The Spectacle Blog
Ah, the tired protest slogans:
"Right wing judges have got to go, hey hey, ho ho!"
"Racist, sexist, anti-gay, right wing judges, go away."
"What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now!"
Signs include: the ubiquitous NOW sign, "Keep Abortion Legal," "Scalito Say Arrivederci to Immigrants," and "Scalito: Wrong for Civil Rights."
Others: "Scalito is a trick, not a treat"; "Fight the radical right"; "Hell no, Alito"; "Support Civil Right, Reject Alito"; "If Alito's In, Reproductive Rights Are Out"; "Women Beware, Scalito Doesn't Care."
There's a line of people facing theÂ Supreme Court, some have their fists up, some have tape over their mouths (thank heaven!). Â Fifteen to 20 are walking in a circle chanting, among others, "Pro life that's a lie, you don't care if women die." The only guy in the procession has a sign reading, "Keep Abortion Legal." The gals giggled at his aggressive, forceful voice cracking point during that chant.
AtÂ the National Organization for Women -- National Association of Gals -- protest: about 45 protesters and a couple spectators. Nine reporters, so the proportion of protesters to media types is five to one. Freire reports the men present are very sensitive, interested, and compassionate. Unclear whether or not they're single.
Democrats don't even bother to talk about the Constitution as a text anymore. They speak of "constitutional values."Â Every comment they've made so far about Alito sounds like criticism of aÂ political candidiate not a judge.Â Since they can't find any inflammatory rhetoric in his record, they have to work doubly hard to twist his rulings into a statement on hisÂ "values."Â The fiendÂ doesn't even support the Family Medical Leave act!Â But this comically convolutedÂ propaganda won't work with the general public.Â Ordinary AmericansÂ understand thatÂ the job of a judge is to uphold the law, not update it. Alito'sÂ careful jurisprudence will look very reassuring next to the hysterical rhetorical lungesÂ -- "Stop Anti-Choice Alito" -- of the left.Â
Here's some: CBS asks, "When the Supreme Court decides an important constitutional case, should it only consider the legal issues, or should it also consider what the majority of the public thinks about that subject?"
September, 1987: Legal issues only- 32%; Public opinion, too- 60%
July/August, 2005: Legal issues only- 49%; Public opinion, too- 42%
The old borking playbook just isn't going to work like it used to.
J. Peter Freire, the Spectator's journalism fellow, is headed over to the Supreme Court this afternoon to catch the antics of the National Association of Gals. Check back at the AmSpecBlog for running updates.
... the smell of a good political fight in the morning.... And this afternoon, if President Bush had any doubts about where he stood with conservatives, and where he needs to stand on policy issues to turn things around, he's seeing it unfold right now.
The energy up here on the Hill is amazing, and you can even sense among Democrats that they are unsure of what to do. Sure, the press releases have gone out and Sen. Chuck Schumer has done his morning quota of TV appearances, but coming out of lunch meetings, a number of Democrats are worrying that they may have already overplayed their hand.
"We're waiting on some polling data," says one Senate Democratic leadership staffer, when approached about where her boss thought he might go the Alito front. "[Alito] looks a little more difficult to pin down than we thought yesterday." Even Sen. Harry Reid is having some doubts about the strategy of setting up an early bogeyman. According to one DNC staffer, the office of Howard Dean was abuzz with gossip that Reid and Dean had spoken at about 10 am, with Reid asking Dean to tone down the rhetoric for a while. Apparently, Dean declined.
Sunday's Washington Post Style section had some fun with the bash we at The American Spectator hosted last Thursday night: "The luminaries of the right were all there at the Hotel Monaco in Chinatown. The drinks were flowing at the pre-meal reception, and regrets [about Harriet Miers's withdrawal earlier that day] were not to be found."
Why this absence of regret on a day of major Republican embarrassment? "For a lot of conservatives, our mind-set is we're not Republicans," AmSpec publisher Al Regnery explained to the Post. "We're swimming upstream, we're holding the party accountable, we're on the outside. Our job is always swimming upstream." What we saw in Miers's defeat was "principle ris[ing] above politics." Standing for principle, in other words, "is what we should be doing."
The nomination of Samuel Alito should make that a lot easier.