Sunday :: Jan 15, 2006

David Broder Is Growing Old

by pessimist

One has to wonder if Bu$hCo hack David Broder wasn't visited by three ghosts this past Kwaanzannukahmas. He seems to be turning over a new leaf on that spiteful tree he's grown over the years.

This self-appointed media scourge of the Democratic Party has some comments to make on the almost-concluded installment of Samuel Alito as the crowning achievement of the 'conservative' wing of the GOP. But it isn't quite a love sonnet that Broder writes. In fact, he's somewhat critical:

Bush gets his company man

President Bush is getting what he wants in the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. The designated successor to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings as the perfect company man who is likely to deliver exactly the kind of conservative rulings Bush prefers.
He will construe the Constitution and statutes narrowly, and sometimes literally, and waste no sympathy on people who come to court hoping for a more expansive interpretation of their rights.

Who are you, Mr. Broder? Are you well?

Thanks to a misdirected Democratic attack, Alito moved to the brink of confirmation without having to repudiate or modify the views on abortion or executive power that endeared him to Bush and the conservative movement. He will almost certainly move the court to the right.

No one who has read any of the endorsements of his character from dozens of his associates is going to believe Alito is a crook or a bigot. And therein lies the irony of this hearing.

At no point that I heard did Alito express sympathy for the men and women who came to his court looking for help — and were turned away.
One was a black man convicted of murder by an all-white jury sitting in a courtroom where local prosecutors had eliminated all African-American jurors in five consecutive murder trials in the space of a year.

Alito, dissenting from a verdict overturning the conviction, wrote that the makeup of the jury was no more significant than the fact that "five of the past six presidents of the United States have been left-handed."

[Senator Dick] Durbin asked why he had used an analogy that his fellow judges had called totally inappropriate and suggestive of a disregard of "the history of discrimination against prospective black jurors and black defendants."
Alito responded, "Well, the analogy went to the issue of statistics and the use and misuse of statistics and the fact that statistics can be quite misleading. ... And that's what that was referring to. There's a whole — I mean, statistics is a branch of mathematics, and there are ways to analyze statistics so that you draw sound conclusions from them and avoid erroneous conclusions from them."
That perfectly bureaucratic response betrays not the slightest doubt about the human consequences of his reasoning.
The same narrow construction led to other Alito dissents in cases of mine safety and environmental protection. Alito was able to cite decisions in which he ruled for individuals and against the government, but the pattern of his jurisprudence — and the workings of his mind — show Bush is going to get exactly what he wants from his latest Supreme Court pick, a company man.

This from a man who couldn't say enough good things about George W. Bu$h in 1999 and helped to get him into office.


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