|January 9, 2006||EDITORIAL ARCHIVES|
"The Big Show" -- Confirming Alito Moves Us One Step Closer to Erasing the American Revolution
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
A Washington Post headline on January 9th blared, "Democrats Ready to Go After Alito". But, it's probably too late, as usual. And this time, the Democrats are signing their own death warrant -- and that of Congress -- if Alito gets seated.
As usual, the hearing will all just be a farce, a sparring match like pissing into the wind. These hearings almost always are, as the Madison Capitol Times pointed out: "When the Senate Judiciary Committee begins questioning Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito this week, Americans will again be reminded of the limitations of the confirmation process for presidential picks to serve on the federal bench. Alito will lie to the committee, intentionally and repeatedly."
While the Democratic senators once again surrender to the concept that stage-crafted hearings filled with lies and evasions by the Republican Supreme Court nominees matter, the GOP has been running ads, holding rallies, and grassroots lobbying like a well-oiled machine. The Republican junta isn't waiting to make up its mind.
That's why Jerry Falwell already proclaimed joyous victory for a fundamentalist Supreme Court that would accede to the demands of the Executive Branch in all things totalitarian and religious. On the latest in the rounds of Sunday religious/political rallies for Alito, Falwell let you know Alito was their guy in no uncertain terms. He didn't need to wait for the "performance" of the hearings:
Alito will facilitate the merger of church and state under the nearly full control of a Republican executive branch that will be able to use any means it wants to ensure permanent rule, including wiretapping of political opponents in the guise of national security.
You see, Alito is a key architect, as we have pointed out in two previous BuzzFlash commentaries, of the absolute authority of a Republican President. Not only is he a firm believer in near dictatorial powers and making congress irrelevant, he was a key strategist in having the Republican executive branch assume such powers incrementally so as not to be noticed -- and therefore disarm any opposition among the American people or in Congress.
In short, Alito believes in the boiling frog theory of the Republican Executive Branch takeover of the American Constitution and democracy: boil it slowly and no one will realize that our balance of powers is being killed.
Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy are among the few Democratic leaders to take notice of the threat that Alito poses to the American Constitution and to democracy. Most of the other Democrats in the Senate express "concern" about Alito's championing of Executive Branch domination of government and exemption from following Congressional laws, but these Democratic senators -- wishy-washy and timid as usual -- say, "well let's wait and see what he has to say at the hearings."
This is the cruelest cut of all. The hearings are carefully crafted by the White House to make Alito appear as moderate and non-committal as possible in order to make the Democrats appear extreme if they filibuster Alito.
Alito is the mastermind behind presidential signing statements that allow Bush to -- in essence -- rewrite congressional law by stating his interpretation of the law. This, in reality, eliminates the need for a Congress at all. (Alito is also similarly a key advocate behind the strategy of dismantling Roe v. Wade in increments until people don't realize that it has been overturned through a series of "smaller" decisions. This, he believes, will bolster judicial consensus and help avoid political fallout to the Republican Party.) He is, in short, acutely conscious of the political context of how to achieve radical judicial objectives.
In not promising to filibuster Alito, the Democrats AND the Republicans in Congress are signing the death warrant of Congress as an institution.
Polls show the American public is about evenly split on Alito, or leaning slightly in favor of him. They would be adamantly opposed if the Senate Democrats had come out early and vigorously against his anti-Constitutional positions and extreme judicial viewpoints. He's not a virgin. He's a known quantity and an important architect of the imperial Republican presidency.
He will say whatever he needs to say to make a Democratic filibuster seem like extremism, when he is the extremist who threatens the very foundation of our democracy and system of checks and balances.
The Democrats in the Senate have already made an enormous tactical mistake in once again deferring their courage until "the big show" gets under way. Everyone has seen this play before, just some of the lies and evasions change. And then the Dems will cave, and promise to fight the next nominee. It's deja vu all over again.
As for Alito's skill in doing the Senate hearings rope-a-dope, "Sam was the kind of person you want when the entire world is going to be flyspecking everything you write and challenging every construct you advance," a former colleague in the Reagan/Meese Justice Department said of the man the Democrats claim they will "pin down."
And to those Republicans who have started yelling every nominee should have an up or down vote, then why did the right wing sink the Harriet Miers nomination before it even got to a hearing room?
This isn't a theatrical production. We're about to see the balance of powers guaranteed in our Constitution dismantled.
An election was stolen in 2000 by a 5-4 vote. It's about to get a lot worse.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
Of Tyrants, Kings, Alito and Bush, BuzzFlash News Analysis, January 4, 2006
Thank God our current Senate Democrats weren't at Lexington and Concord! They would have run the other way instead of waiting to see the "whites of their eyes" as the lobster coats approached., BuzzFlash News Analysis, January 6, 2006