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11 January 2006

Some Drama at the Alito Hearings

"Alito's wife leaves in tears over questions on Princeton group." Let me first say that I do not believe that the feelings of a nominee's wife need to be taken into account during questioning. Still, this doesn't sound like a wise strategy for the Democrats to pursue - suggesting that Judge Alito might be a racist. Anxious to gain ground in Middle America, Democrats have benefited from Republican missteps on health care, good jobs, and their brushes with corruption.

But there's few things that turn off the average white American more than smug liberals delivering sanctimonious lectures on other people's "racism." Since the overarching goal of most Americans is to find a home in a safe (i.e., white) neighborhood where they can send their kids to a good (i.e., white) school, they are very suspicious of Democrats in this regard, as Democrats in the past have often favored policies that would make it difficult to keep neighborhoods safe (white) and to take kids going to good (white) schools and bus them to failing (black) schools.

Judge Alito claims to have no recollection of being associated with the group Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), which is unfortunate since it appears to have been a worthy group. It's not really clear what CAP stood for exactly - but it seems likely they objected to preferential admissions criteria for minorities, a position that could only be opposed by Marxists, cowards or the feeble-minded. CAP was founded by the very salty and sensible former publisher of National Review, William Rusher, and we can assume that the group's (undoubtedly sensible) positions were not timidly put forward. So the Democrats, if they can more firmly tie Alito to the group, could score some points with their left-wing base, but this will surely alienate the blue-collar voters they've been trying to win back.


Anonymous jimbo said...

I agree with you Ziel that playing the racist card is a waste of time for the Dems.

There are plenty of other hot issues for us to pursue here, well pointed out in today´s Times editorial.

Thank you Ziel for cutting through the bullshit with your interest in CAP. At least you, unlike Alito, you aren´t afraid to say clearly where you stand and have stood on issues.

By the way is there a "Concerned Alumni of Fairly Ridiculous?"

January 12, 2006 6:37 AM  
Anonymous daveg said...

As a Republican who has become fearful of his own party I am hoping the dems will start to put of a good fight on a bunch of issues including Iraq and domestic spying.

So far, they have been very inept, allowing Bush to turn obvious negatives into marginal positives.

Nonetheless, in this case I am glad they are inept and hope Alito is nominated. Once he is one the court the four horsemen (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito) may start wrecking havoc on a whole host of liberal shibboleths.

Mind you, I am not counting on this, but it could happen depending on Roberts and Kennedy.

January 12, 2006 1:00 PM  
Anonymous James Francis(the other one) said...

Ziel for Supreme Court Justice!- he's not afraid to recall what the hell a group stands for.
Alito was on the way out of Princeton while the group was just getting going. why beat around...

January 12, 2006 9:01 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

My earlier analysis indicates that Alito will only marginally shift the court rightward.
Real substantive change would only be possible if Stevens or Ginsburg were to die before a Democrat gets elected - I'm not fanatical enough to wish for that - but that's what it'll take.

January 12, 2006 9:54 PM  
Anonymous daveg said...

Hmmm, I seem to recall o'conner being a swing vote on some abortion cases and the case that made homo-sexuality a protected class (the case that overturned hardwick), but I wil have to look into that a big more.

That was a good analysis in your post.

Are you a lawyer?

January 13, 2006 1:14 PM  
Anonymous daveg said...

O'Conner was one of the votes that switched, but someone else switched (by way of replacement) as well, so perhaps it did not matter.

Still, I think you are underestimating the problem's o'conner caused.

(BTW, I am not againt homosexual activty per se, I am just a strict contructionist).

Bowers v. Hardwick

Justice White
Chief Justice Burger
Lewis F. Powell, Jr.,
William H. Rehnquist
Sandra Day O'Connor.

Lawrence v. Texas

Anthony Kennedy
John Paul Stevens,
David Souter,
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer
Sandra Day O'Connor. (Concurr)

January 13, 2006 1:27 PM  
Anonymous ziel said...

One thing I'm not taking into account is O'Connor's effect on Kennedy. Will Kennedy be less likely to defect without O'Connor's influence (like the kid who wouldn't ordinarily cut school except for his buddy who's a bad influence) or will he feel more compelled to defect now that he's carrying the entire swing-vote burden?

dave g - I am not now and never have been a member of the bar!

January 13, 2006 2:39 PM  

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