SUPREME COURT STAKES:
Durbin's most recent remarks about the Alioto nomination convey the essence of the Democrats' case:
"What's at stake here ... is whether or not we are going to put a person on the Supreme Court who is sensitive to the most basic and important responsibility of the court: protecting our rights and freedoms."
There's no reason to believe the Democrats are in any meaningful sense committed to judicial restraint. The Supreme Court exists to advance the left's agenda, period. Any nominee who doesn't accept this view can only be dedicated to "rolling back our rights." This argument has gotten awfully familiar in recent years; "any opposition to our progressive agenda is by definition regressive." Susan Faludi, in her book Backlash
, insisted that to question radical feminism's view of society and culture amounted to nothing less than an "undeclared war against American women," as her bombastic subtitle put it.
The larger subtext goes something like this: "In the 1960s we identified whole new ways of being, new possibilities for evolving an enlightened, progressive culture. Anything that stands in our way is reactionary and must be opposed. The stakes are too big to allow our society to return to old, outdated, tired, conventional, traditional culture mores..." Ironically, the proponents of this worldview are themselves deeply conservative, not in the content of their beliefs but the very structure of their consciousness. The left's rhetoric continues to be predictably "progressive" (celebrating diversity, inclusion, compassion, fairness, social justice) but what the left actually advocates is authoritarian elitism. That's why the judiciary is so important — what they can't accomplish at the polls, they seek to achieve "by any means possible," the Supreme Court being central to their aims.
They also know that if Justice Stevens should leave the Court during Bush's term, their power will be eclipsed. Stand by for continuing efforts to question the administration's legitimacy at every turn.