out and vote to keep the Republican majority in the upper house secure for 2 more years. While this is good news, it is legitimate to ask about the long term effects of 1) the probable use of the nuclear option to ram the nomination home, and 2) electoral prospects for Republicans in 2008.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the nuclear option will be necessary to confirm Judge Alito. There is no way enough Senate Democrats can be peeled away from their addiction to the far left money machine represented by Moveon, International ANSWER, George Soros, and the Kos Kids to name a few, not to mention the real political power of NOW and NARAL that can be exercised within the party’s presidential nomination process, so that a filibuster can be beaten. Abortion rights is an Ur issue with these groups and they will make it known that they will be absolutely pitiless toward any Democrat who votes to confirm Alito. As the potential deciding vote on overturning Roe, the leftist interest groups simply cannot take a chance that he would vote to negate the decision.
As far as 2008, there is a real possibility that the use of the nuclear option will be seen as the kind of raw exercise of power that the American people so mistrust in politicians. So while Republican prospects in 2006 may not be affected, the breaking of the filibuster by invoking the nuclear option could hurt the party’s chances in 2008. As we’ve already seen, the Democrats will use apocalyptic rhetoric against the breaking of the filibuster as they did last May prior to the agreement involving the “Gang of 14.” Look for the same kind of nonsense used here as well as the Democrats attempt to make it an issue during the Presidential election of 2008.
I’ll leave it to others to dissect Alito’s abilities as well as his decisions. But the political impact is clear already. As Cypher says after Neo takes the red pill in The Matrix:“It means buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, ‘cause Kansas is going bye-bye. “
Michelle Malkin had the story early and does her usual extraordinary job rounding up both MSM and blog reaction.
The Captain seems a bit optimistic:
I expect that the Democrats will get 30-35 votes in favor of a filibuster once Alito gets out of committee. If they do consider a filibuster, too many of them will realize that Stevens might get replaced during this term (he’s 85 years old). They need that potential stop on Senate business to protect a genuinely liberal seat on the Court—and enough of them won’t agree to tossing it aside before the 2006 elections, when they might narrow the gap in the Senate, in order to keep Alito off the bench. They also won’t want to fight over obstructionism again during the next cycle, or the Democrats might well lose more Senate seats in the midterms.
Expect Alito to get confirmed, 65-35.
I hope he’s right. The question is, how many Democratic Senators are beholden to their base for money and votes? If you answered all of them, you win a cookie. There will be a filibuster unless Harry Reid, George Soros, and women’s groups all have a press conference announcing they are supporting Alito. In fact, the prospect of an internal fight within the Democratic party over the use of the filibuster could be in the offing.