An editorial today in the New York Times asks Senate liberals to have a spine and to initiate a filibuster against Samuel Alito.
Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of government — and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.The idiocy of the NYT can only be measured in its falling stock prices and circulation numbers. The President of the United States has the responsibility for the nomination of Supreme Court judges, not the Senate, and certainly not the editorial staff of the NYT. In addition, President Bush ran for President with the intention of appointing "traditionalist" jurists to the court. He was elected in 2000 and 2004 after campaigning on that promise.
It is hard to imagine a moment when it would be more appropriate for senators to fight for a principle. Even a losing battle would draw the public's attention to the import of this nomination.
At the Judiciary Committee hearings, the judge followed the well-worn path to confirmation, which has the nominee offer up only the most boring statements and unarguable truisms: the president is not above the law; diversity in college student bodies is a good thing. But in what he has said in the past, and what he refused to say in the hearings, Judge Alito raised warning flags that, in the current political context, cannot simply be shrugged away with a promise to fight again another day.Was the NYT concerned with Ruth Bader Ginsberg's refusal to answer questions at her hearings? Or, more likely, was a refusal for Ginsberg to answer questions acceptable because the NYT agreed with the liberal ideology of a radical, feminist, ACLU lawyer?
If the NYTimes desires to have an overreaching judiciary that writes the laws of the land, they can continue to fight this battle on the field of their editorial pages. But to dubiously lament the erosion of Congressional powers at the hand of the President, while favoring the erosion of Congressional power at the hand of a non-elected Judiciary is intellectually dishonest.
It does seem however, if circulation and profit numbers are accurate, that their desires, even in the liberal bastion of New York, are losing their shine and polish.
America isn't buying it--the ideas or the newspapers.