Democrats: Make GOP Efforts To Install Scalito Through Nuclear Option A 2006 Campaign Issue
The simple truth is that the Alito nomination should not only please the wing nuts, but it should also please the Democrats as well. In fighting this battle, which was waged at this time to take our attention away from last Friday’s indictment of Scooter Libby, Democrats will need to have the right framing in fighting this battle, as Jeffrey Feldman notes over at Daily Kos. Such framing includes reminding voters that Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were more enlightened with their high court judicial selections than Bush, who has shown that he was quick to jettison Harriet Miers due to evangelical pressure in favor of a conservative male who supports positions that Miers would abhor. After all, it was just last week that Bush was touting how much of a groundbreaking woman Miers was in her profession. Bush told us that the Miers pick would be great for the court because she didn’t have a judicial resume, but instead had real life experiences as a woman breaking down barriers. Yet this week, Bush has forgotten all those words in touting the long conservative judicial track record of Alito, who seemingly takes the position that women have their place, as second-class citizens, barefoot and pregnant.
The American Taliban has jerked their strings on George W. Bush, and now Bush has given them a candidate they wanted all along. The talk of a filibuster by Democrats has yet to start, and there is the threat of the nuclear option already being unsheathed by some inside the Taliban. To Democrats, I say: don’t run from these threats; embrace them. Tell the media that it is time for this country to have a debate about the rights of women both at home and in the workplace; it is time to have a debate about privacy; and it is time to have a debate about whether this country will move forward together into an enlightened future of healing and policies grounded in this country’s basic values, or move backwards into the world of submission and repression so comfortable to the likes of George W. Bush, James Dobson, and now Samuel Alito.
To wit: Alito would overturn the Family and Medical Leave Act; Alito has ruled in favor of race-based and disability discrimination; he would overturn Roe v. Wade; and for the topper, he ruled that there was nothing wrong with the strip-searching of a ten year-old girl who wasn’t the subject of a search warrant.
A president with a 39 percent approval rating doesn’t get to stack the courts with narrow-minded ideologues. If the GOP Senate blows up the filibuster to install another conservative Catholic male, Democrats should make it clear that voters, especially women and the youth vote, will be reminded of this every day between now and November 2006. As Democrats hang the Social Security privatization effort around the necks of incumbent GOP senators and representatives next year with senior voters, they should now be vocal about hanging the Alito vote and filibuster battle around the necks of vulnerable GOP senators with women and younger voters as well.
So GOP, you want to threaten the nuclear option? Bring it on.