The New York Times runs a front page story today that tells the rotten state of the Democratic Party like it is. After failing to get more than a measly 25 votes for an Alito filibuster, Senate Democrats have forsaken a duty to the American people to do everything they can to stop this radical nominee. Why? Because they were unable to effectively make their case and throw public support against Alito who will likely be even more conservative than Antonin Scalia. What kind of immediate impact is this likely to have? For starters Tennessee v. Lane represented one of the ways in which O'Connor has defined the Supreme Court in recent years, the already conservative path of the Supreme Court's view on federalism is now going to make a radical shift to the right tossing out a number of Federal laws. Secondly, there are the affirmative action cases where O'Connor once again comprised the deciding vote, once the Court has an opportunity all considerations of race in college admissions are probably going to be tossed out. I won't torture you going through a long list of ways that the Alito confirmation is going to radically change the Supreme Court, and will only go through one more example. Why did Bush ask for the line item veto in his state of the Union speech? The Supreme Court struck down the law in 1998 6-3, but Bush asked for it, he has appointed two executive power friendly justices to the Supreme Court, but if everyone votes the same it would still be struck down 5-4, Alito replaces O'Connor who voted in favor of keeping the line item veto, so that's a wash, but Roberts replaces Rehnquist who voted against it. Bush must believe that Thomas might switch over and that there is a chance that the Supreme Court might uphold the line item veto or he would not have asked for it in the State of the Union address.
But with all these radical changes Democrats were incapable of making their case to the public and could not come near the 40 votes needed for a filibuster. The underlying problem with the Democratic Party today is their total inability to make a case, no matter how strong that case is. This is further evidenced by the public support for Bush's illegal domestic spying program. The New York Times article is absolutely right, if the Democrats do not change the way they approach these discussions they will not have the gains that they should have in 2006.