The Spectacle Blog


By on 10.31.05 | 9:47AM

You'd think the MSM would learn by now. Two years after the media did the Democrats' dirty work in getting an independent counsel appointed in the Joe Wilson scandal, it occurs to them here that maybe it wasn't in their interest to do so.

Democrats got their story, and the MSM got a story too, but it wasn't the one they wanted. In the end, they had to report that their own are either liars or duplicitous dunces. Nice.

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Scalito’s Way

By on 10.31.05 | 9:42AM

People for the American Way doesn't lay a glove on Alito in its 24-page preliminary brief on his record. This will be a replay of the Roberts nomination: a serious student of the law vs. Democratic hacks whose interest in the Constitution is nil. Sounding disappointed, PFAW concludes its report by noting that Alito "does not have Scalia's penchant for sarcasm and divisive language."

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By on 10.31.05 | 8:58AM

Think we can make that nickname catch on? I'm already tired of "Scalito."

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Suddenly Last Schumer

By on 10.31.05 | 8:55AM

If Chuck Schumer were serious about opposing Sam Alito his website would already have posted his statement in response to the president's nomination of Alito. Maybe the senator should outsource its web postings to, which put it up immediately.

One interesting thing about Schumer's remarks -- the bit about this "controversial nominee...will get very careful scrutiny from the Senate and FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE" (emphasis added). Cleary the Democrats hope that somehow public reaction will turn against Alito, much as conservatives did against Miers. But all Schumer can offer as to what makes Alito unqualified is that he's white, male, and conservative. Again, bigotry is the only Democratic weapon.

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Joe Wants Normalcy

By on 10.31.05 | 8:53AM

More on Joe Wilson's desire for a normal life: after normally appearing on the Today Show this morning, he's normally jetting down to D.C. for a routine appearance at the National Press Club at 1 p.m. Ah, just another day in the life of a lying partisan.

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Lost a Step, Ralph?

By on 10.31.05 | 8:45AM

Though they're still ahead of the others, it took more than an hour for Ralph Neas and the People for the American Way crowd to get out a release on their outrage at the Alito nom. Geez, guys. You slowing up in your old age? PFAW promises a massive national campaign to defeat Alito. Why?

Neas is quoted as saying, ""Justice O'Connor had a pivotal role at the center of the Court, often providing a crucial vote to protect privacy, civil rights, and so much more. All that would be at risk if she were replaced with Judge Alito, who has a record of ideological activism against privacy rights, civil rights, workers' rights, and more."

The only issue remaining today is whether the Dems take Neas's words as their talking points or wait for them to be scripted into better soundbites by the MSM.

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By on 10.31.05 | 8:36AM

He's heading up Capitol Hill, where the reception will be both warm and chilly. When those kinds of temps hit each other in the world of weather, you get lots of thunder. The expectation up on the Hill is that something similar will be developing over the next few weeks.

The Democrats are already mapping out their strategy. Several conference calls have already taken place this morning, coordinating surrogate and third-party campaigns against the nomination. "We're going to filibuster," a Democratic Senate Judiciary aide proclaimed on his ride into the office. "There is no doubt about that. We began talking about it on Friday when rumors first hit that it might be Alito or Luttig."

John points out in an earlier post what has the Democrats so riled up about Alito: their inability to pin him down judicially. The White House loved the abortion rulings, because they highlighted Alito's judicial fairness. Democrats will try to attack Alito, but they will find him an equal to Roberts in many regards. Look for Arlen Specter also to be generally pleased. He enjoys an intellectual tussle, and that is what the President has given him.

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First Impressions

By on 10.31.05 | 8:32AM

The selection of Samuel Alito underscores how bizarre the Miers interlude was. What could the president have been thinking? Luckily for him and the U.S. he was quickly able to summon a second coming of John Roberts. This leaves the minority Democrats back in familiar territory, tearing down, screeching, wildly demagoguing a candidate of genuine quality, depth, and achievement. They have nothing to offer, except new rounds of anti-Italian ethnic bigotry (in their own terms, how else can dismissive comments about "Scalito" be described?) -- while President Bush is set to go down as the man who gave his country Roberts I and II.

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Mindless Katie

By on 10.31.05 | 8:31AM

The internet was down at home this morning, so I had to glean my news from the Today Show. Now I remember why I don't turn the TV on in the morning. Katie Couric had "the first live interview" (breathless!) with Joe Wilson since Friday's indictments. Couric fawned over Wilson a la 60 Minutes and closed by asking poor Joe if he thinks he can get his and Vanity Fair Valerie's lives back to normal. Yes, that's what he wants the most as he shuttles from green room to green room and between studios in New York and D.C. What a trooper.

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Alito and Abortion

By on 10.31.05 | 8:06AM

Reporters are all over Alito's Casey dissent, where he argued for upholding a law requiring a woman to consult her husband before seeking an abortion. They're not mentioning Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey v. Farmer, in which Alito voted to overturn New Jersey's partial birth abortion ban; he argued in his concurrence that the lower court was bound by the Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart (though he did not endorse the reasoning of Stenberg). Nor are they mentioning Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center for Women v. Knoll, in which Alito joined in striking down Pennsylvania's law requiring women who have been raped to report the crime when seeking state funding for abotion, on the basis that the law was invalidated by a Clinton administration policy that prohibited states from tacking on conditions to Medicaid abortion funding.

Take those cases into account, and the picture being painted of a crusading conservative activist falls apart. Alito is a guy who rules as the law requires, not as his policy preferences dictate.

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