The judge's record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else....There's something missing from this argument, even if you accept the premise -- which I don't -- that Alito's an eager ideologue. What good would the filibuster do? How is it a remedy for the problem? So it's a "radical tool." Quite aside from the "radical" part, a tool is supposed to function for a particular use. Is the NYT just recommending a foot-stomping routine? How would more senatorial talking advance the cause of the Democrats? They've already talked so much, and they haven't budged public opinion about Alito. They need to make us like them for the next election, and I can't see how filibustering Alito gets them any closer to that goal, which, unlike stopping Alito, is not a lost cause. Is it?
Judge Alito's refusal to even pretend to sound like a moderate was telling because it would have cost him so little....
Senate Democrats, who presented a united front against the nomination of Judge Alito in the Judiciary Committee, seem unwilling to risk the public criticism that might come with a filibuster — particularly since there is very little chance it would work. Judge Alito's supporters would almost certainly be able to muster the 60 senators necessary to put the nomination to a final vote.
A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
January 26, 2006
Here's today's editorial: