I’ve been wondering for a while why I’d developed such a blogging inertia. One clear reason seems to be a desire not to spend all my time taking cheap shots at administrations on both sides of the Atlantic that seem to be doing a fine job of destroying themselves.
Like many, I had feared that with Harriet Miers out of the way, the Bush administration would go for an extreme ideologue for their next Supreme Court nominee. What I had not counted on was the linguistic pragmatism of so many of the commentators. Listening to NPR yesterday was a sad experience as politicians from the right fell over one another in describing the nomination of Samuel Alito as a gift “to conservatives.”
Now certainly, the nomination is unlikely to be welcomed by anyone who doesn’t appreciate the ‘conservative’ label, but when did the ruse end? When did those same politicians give up and stop referring to ‘the american people’? A naive part of me had clung to the hope that there was some self-delusion in their associating a hyper-conservative agenda with the welfare of the american people. No, they were working for a small base of power-brokers and this change of language suggests that there are few qualms.
The first place I heard Alito’s name associated with the nomination was in some speculation over at TPMCafe. That piece also refers to the increasingly infamous “Gang of 14,” the cross-party group of senators who increasingly hold sway over whether nominations are approved, thrown out, or filibustered. Some see that group as the potential source of a new centrist coalition that might begin to throw off the shackles of the unabashedly right-wing Republicans and inept Democrats, bringing new life to the stultified political process. Maybe?