Samuel "Scalito" Alito's Senate Confirmation Hearings began today in a predictable fashion. Both Donkeys and Elephants unleashed their talking points almost flawlessly. Let us look at both:
Alito has exceptional record of serving the public.
Alito is qualified for the position.
Alito has an unquestioned character and integrity.
Alito is a FAIR and IMPARTIAL judge.
Ok, Alito has a nice resume, but why don't Republicans talk about his judicial philosophy? Why don't they mention his view on the issues most important to Americans?
Perhaps the left has some answers. Michael at AmericaBlog has some interesting thoughts, which mirror what I was going to say. Since he beat me to it, he gets the credit for writing this insightful piece:
The far right wants us to believe that Supreme Court nominee Alito is similar to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even though everyone knew Ginsburg was a liberal, she was passed by a vast majority in the Senate. They are both in the mainstream of judicial philosophy, the far right says. So Alito deserves the same treatment because he's "qualified."
The wingnuts must be crazy to make a comparison like this! As for Ginsburg:
Ginsburg IS in the mainstream of judicial philosophy, even though she's clearly a strong liberal. But she never pretended to be anything else. And everything on Ginsburg's resume was something she was proud of. Every group she belonged to, every organization she worked for, every position she staked out on the issues of the day and every promise she made reflected who Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, what she stood for and what she believed in.
Great, but what really separates Ginsburg from Scalito is this:
"Did she insist you shouldn't read anything into her work for the ACLU? Of course not; she was proud of that work. Did she insist you shouldn't read anything into her activism over the years, her push for equality among the sexes? Don't be absurd. Did she break her word on solemn pledges made before the Senate? Never."
Unfortunately, the same can't be said about Scalito:
Nothing could be further from the truth for Alito. He is apparently ashamed of everything he's ever done. Alito boasted on an application for promotion in the Reagan administration about belonging to the racist, Neanderthal-ish Concerned Alumni For Princeton. Now he pretends he can't remember ever belonging to them at all.
Alito said he wanted to become a lawyer because he was so distraught about Supreme Court rulings that led to "one person, one vote," a cornerstone of our modern democracy. Now, he says we should ignore his consistent, persistent attacks on affirmative action.
Alito also cannily helped to devise the incremental approach to dismantling Roe v Wade that has been the very tactic the far right has used. Now Alito says to ignore all that.
Alito has repeatedly proven he believes the president is more like an emperor -- someone who deserves almost unlimited deference from the Supreme Court, especially during a time of war.
Finally, Alito pledged to the Senate that he would recuse himself under certain situations as a federal judge. He repeatedly broke that pledge. His excuses vary: he forgot, the computers shouldn't have assigned him those cases in the first place, he never HAD to recuse himself, and finally he never promised he would recuse himself forever. The reasons change, but the fact remains: Alito gave his word and then he broke it. He can't be trusted.
Why should this gentleman be a Supreme Court Justice if he hides his past. Proponents of Scalito boast about his intellectual record, citing cases in which his opinions truly stood out. Furthermore, only a brief synopsis of his work is generally given without mention of his judicial philosophy. Of course, Michael's piece aims to discredit the proposed similarities between him and Ginsburg. Nevertheless, one can conclude that Scalito may be hiding too much for him to comfortably be confirmed.
Which brings me to these questions: Why aren't conservatives open about their beliefs? Why must they hide their true feelings?
I suggest you be proud of your beliefs! If overturning Roe v. Wade is your goal, just say so. Admit that you wish to deny homosexuals their right to marriage. Admit that you would like to blur the line between church and state. Admit that you would love nothing better than to privatize everything and destroy government. Most importantly, for the time being, please admit that your beloved Sam Alito is just like you! He's a judge with an agenda. The least he could do is be honest about it!