Friday, 4 November 2005

Alit... Shhhhhh!: War, Torture, Corruption, Deceit

The Democrats got an early Christmas gift from Republican Senator Arlen Specter, who correctly postponed hearings on the Samuel Alito SCOTUS nomination until January, rebuffing the anxious White House, saying "We have to do it right. We can't do it fast."

I agree with others who believe the GOP is in no position right now to be using the "nuclear option", so politically the Dems are in a great position to filibuster. But the process is important, and it seems to be clear that Alito is a thoughtful and decent man, as well as an intelligent constitutional scholar. The extent to which he would move the judicial philosophy of the court to the right, however, is a genuine concern to liberals and some moderates, and Senator Leahy, the ranking democrat on the Judiciary Committee will not rule out rejecting Alito on ideological grounds.

Two paragraphs, after saying "Shhhhhh!", I'm still writing about Alito. But the break until January gives Democrats more time to focus the nation on the Iraq war, use of torture, corruption, cronyism, and deceit, and that's what they should do in lieu of making more public comments about the Supreme Court nominee. Cheney's support is down to 19% in the latest poll, so I expect Bush's support to fall further. As much as I prefer the higher road, where people of disparate philosophies work together to hammer out sensible policies, the demonstrated unwillingness of the Bush White House or Republican Congressional leadership to engage with their adversaries, combined with their increasingly apparent criminality makes it clear to me that the best course is to pile on and do everything possible to discredit them and render them ineffective.

So I say it's time to be quiet about Alito, and make as much noise as possible about the outrages perpetrated on Americans and the world by Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld, DeLay, Scanlon, Abramoff, etc. Reasonable Republicans like Specter can help us against the religious extremists, McCain against the torture promoters, Grassley against the too cozy relationship between Corporate heads and government regulators. Fully discrediting the current leadership will give an opportunity for reasonable voices to rise within the Republican party. We'll need those voices to be there if and when the Democrats take the reins of control back. For now, I will openly long for that day, and add my voice to the rising crescendo of dissent.

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