Monday, October 31, 2005

Alito is a Slam Dunk to be Confirmed

Alito is obviously among the numerous candidates that fulfills the President’s pledge to nominate someone in the mold of Scalia and Thomas- the only question now is whether he will be confirmed. I think he answer to that is a slam-dunk “yes.” During the Miers nomination debacle, some (including some on this board) blamed the Republicans in the gang of 14 for the choice, saying they made the nomination of a qualified conservative impossible. I think the Alito nomination will show that I was right to defend those Republicans and that Bush miscalculated greatly if that was his reason for nominating such an unknown as Miers.

Mike DeWine was just on TV (one of the gang of 14), saying that Alito is nowhere close to extraordinary circumstances. I expect John McCain and the rest of those who worked well with Democrats to save the filibuster for truly extraordinary circumstances will issue similar statements in the next couple of days. The Democrats will see the writing on the wall for any attempt at a filibuster, not want to lose the option for truly extraordinary circumstances, and back down after a bunch of posturing. Alito will be confirmed with over 60 votes, and the filibuster deal will be established as not something to be used as a litmus test, but rather as a last ditch measure for when the process goes really wrong.

This is a very good day for the American judiciary.

8 comments:

J. Li said...

Agreed. You usually don't leave my speechless, but I really do agree with all of that! :-)

Charles Iragui said...

Misha,

You won't get any disagreement from me: I think he's clearly in.

guess: 65 votes, half as many Dems as for Roberts, plus 100% of Reps.

D said...

Where have I heard the phrase "slam dunk" before? Ah yes, George Tenet.

In any case, I haven't read enough to guess exactly what's going to happen, but I'm not ready to say he's in for sure.

-Dave Lane

D said...

Well, the plot has thickened, no? Reid just showed that there are a few more procedural rules up his sleeve than just the filibuster. A shot across the Republican’s bow regarding the Alito nomination?

-Dave Lane

J. Li said...

More like an act of desperation at a time when they have nothing to grasp at (DeLay judge removed, Libby indictment going nowhere, Alito unifying the conservatives)...

Look, I think a procedural rule is always a possibility, but "substantively" I just don't see enough Senators ready to invoke the filibuster or any other procedural maneuver in this case.

We shall see...

Charles Iragui said...

Dave,

Iraq will continue to be a drag on Bush's fortunes, even in the best of circumstances. Courageously, he has sworn to carry through the policy, regardless of the political inconvenience. I believe he will be vindicated by events, but too slowly to accrue any political gain to himself.

Rather than a shot across the bow re Alito, this would seem to indicate that the Dems' initial conclusion is that Alito is not a ripe target for opposition: he is being ignored and the nomination process is neutralized politically.

Charles

D said...

Charles and J. Li,

You're optimistic if nothing else. The Libby indictment is going nowhere? Last time I checked it was going to trial, where the VP will likely have to testify. And of course the investigation is ongoing. I think Rove will be indicted.

As for Alito. The Democrats have not given up. In fact, they quickly removed him as a story from the front page and at the same time showed the Republicans that they can and will flex their minority rights when necessary. And they succeeded by the way. The congressional Republicans (under orders from Bush no doubt) have been dodging this intelligence report for long enough.

The American people are smarter than Bush, et al. give them credit for. People are getting tired of the party that claims to be the party of national security delaying the intelligence report while outing undercover intelligence agents for political reasons. The gig is up. The administration is unraveling. Bush has a long time left in office, and the more ineffective he's rendered, the more the country benefits.

Charles Iragui said...

Dave,

"the more ineffective he's rendered, the more the country benefits"

A quite conservative principle!

I have no idea where the Libby case will lead and you could be right that it will widen rather than disappear.

As I've posted in the past, the Dems this year have proven that even in the minority they can make governing very difficult for the Pres & Co. On Iraq, I applaud the questioning of military means. On Soc Sec, I hope, as David Broder recently opined, that the Dems will declare victory and work with the Pres to reform its financing.

Charles

PS: futures mkt give Alito 80% chance of confirmation.