Gosh, everyone is having a super! day

Hugh Hewitt, John Podhoretz and David Frum, among others, are happy campers today. They think that Judge Alito will be confirmed after much huffing and puffing by Senate Democrats. Who knows? They may be right.

We, on the other hand, are making no predictions. Possibly these gentlemen are correct, and the big, bad Democrat bears will scamper back to their caves after some loud growling. Huh? Is that Armageddon?

If Alito sails through in the way predicted by these pundits, it would appear to be a very big deal for a number of reasons: (a) it means that the nomination of a stealth nominee such as Miers may have been a waste of time; (b) it means that the overheated, canned outrage of the Democratic Party has stopped working, at least on other Senators; (c) it would appear to be a defeat for the MSM, who cheerlead the broadcasts of the outrage!; etc.

The most important implications of the swift, relatively bloodless confirmation of Alito are two. First, the disgraceful behavior of Ted Kennedy in Borking Robert Bork has stopped working. As Podhoretz wrote, quoting Chuck Shumer:

“The real question today is whether Judge Alito would use his seat on the bench, just as Rosa Parks used her seat on the bus, to change history for the better or whether he would use that seat to reverse much of what Rosa Parks and so many others fought so hard and for so long to put in place,” Schumer said.

Now, it’s one thing for a senator to say that Alito should not be confirmed because he is too conservative. That’s been Schumer’s stance on GOP judicial nominations, pure and simple, and while it may be wrong-headed, it’s not disreputable. It’s quite another for Schumer to oppose a conservative jurist by suggesting his views are implicitly segregationist. That’s just a lousy and rotten thing to do.

Even more embarrassing for Schumer: His slander is just a cheap carbon copy of the real thing. That was Ted Kennedy’s stunning 1987 evisceration of Robert Bork — you remember, when Kennedy took to the floor of the Senate mere minutes after Bork’s nomination to say he would return America to a time when “blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters.”

Kennedy’s words ushered in a new era in American politics. It would be difficult to capture just how shocking that attack was. Nothing like it had ever been said by an elected official about someone who was not an elected official — unless he was speaking about the leader of an enemy country.

It would be an important and very constructive change in American politics if the hateful rhetoric of Kennedy and Shumer could be finally eliminated from political discourse on these matters.

However, even more important in our view is that a defeat as described by Hewitt, Podhoretz and Frum would perhaps force the Democratic Party leaders and backers to consider themselves as losers and outsiders, possibly for the first time. They rejected being losers in 2000. The war was an excuse in 2002 — plus their inability to get their message out. John Kerry’s weak candidacy was to blame in 2004, though Kerry was not a weak candidate: he straddled the pro-war and anti-war factions of the Party as perhaps no other candidate could do.

You may say that a defeat in the Senate is one thing, an election is another. Perhaps. But an easy Alito win would mean that conservatives — the conservative wing of the Republican Party — can legitimately see itself as a majority force in American politics, with power and agenda-setting ability exercised across the three branches of government. The Left of the Democratic Party would be impotent, out in the cold in terms of the ability to control anything, a decline that began near the time of the Borking of Bork (and which in our opinion many of them still fail to understand).

It is one thing to think of yourself as a winner-suffering-temporary-setbacks. It is quite another to see yourself as a loser. This is a psychological journey most people do not want to make, and will use every trick of denial and distortion of reality to avoid. In our view, the ramifications of a relatively-easy Alito victory might force some nasty self-examination that the Democratic Party has shown that it wants to avoid. Therefore, our counsel in this matter is: be prepared for anything. And if Alito is confirmed as these fine pundits predict, the political times promise to get even more interesting.

One Response to “Gosh, everyone is having a super! day”

  1. David C Says:

    An excellent post!

    It is true that confirming Aleto will demonstrate the strength of the conservative movement and the weakness of the left.

    However, I doubt an Aleto victory will cause any serious self-examination by the Democrats.

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