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Democrats’ Delay Doesn’t Hurt Alito

Senate Democrats continue to delay a committee vote on Judge Sam Alito’s nomination "for at least a week." I am happily reminded that my blog on November 3, 2005 was anything but prophetic.

Here’s what I wrote back then …

"The trouble is that time is not our friend. Extending this process means more time for the Democrats to come up with an attack plan … Harriet Meirs was a flawed pick, but she was not well served by the extended amount of time between her nomination and confirmation hearing (which never took place). Each day that passed saw more criticism from the chattering class. (The Catch 22 is that she needed the time to prepare for the hearings.)"

… Luckily, I was wrong.  Delaying the hearings (so far) hasn’t hurt Alito’s chances.  Alito is such a good nominee, that it appears the elapsed time has made him more popular, not less.

Further helping his cause, big news stories like Jack Abramoff, DeLay, Murtha, Ariel Sharon’s health — have conspired to keep the chattering classes busy discussing other issues.  

The irony is that all these stories — while generally bad news for Republicans — have overshadowed Alito, thus giving him cover.  (I’m assuming that the less attention he receives from the mainstream media, the better.)  The Holidays probably helped divert attention away from Alito, as well.

Still, the Democrats are doing everything they can to delay the nomination of this fine man. I can’t fault them for trying to stop him, that’s how the game is played. And despite their lack of traction, the Democrats are using the only weapon in their current arsenal: time.

It’s a pathetic position to be in, but the only way Democrats can possibly stop Sam Alito is to delay, delay, delay — all the while hoping their postponement will allow them to pull a rabbit out of their hat.

In truth, the Democrats deserve to be penalized for a "delay of game." Were Republicans not in crisis mode, we might be able to make some hay out of the fact that Democrats are filibustering Alito before the hearings even begin.

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Written By

Mr. Lewis has managed political campaigns and served as director of grassroots for the Leadership Institute, as well as political director for GOPAC. In 2002, Campaigns & Elections magazine selected him as a "Rising Star of Politics." He is the author of "Teaching Elephants to Talk." His blog can be read at MattLewis.org.

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