How to fight

News & Politics

Is it that Democrats don't know how to fight Alito's Supreme Court nomination or that they don't have the will? On Sunday, Senator Joe Biden commented that Democrats shouldn't and probably wouldn't launch a filibuster to stop the nomination. The "probability" is that a filibuster won't happen, Biden said. Huh? Is there any reason to rule out the filibuster in advance?

Let's give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume it's a question of not knowing how to fight, instead of a matter of cowardliness. After all, even if a filibuster doesn't work (which is likely) and Alito gets confirmed, the public relations fight on his nomination could change the Senate, the House, and the options for who gets to be President in 2008. (Yes, I know 2008 sounds really far away.)

Others have argued here that the way to go after Alito is to focus on the possibility that he'll overturn Roe v. Wade. But really, I think this nightmare scenario (via Slate) is more likely:

Alito doesn't help overturn the big Warren and Burger Court precedents that are household names�Roe, Brown, Miranda. Instead, he and Chief Justice John Roberts merrily and cleverly chip away at those precedents, eroding them beyond recognition without provoking a backlash against Republican electoral candidates. Meanwhile, they take a series of small steps to the right in areas of law that remain relatively open. After a decade or two�which they will presumably have�it would become extremely difficult to walk the court back. Rybar is especially troubling in this regard, because it signals that Alito would be game to rein in Congress in ways the Supreme Court hasn't yet attempted�for example, by scuttling the Endangered Species Act so developers can bulldoze the habitats of small furry and scaly animals.

So what should the Dems talking point be? Samuel Alito is evidence that Bush has let the ultra-conservative right wing hijack this country. If confirmed, he will enforce an anti-woman, anti-environment, and anti-Congress agenda that is out of step with the American people. End
of story.

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