It’s been a long time coming!
Since Barry Goldwater’s loss in 1964, conservatives began learning that political success is determined by the number of effective activists on the given sides. Conservative leaders, like Paul Weyrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and Morton Blackwell studied what the Left was doing, and created conservative organizations to level the playing field.
Many other conservative leaders went on to work in Reagan’s failed 1976 bid — another lesson at the school of hard knocks. Some went on to work in the Reagan administration, in 1980. They witnessed how Republicans were ambushed and outmaneuvered by Democrats, like Ted Kennedy, during the Bork confirmation hearings. All of these trials and tribulations have led us to the point we are today — having succeeded in moving the United States Supreme Court back to the Right.
President Bush deserves credit for a tremendous pick. Activism and involvement are important, but it only works when you have a good nominee. For this reason, grassroots efforts on behalf of Harriet Meirs would have failed.
Conservative groups — like Progress for America and The Judicial Confirmation Network — who organized and activated American citizens to contact their Senators — also deserve much credit. Again, political success is determined, over time, by the number of effective activists on the given sides.
This confirmation hearing was the perfect marriage of an excellent nominee — and an effective grassroots effort.
The conservatives who played a part in this grassroots effort on behalf of Sam Alito should note that today’s victory was really paid for by past conservative leaders who laid the groundwork for our success. In helping ensure the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, we conservatives are standing on the shoulders of giants.