Rove knew that the myth of conservative ascendancy was just that -- a myth. An America that voted for Republicans out of fear of terrorists has little appetite for domestic conservative dogma. Bush's numbers didn't start coming down because of Iraq or Miers or Katrina. They came down during Bush's "Let's Destroy Social Security" road show. Fact is, conservatives are most effective when they mask their true intentions ("healthy forrest initiative", not the "let's cut down trees initiative").
But the Right refused to accept Bush's winks and nods on Miers. They didn't just want a conservative jurist. They wanted a showcase of conservatism they could shove down the throats of the likes of us liberals and the rest of America. They wanted one of those obnoxious touchdown dances.
Now we have a true-blood conservative on tap, and this now sets up the showdown of ideas that I think we've all craved. Thanks to Miers, ideology is now absolutely open to debate, and it's now time for America to see what conservatism really looks like. Samuel Alito would:
- Overturn Roe v. Wade. About 2/3rds of Americans would oppose overturning Roe.
- Allow race-based discrimination and discrimination based on disabilities.
- Opposes the Family and Medical Leave Act. In fact, he doesn't just opppose it, he struck down the law in 2000. The Supreme Court reversed his decision. For Alito, workers shouldn't be able to take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to take care of newborns or loved ones.
- Has no problem with unauthorized strip searches.
In Doe v. Groody, Alito agued that police officers had not violated constitutional rights when they strip searched a mother and her ten-year-old daughter while carrying out a search warrant that authorized only the search of a man and his home.
Not only is strip searches of 10-year-old girls okay, but of wives as well since they are all merely that man's chattel.
This is the tip of the iceberg -- merely his court rulings. As the usual vetting process gets underway and people research his background, his writings, his speeches, and the testimony of colleagues, we'll get an even more complete picture of the man. But it's already obvious that the nuts got exactly what they wanted -- a nut. Scalito is everything they hoped for and more.
But this is the best possible scenario for Democrats as well. We now have a vehicle upon which to showcase the differences between us and Republicans, between liberalism and conservatism. This is a golden opportunity, and one wisely denied by Bush and Rove with the Robers and Miers nominations.
This is a gift to Democrats. Katrina, massive budget deficits, and continued economic hardship have proven that Republicans can't govern. Iraq, Plame, and Osama Bin Laden have proven that Republicans can't run an effective foreign policy or protect our nation. Now Scalito, along with Bush's social security debacle, will prove to the American people that conservative ideology doesn't have their best interests at heart.
Let the debate begin.