Bush (finally) keeps his promise
If it is true, as is being reported, that Judge Samuel Alito has long been nicknamed Scalito because of his judicial (not to mention his ethnic) similarity to Antonin Scalia, then President Bush has, if under extreme duress, and in a richer way that anyone could have imagined, fulfilled his promise to nominate a judge “in the mold of Scalia.”
I said after Harriet Miers’s withdrawal that I did not see it as a vindication of the conservatives’ campaign against her, in which this website had been extremely active, but only as the removal of an abysmal choice that should not have been made in the first place. However, if the positive evaluations of Alito that we have been hearing are accurate, then I think we can now say that the conservative uprising against Miers has achieved a true victory. Bush brutally violated his single most important promise to his conservative supporters, they rose up in resistance, and he was forced to do a 180 degree turn. This is something to be glad about. But it is also something to be sad about, because it shows that if the conservatives had not been such faithful lapdogs to this unfaithful president on so many previous occasions, up to and including the nomination of John Roberts, they might have kept him on a much more conservative course all along. Conservative “realists” insist that politics requires supporting President Bush no matter how liberal his actions, lest he be weakened and the left be strengthened. I have always believed the exact opposite to be the case. If over the past five years the conservatives had stood for principle and held this president’s feet to the fire, on race preferences, on illegal immigration, on campaign financing, on government spending, on his embrace of the “religion of peace,” and on so many other issues, they could have prevented his continual moves to the left and lessened the tremendous damage he has done to the conservative cause in this country.