First of all, I think the last Alito sketch actually looked more like John Sununu, and I don't want to be a "vicious dem" and make Martha cry again by suggesting her husband looks like John Sununu. That's just not cool. So here's an updated sketch. Better, Martha? Yeah? You ok? Yes you are, yes you are a big girl. That's my big girl!
I think there's been enough written all over the World Wide Web about the Alito nomination, so I'll spare you my in-depth analysis (as if you cared). And yes, that's also because I haven't had the time to follow this confirmation hearing as close as the Roberts hearing, so my analysis isn't really as in-depth as it should be. I just want to get the Von Trapper Keeper on record as giving Alito the thumbs down. I reluctantly supported the confirmation of John Roberts, not because I agreed with his judicial philosophy, but because I was satisfied with his respect for precedent to the point where I didn't think he would try to reverse many of the important cases decided in the last 60 years. I also thought that he was a fair swap for Rehnquist, probably even an upgrade. And I knew that if we blew a filibuster on his confirmation, we would be in a much weaker position on the next more important nomination, the nomination to replace the moderate O'Connor. You can probably only get away with one filibuster with the Senate stacked the way it is now and with the public's tolerance for partisan battles what it is.
Alito's answers in the hearings and his record on the federal court are obviously "troubling" to anyone concerned about the legality of abortion, the preservation of civil rights and civil liberties, environmental and endangered species issues, eminent domain, privacy, executive power, and all other progressive issues. His answers about his respect for precedent and stare decisis were pretty similar to Roberts, but I believed Roberts more. Alito looked like he was speaking begrudgingly when declaring his respect for stare decisis. Like he was eating his brussel sprouts to get to his dessert. And Casey was his fucking decision. You know he wants to flip that. And I don't buy his attempts to distance himself from CAP. He put it on an 85 job application. Gimme a break. Do I think a filibuster of this nomination would force Bush to nominate someone more moderate, someone like O'Connor? No. Almost certainly not. But this is the moment that the Dems have been angling for. This is the moment that the War over the Nuclear Option was preparing for. The Democratic side of the Gang of Fourteen agreed to confirm several ultra-conservative judges to federal courts so they could preserve the filibuster for a Supreme Court nomination. This is it. This is the shot. 10 months away from an important mid-term elections, the GOP's credibility is in the toilet, and voters are begging the Democrats to show some backbone, to give them a reason to vote for them. Failure to take advantage of this opportunity to champion progressive ideals could blow an opportunity to gain serious ground in Congress. Let's get vicious! Let's make Martha cry again!
Probably too late though. Why would I ever believe that the Democrats would make a principled stand. And we knew all this was going to happen on November 3, 2004. Would be nice though.