January 15, 2006

Clue. Clue. So close to a clue...

It's just so fascinating, watching the thought slowwwwwwly penetrate into Democrat minds, that they are the minority party, and no longer at the center of the universe. But they are just so stuck. They grew up thinking, or at least those of my generation did, that where they were was the "center," and the far-right was Barry Goldwater, and the far-left was like, you know, Stalin. (It wasn't really true even then, as the success of Nixon's "silent majority" attested.) This is from an NYT article, Glum Democrats Can't See Halting Bush on Courts:

...In interviews, Democrats said the lesson of the Alito hearings was that this White House could put on the bench almost any qualified candidate, even one whom Democrats consider to be ideologically out of step with the country...

The suspense just kills me. Will the light bulb go on, will the other shoe drop? HOW LONG can they go on imagining that they are the ones who decide what's "in step?"

...That conclusion amounts to a repudiation of a central part of a strategy Senate Democrats settled on years ago in a private retreat where they discussed how to fight a Bush White House effort to recast the judiciary: to argue against otherwise qualified candidates by saying they would take the courts too far to the right...

Fascinating. The assumption that they are the ones who set the buoys in the harbor, and tell the ships that they are too far to port or starboard.

...Even though Democrats thought from the beginning that they had little hope of defeating the nomination, they were dismayed that a nominee with such clear conservative views - in particular a written record of opposition to abortion rights - appeared to be stirring little opposition...

Oh, the suspense, the suspense...

..."It may be a mistake to think that their failure demonstrates that they necessarily did something wrong," said Richard H. Fallon, a professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School. Referring to one of the major Democratic complaints about Judge Alito's testimony, Mr. Fallon said: "As long as most of the public will settle for evasive or uninformative answers, maybe there was nothing that they could have done to get Alito to make a major error."...

Amazing assumptions. Reality is that for a minority party failing is normal, but they can't quite admit that. And the "mistakes" they are hoping for would probably not bother the public at all, since most of the public are not liberal Democrats--another thing they can't admit.

...Several Democrats expressed frustration over what they saw as the Republicans outmaneuvering them by drawing attention to an episode Wednesday when Judge Alito's wife, Martha-Ann, began crying as her husband was being questioned. That evening, senior Democratic senate aides convened at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, stunned at the realization that the pictures of a weeping Mrs. Alito were being broadcast across the nation - as opposed to, for example, images of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, pressing Judge Alito about his membership in an alumni club that resisted affirmative action efforts.

"Had she not cried, we would have won that day," said one Senate strategist involved in the hearings, who did not want to be quoted by name discussing the Democrats' problems. "It got front-page attention. It was on every local news show."...

Crazy assumptions. Just crazy. Assuming that Americans will recoil in horror from someone who does not support affirmative action! Assuming that ordinary Americans care what the grotesque Teddy Kennedy says. Assuming that the public cares about this charade (but at the same time is so stupid that an image of a weeping woman will destroy all rational thought.) Actually the public made its preference clear by electing Republican majorities, and doesn't want to hear the details. Assuming they can win.

"You're trying to convince the American people that this man is not on your side," said Dale Bumpers, a former Democratic senator from Arkansas. "Obviously, we didn't do a very good job....Tom Daschle, the former Democratic senator from South Dakota, said: "It is causing far more serious consideration by at least the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of what you do in future cases. How do you make clear where this person stands?...

Clue, clue, so close to a clue...and yet so far. Everybody KNOWS where he stands. We like it.

..."There were very few principles on which we could all agree," said Mr. Daschle, who was Senate minority leader at the time of the meeting. "But one was that we anticipated that the administration would test the envelope. They were going to go as far as the envelope would allow in appointing conservative judges."...

The envelope that's being pushed is the filibuster envelope. (The real envelope is much bigger.) But these guys are preserving their dream-world by imagining that that one procedural trick equals real strength. Sort of like France imagining it's still a major power because it has a veto at the UN Security Council.

...The panel also advised them, participants said, that Democratic senators could oppose even nominees with strong credentials on the grounds that the White House was trying to push the courts in a conservative direction, a strategy that now seems to have failed the party....

Uh, maybe because this is a Conservative country? I think these guys really believe that it's all been a bad dream, and at any moment they will wake up and be back in 1973. Maybe Teddy Kennedy's laser mind will pin the hapless Alito down and extract the truth! And then it will be like one of those Hollywood courtroom dramas where the guilty one stands up and shrieks a confession in the courtroom. "I did it! I confess! I'M GUILTY!" And then the good guys win and go back to being the center of the Universe.

Posted by John Weidner at January 15, 2006 6:19 PM
Weblog by John Weidner