Monday, January 30, 2006

Alito Reaches Cloture: Game Over

But from the frothing on the left, the circular firing squad is just warming up.

It's a relatively simple political calculus:

If nominees should be judged by competence, not by ideology, then Alito (who received the highest rating that the ABA bestows) is clearly qualified, and there is no legitimate reason to oppose him.

If nominees should be judged by ideology in addition to competence (my own position), then we must recognize that ideology is political. In which case, voting ought to be partisan and party-based - which it largely has been. In which case, Alito wins because the political/ideological complex that he represents is more popular than its opponent.

It is perfectly sound to pressure members of one's own party to live up to a particular ideological set, but the vows to punish Dems that didn't agree with the ideological critique is just self-destructively stupid. People who declined to spend their political capital in a battle that had already been lost aren't disloyal, they're rational. The Kos philosophy appears to be: the union rep couldn't get us the $20/hour raise we hoped for, even in the face of the slowdown in the industry and the lack of profit for the company; let's kill him, and find someone who CAN get us that raise! That approach doesn't make money fall from the sky; it just makes it damn difficult to find another union rep.

1 comment:

mythago said...

If nominees should be judged by competence, not by ideology

Kos aside, this is silly. Would you applaud a nominee who was frothing at the mouth to get in there and overturn Marbury v. Madison, or who genuinely believed that the Framers never meant for Jews to have full rights, no matter how brilliant a legal scholar she was?

It's particularly silly if you are silent on the fact that the nominee was chosen on the basis of his ideology.