Why the Democrats Have To Filibuster Alito:
Let us say, and why not, that you're a guy who has a favorite bar- you're not a strong guy, just kind of average, but you're someone who has a lot of friends who'll forgive you your faults. And let's say that your favorite bar used to be a quiet place, especially early in the evening, a place for yuppies like you, where you could bring your dates, your women, hell, you'd even welcome the occasional gay couple. It's one of those great off-the-map bars, the kind that don't get mentioned on Citysearch or some such shit because it's kept alive by you, your after work crowd, your parties. It ain't a depressing corner bar, but it ain't an oh-so-stylish in-crowd kind of place.
Let us say that the bar is "discovered," one of those little places that, overnight, it seems, gets the reputation as the last hip place in the city, and once that happens, well, it's all changed. The crowds, the jacked-up prices, you name it. The worst, though, is that the former frat guy assholes show up. It changes the whole zeitgeist, you know? When twenty-something jerk-offs with MBAs and no scruples start downin' Heinekens or Coronas, ready to try to continue to pathetically act as if life is like the DKE house. You tolerate. You complain, you try to have a good time with your friends, but you tolerate. Except, you say, one thing. If one of those assholes starts hittin' on your girlfriend, that's it. Yer gonna go apeshit. Oh, you talk a good talk, a rap that entertains the shit out of the office gang, sayin' all the ways you're gonna take out a jerk-off, how you're gonna grab him by his tiny balls and slam his face into the refinished bar, how you're gonna get all Gitmo on his ass. The owner overhears you and tells you that if you start a fight, he's gonna throw your ass out - for good. Everyone laughs, but you're serious, you tell them, you don't care. There's only so much a man can take when someone walks into his bar and takes it over.
Then, of course, it happens. Anonymous Asshole #2 not only hits on your woman when she's gettin' another round for you, he does it slyly, caressing her arm, putting the coy-but-hard sell on her. She's lookin' over at you, like, "Well, what are you gonna do?" And everyone at your back table's lookin' at you, like, "Well, motherfucker, put the fuck up or shut the fuck up."
If you're the Democrats in Congress, faced with filibustering Samuel Alito, you apparently throw up your hands and say, "Hey, c'mon, he wasn't grabbin' her ass or anything'. Yeah, he's an asshole, but he's a nice asshole." As Tim Grieve writes in Salon, "[F]or years now, Democratic senators like [Dianne] Feinstein have justified their existence by warning voters about the possibility of a court full of Scalias: Send me back for another term in the Senate -- send money to get me there -- and I'll stand up for an independent judiciary and protect a woman's right to choose. So here we are, confronted with another Supreme Court nominee who shows every sign that he'll roll over for the executive branch and roll back Roe the first chance he gets, and the Dianne Feinsteins of the world say the nomination doesn't rise to the level of a filibuster." Or, in other words, put the fuck up or shut the fuck up.
The Rude Pundit has said it before and he'll say it again: Democrats need to think of themselves as an organized resistance, an insurgency against a dictatorial government, an uprising with popular support among the citizens of the United States. A resistance doesn't succeed unless it actually, you know, resists. And if not on Alito, then what? Dianne Feinstein-leaning Democrats need to take a page from the anti-abortion movement: if you believe it's about life and death, then act like you wanna save lives.
But the flaccid Alito battle ain't just about Roe v. Wade, although, as so much else in this country, the story of Alito on the Supreme Court will be written on women's bodies. No, it's about the spine of the Democratic Party and the legs of democracy itself. To say that unless one finds out something horrendous about a nominee to the Supreme Court, like, say, they eat puppies alive (did anyone ask Alito that?), then a President ought to "get" who he nominates to the Court is to willingly give the Executive branch more power. "Advice and consent" means, like every parent will tell you, that the answer can be "No." It also misreads the purpose of the Supreme Court. The Court ain't about a single president. It's about the nation and its history and its future. If Democrats allow it, the Court will become another political arm of the White House.
Doesn't the Democratic leadership understand what's going on in the nation outside of Washington? The majority of the country is behind them. We want the fucking fight. We want to see the bullies get their comeuppence. We want some smashed nutsacks and some kicked asses and some bloodied noses. Resistance is not only noble, it's the most goddamned American thing you can do. So what if Alito was soft-spoken and not a raging lunatic? The scariest lunatics are the quiet ones - at least a screaming Bork'll let you know he's gonna shiv you when you turn your back. Creepy-ass Alito stares at you blankly and makes you think he's benign. Those're the nutzoids who'll gut you the second they get the chance.
In the end, if you don't stand up and fight for the one thing you've said you'll throw down on, then you may as well say that you don't actually believe in anything. You gotta be willing to get up out of your seat and tap that asshole on the shoulder and tell him to step outside.
(And, by the way, the same thing goes for so-called "moderate" Republicans. You're either tools of the President or individuals elected by the citizens of your state for your "moderate" beliefs.)