Friday, January 20, 2006

Democrats Failed Alito Strategy

From an opinion column in Newsday, James Pinkerton takes a sober look at why the democrats failed in their opposition to Samuel Alito:

Lesson for the day: Don't take political advice from liberal
law professors.

That might seem like obvious advice, especially for those
seeking office in "red states," but Senate Democrats seem
not to have gotten the message. Now they are paying a
huge price as Samuel Alito moves toward confirmation --
and Democrats move toward marginalization.

Pinkerton refers to a New York Times story that describes how liberal law professors got together to "strategize" and find a path to stop GW from moving the supreme court to the right:

How all this happened was revealed in a recent New York
Times article headlined, "Glum Democrats Can't See Halting
Bush on Courts / Concede Strategy Failed." In 2001, 42 of
the 50 Democrats then in the Senate -- the number is down
to 45 now -- went on a retreat to "hear experts and discuss
ways they could fight a Bush effort to remake the
judiciary." The experts were three liberal legal eagles --
Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School, Cass Sunstein of the
University of Chicago Law School and Marcia Greenberger
of the National Women's Law Center in Washington -- who
told the Democrats that they could "oppose even nominees
with strong credentials on the grounds that the White
House was trying to push the courts in a conservative
direction." And now that's the strategy that has failed,
leaving Democrats "tilting at windmills," as a rueful Tribe
told the New York Times.

Pinkerton sums up his essay by implementing these suggestions:

Under such pressure from all quarters, old and new, it's
little wonder the Democrats are folding their opposition to
Alito. Looking ahead, the besieged and numerically
diminished Democrats might reach two conclusions.

First, their long love affair with lefty law professors must
come to an end. For decades, the party has let itself be led,
at least perceptually, by the avant-garde ideology of such
litigation-obsessed outfits as the National Organization for
Women and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Second, if the Democrats really believe that President Bush
and his Republicans are overreaching on judicial issues,
they should let them overreach. Will the repeal of Roe v.
Wade bring an anti-Republican backlash? Fine. Bring it on.
Let Alito on the Supreme Court and hope that he does his
worst, Roe-wise, leaving elected Republicans to deal with
the ballot-box consequences.

Now there's some sound political advice for the Democrats:
Skip the top-down legal elitism; try some bottom-up small
"d" democracy instead.

Sound advise is not the "norm" for the left these days. The self-destructing "Bash-Bush-at-all-cost" seems to distort any reality on their part, (most of the time). This writer can only hope the "status quo" continue it's path to marginalzation for another nine months.


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