Handicapping the Obvious

What, nothing on the Alito confirmation hearings? OK, here’s a little something.

I was never that in love with Alito, but he’s about as good as we’re going to get from the President Bush. David Corn has it right when he argues that Alito is too “deferential” to Executive power. Corn goes on to argue that Democrats


had to create a showdown. Why? Because otherwise not enough people are going to pay attention to the hearing, and if there is not widespread concern about Alito within the American public, the Democrats are not going to be able to block him. While the Democrats have generated moments of conflict with the occasional sharp question, there has been no shaping of the event. It just looks like the usual and expected partisan back-and-forth, with Democrats looking–that is, hoping–for a gotcha moment, and Alito not obliging.

I don’t agree with all the particulars of Corn’s opposition to Alito. Not even close. That said, Corn’s advice to Democrats is telling.

Corn’s (and the Democrats’) opposition is based on the fact that Alito is the wrong kind of Big Government Booster. The Left wants the federal government powerful enough to keep abortions legal until just before labor begins, but too weak to eavesdrop on telephone conversations between American citizens and known bad guys. The Right wants it the other way around.

Heads, big government wins – tails, big government wins.


And that’s why Corn and the Democrats don’t stand a chance of keeping Alito off the court. The only way to defeat a principled big-government guy is to wage a principled campaign of limited government against him. The Democrats are in no position to even consider such a fight.

The Republicans once were – but haven’t been since about 1998.

Sam Alito will be confirmed, and with the votes of at least five Democrats, probably more.

For the record, I’m pro-choice up to the point of natural viability. However, abortion isn’t expressed in the Constitution, while Federalism is its heart and soul. Therefore, I’d rather have an Alito on the bench than another Ruth Bader Ginsberg.


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