A word of warning about the upcoming elections
Parsing the political process into "Attention Seasons" (major election years and crisis times) when Republicans tend to win, and "Inattention Seasons" (the rest of the time) when Democrats tend to win, with the help of a complicit media, Thomas Lifson, at the The American Thinker, reminds conservatives that 2006 has every sign of being an Inattention Season, with all the attendant risk of a Democratic Congress. The Alito hearings are part of this package:
The hearings on the confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito for a seat on the Supreme Court will offer a classic demonstration of the two parties’ divergent season-related strategies. The Democrat senators will strive to create an Inattention Season mode for the hearings, attaching negative labels (“insensitive on civil rights” and “bad for privacy” for example) to the nominee. They will seek to avoid extended discussion of underlying principles and the reasoning Judge Alito used in writing his decisions and dissents in court cases. The Republican senators, in contrast, will allow Judge Altio plenty of time to explain the principles of law he used in discharging his judicial duties. They want the public to think seriously about whether legislatures or courts should make law. Each party’s partisans face a dilemma. Democrats want their base of to focus intently on the hearings. Their fundraising constituencies, especially pro-abortion feminists and the civil rights industry, have a lot at stake, and will continue to supply funds and bodies to the Democrats as their champions, if they see a performance they like. But they do not want uncommitted voters paying close attention to the details of judicial legal activism and its implications for democratic governance. The mainstream media, for their part, always want people to pay attention, but not too much. So they will focus on sound-bites and brief visuals. Drama is good for them, serious ideas are bad The Republicans, for their part, want the general public to pay attention to the arguments, but are also conscious that the visuals (Judge Altio’s facial expressions, posture, and general demeanor) and sound bites will dominate the media coverage seen by most Americans. There have been frantic efforts to help Judge Alito develop his on-camera presence in a pleasing manner.Let's hope that the Republicans can keep a fickle, hyperactive public's interest.