I hadn’t commented on either Roberts or Miers due to the hubbub of starting school, and because there really wasn’t much to know. As for Alito, from my very limited knowledge, it seems that he’s a pretty reasonable guy. But don’t take my word for it. Michael Barone has a nice long article covering Judge Alito, and why Democrats might be ill-advised to pull out the stops in opposing him. Barone correctly notes that several Democrats are caught between a rock and a hard place: The need to be reasonable versus the need to satisfy constituents. Red-state Democrats, then, have the easiest job: They won’t face recrimination for being reasonable. What I find interesting is that some blue-state Democrats, like the Senators from Massachusetts, who would be virtually uncontested at election no matter what positions they took, nevertheless feel the need to excoriate a nominee simply because Bush made the nomination. Unsurprisingly, Pennsylvania Democrats are less likely to spit on their native son.
Andrew Sullivan notes that there’s a liberal for Alito: Kate Pringle, a liberal Democrat who once clerked for Alito.
Captain Ed adds to that list a certain Jeff Wasserstein, who characterizes himself as “a Democrat who always voted Democratic, except when I vote for a Green candidate” but is neverthless on board. Captain Ed tips his hat to the Los Angeles Times, which surprised me somewhat.
Meanwhile, James Taranto notes that the New York Times is still on the same old saw. The Tuesday column item led to some sleuthing by reader Chris Bartony (which James has posted). The best part is Chris’ conclusion:
I think that they have a Screed-O-Matic somewhere at the New York Times. They just insert the name and hit the Republican Judicial Nominee button and the thing churns out the copy. I know that Maureen Dowd and Bob Herbert use it all the time.
That seems about right.
Speaking of which, it is important to remember that there’s a difference between a judicial conservative and a social conservative; that Judge Alito, on the face of his published opinions, hardly seems an extremist in either sense; and that maybe getting things done “just about right” is more important than having your party “win”. That’s the only way American will have Alito Justice (apologies for the punnery).
[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]