It appears the Democrats will attempt to postpone Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court confirmation vote for another week. This will merely postpone the inevitable, and, in essence, prolong their agony. But there is another factor at play here: By delaying the vote, Democrats are also keeping the Alito story in the news. This strikes me as folderol for a number of reasons:
1. The Alito story takes attention away from the Abramoff scandal (a welcome relief for Republicans). With the Abramoff story still developing, I cannot fathom why the Democrats would want to give journalists a reason to write about anything else.
2. The Alito story focuses attention on older, out-of-touch Democrats, who happen to sit on the Judiciary Committee (such as Kennedy and Biden). Unlike younger, hipper Democrats (see Barak Obama), Kennedy and Biden portray an image of Democrats as out-of-touch, petty, and mean—especially when compared to Alito.
3. The Alito story “muddies the waters.” Until the Alito confirmation hearings, Republicans (who control both houses of Congress and the Presidency), were forced to accept responsibility for every problem that came down the pike. One of the worst things that can happen to you in politics is to have nobody left to blame. (I personally believe this has been a major factor in Bush’s declining approval ratings). But thanks to the hearings, average Americans—who watched Senators Kennedy and Biden get to question the nominee—now see “politicians”—not just “Republicans”—as the problem. Delaying the confirmation vote will only serve to further portray Democrats as obstructionists who are part of the problem in Washington.
4. Alito is too likeable to be demonized. No matter how hard the Dems try, people just aren’t going to believe Sam Alito is a bad guy.
The Democrats’ futile attempts to stop this popular nominee reminds me of the mistake Republicans made in shutting down the government in the 1990s. Democrats appear more concerned with winning the argument than with winning elections.
So why are Democrats making this mistake? There is a completely logical reason the Democrats are willing to make themselves look foolish before the American people : Money.
Democrats get their money from pro-abortion liberal interest groups and activists who correctly understand the importance of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.
These liberal activists aren’t interested in making Democrats look good for the sake of looking good anymore than Christian conservatives care about making Republicans look good—they are interested in advancing their pro-abortion agenda at any cost. (If you ever wondered how the Democrats can possibly be so incompetent as to not be able to take advantage of Republican gaffes—this is the reason).
So Democrats have a choice to make: They can pacify their liberal base, or they can make the smart political decision, and risk offending their base. Both choices have consequences. This is their Gordian Knot.
In choosing to pursue the goals of the liberal element of their party, Democrats are once again demonstrating they are out of touch with the American public. We shouldn’t be surprised. Democrats have been making this same decision for the last forty years.
At a time when Democrats could be positioning themselves as an alternative to Republican excesses, the one court Democrats really need to be concerned with is the court of public opinion.
Lucky for us, they just don’t get it.
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