Judge Samuel A. Alito, jr. sailed smoothly through his confirmation process earlier this week; the Democrats barely laid a glove on him, while the Republicans chided the Dems - particularly Sen. Kennedy - for his “brutal questioning.”
Excuse me – brutal? Kennedy didn’t even muster the passion of a county prosecutor trying a dog bite case. And this man Alito could be the tipping point over which this country falls into the dark pit of fascism.
Regardless of the piss-poor performance of the Democrats in the confirmation hearings, Alito looks to be confirmed. But does this relieve the Democratic Senators from their obligation to vote No on the floor, when his nomination comes to the full vote of the Senate?
Bear in mind that this man will sit on the highest court of the land for the rest of his life. His views regarding presidential prerogatives – as evidenced in his apparent belief in a so-called “unitary executive,” his firmly and clearly stated belief that there is no Constitutional right to an abortion, and his long record of favoring corporations over individual workers in labor disputes, is another step in the consolidation of executive power, and another paving brick on the road to fascism in America.
For the last five years, Democrats, both in the House and the Senate, have been spineless. Perhaps they are still in shock from having lost the majority, perhaps they falsely believe that Republicans are still a party of compassion, perhaps they are thinking that the corruption, the deal-making, the presumption of presidential supremacy in the war on terror, that all these things, and more, are par for the course. They think that maybe their day will come again, “what goes around will come around,” but that’s all delusions, and frankly, based on the evidence, irrational thinking.
The Republicans have gained life and death power over this republic, and they won’t let go unless and until it is dynamited away from them. They maintain their positions through the application of obscene amounts of money garnered from corporate political donations and from the purses of white, bigoted fundamentalist religious wackos, almost in equal measure.
Worried citizens, including growing numbers of registered Republicans, are pissed off by this Congress and this president: they don’t want this war in Iraq any more - if they ever wanted it at all, and they don’t want the government - local, state or federal – in their bedrooms, and they definitely don’t want strangers listening in on their private telephone calls. Over sixty percent of Americans support the right to an abortion, more support the right to access to contraceptives, everyone supports the idea of better health care and education, and the average citizen couldn’t give a shit less about state’s rights when it comes to fixing the goddam freeways, and millions are coming to the realization that corporate off shoring is driving this country into third world economic status.
If Democrats wish to retain their seats come the fall elections, and if have any sense of decency left at all- mindful of their constituents’ wishes and demands - they will as a body vote No against Alito.
Will this block his ascension to the bench? No, it won’t; the Republicans have a simple majority and that is all that is needed. However, by voting No, the Dems will at least have sent a message to their disenheartened constituents that they are on the case, that they are mindful of the dreadful problems of an out-of-control and corrupt Republican majority and the looming monarchial presidency and are trying to fix those problems.
But here’s the bottom line: we voters are watching you. If you don’t get it right this time, there will be no next time. There are lots of people standing in line to take your seats come November.