Reluctant Braying or Forced Praying?
Now that the Democrats in the Senate are showing some spine and even parading around the floor with “their new pair of donkey testicles” as Jon Steward so aptly put it, maybe there is some hope on the Supreme Court front. But let’s not get too complacent as there are already flags of surrender peeking out from the pockets of many Democratic Senators and as we know from recent history, they are not always brave enough to resist using them.
The common wisdom seems to be that because President Bush is a conservative (whatever that means these days) the rest of us must accept a conservative judge to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court currently held by Sandra Day O’Connor. Maybe so, but there is no need to accept a religious zealot who has gone out of his way to use his position on the court to validate his own beliefs and inject his personal philosophy into the application of law and the dispensing of justice. What he has been able to accomplish on the Circuit Court has been limited by his jurisdictional confines and we must keep him contained there rather than expand his sphere of influence.
By all accounts, Samuel Alito is not an intellectual lightweight as was Bush’s previous nominee Harriet Miers. Where Miers would have been another vote following the lead of Justice Scalia, Alito would be a strong voice in tandem with him. Together Scalia and Alito would not only have the votes necessary to reshape the laws of the land, but would have the intellectual force necessary to lead the charge toward a new judicial philosophy that would change the way our system of government works and the peoples relationship to it.
The neo-conservatives and the extreme religious right have joined together to create the numbers necessary for a take over of government. It has been a successful union and from the outside, it is hard to tell who wields the most power within the Republican Party, but it is clear that both are a danger to the American people. Whether the motivation is money (neo-cons) or religious hegemony (wing-nuts) both sides get what they want if Samuel Alito is allowed to take a seat on the Supreme Court. Because the desires of these two groups are at odds with one another, neo-cons demanding that government stay out of the private affairs of business while the religious right demands that government intervene in the private affairs of people, it is crucial to have great minds on the high court who can reconcile these competing desires and create a cohesive argument for doing both. Only if both sides are satisfied does the partnership work, and if one side is pitted against the other, the Republican Party becomes the minority party once again. The neo-cons and the rightwing-nuts worked together to bring down Harriet Miers because they had doubts about her ability to hold this diabolical union together, but there are no such doubts about Judge Alito.
The Right wants a fight over the Supreme Court and the Left must not cower. By fighting Alito’s confirmation, Senate Democrats can drive the first wedge between the two sides of the Republican Party and make Bush look weak in the process. They need to take this fight through the mid-term elections taking down one right-wing activist judge after another until an acceptable candidate is presented. Justice O’Connor is still on the bench, so there is no hurry and the Senate could look much different after next November as would any nominee Bush would offer up.
For those of us who still believe in the Constitution, it is time to apply the necessary pressure on our Democratic Senators to stand strong against Samuel Alito’s confirmation. If the filibuster is the only way, then they better drag those donkey testicles onto the Senate floor and start braying because if they don’t, we could very well become a country ruled by corporate handbooks and the Bible instead of the documents that our forefathers so carefully drafted. Our Constitution provides for the checks and balances that are crucial to the proper workings of government and the Senate must now fulfill their duty and put this White House in check. We the people were also warned that our new government required participation of the people in order to endure, and for our part we must supply the brace for the Democrats’ newly found backbone as they are unlikely to be strong enough to stand on there own just yet.