Saturday, November 12, 2005

DNC vs. RNC: Judge Samuel Alito’s nomination

I am thinking about morphing my blog into doing the same type of analysis of statements by the parties, elected officials, etc. I am a little tire of the posturing and sound bites and propaganda that get in the way of true dialogue. More on that later.

It is interesting to note the statements of the Republican and Democratic party chairmen on Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Each are trying to point to the extreme elements of the other party.

Howard Dean, DNC chair, characterizes Alito as “an extreme conservative” and his nomination as Bush’s attempt to “distract from the ethical problems his White House is facing.” Dean also uses the following terms in referring to Alito: “a conservative activist judge,” “an activist judicial philosophy bent on rolling back the rights and freedoms that all Americans value,” one who has “sought to limit the rights of women and people with disabilities …, demonstrated an open hostility to women's privacy rights ..., a record of hostility toward immigrants, and tried to immunize employers from employment discrimination cases.”

Ken Mehlman, RNC chair, says Democratic senators should “resist the calls for ideological litmus tests from Chuck Schumer and the far-left.” Alito is characterized as “one of the finest legal minds in the country,” and “one of the fairest, most impartial jurists in the country who has always faithfully interpreted the Constitution and will not legislate from the bench.”

I am always leery when I see one side or the other trying to portray what their opponents are thinking or saying. This is the case when Dean says that Alito is “bent on rolling back the rights and freedoms that all Americans value.” Dean is, in essence, putting words in Alito’s mouth.

A few days after Dean’s statement, DNC Press Secretary Josh Earnest used more extreme wording saying, with regard to Alito’s nomination and other Bush actions, “… President Bush has put his partisan ideological interests ahead of the country’s interests by pushing a narrow, radical agenda.”

The RNC website includes a Los Angeles Times article from November 7th entitled, “In Case You Missed It: Alito's Record Defies Labels.” It is by David G. Savage and Maura Reynolds and includes this: “Although liberal activists are portraying Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as a right-wing extremist, his 15 years' worth of legal opinions do not promise fealty to any ideology. ... Democratic staffers who have been reading Alito's opinions acknowledge that they do not read like the work of a right-wing ideologue.”

Links to the statements:

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