I’ve heard liberals complaining alot about how Alito defined his role as a judge (i.e., to be an impartial interpreter of the law) and dismiss that as alot of bologna. Some have even gone so far as to imply that the hearings are a waste of time because we should know that conservatives will appoint conservatives and liberals will appoint liberals--that’s just the way it is. If you want your guys in, win the election. Well, there’s a certain amount of truth in that. And you’ve got to admire the libs who have the gumption to say that. It’s factual, anyway. But there is more to the whole truth than a simple recitation of the facts.
Many liberals don’t buy that Alito is serious about his job description not because they think he is a liar (though some may think that as well) but because they have a distorted understanding about the nature of politics that breeds cynicism and does not permit it. Politics, to them, is a power struggle only. It’s not about an attempt at impartial application of justice. They do not really believe that impartiality is possible because they think that judicial philosophy is nothing more than your positions on the issues. A confirmation hearing to them should be about spouting your positions on the issues and garnering the votes you need for confirmation based on whether enough people agree with your positions. They do not see that Alito really does believe that his personal positions on the issues do not matter. He can’t argue them from the bench unless the law calls for it. If you tell them that Roe v. Wade is bad law, they look at you with a blank face. You must be "pro-life" then. That can be the only reason you have that opinion. These libs think politics is only a power struggle because they do not believe that people are capable of reasoning from a point that is not tied up in their own self-interest. They certainly do not respect the constitution as that starting point--because they think it was meant to change as tastes in hairstyles change. To them, American politics is just interest combating interest until someone ends up on top.
That’s why liberals think they’re the better people all the time. They think they are "championing" the little guy in this tug-o-war of interests. We argue that we are only interested in "championing" justice--we don’t wish to play the game. Because they assume that ignoring the game is impossible, they say we’re engaged in nothing more than a covert operation to protect the interests of the wealthy and powerful. There is no such thing as true impartial "justice," they argue. As evidence, they cite one of the hundreds of ways justice has failed some particular group or person. "Whose justice are you talking about anyway?" they always ask. But this proves nothing except (now, I know this is going to be a shocker!) life and politics are hard--and sometimes unfair. But that doesn’t mean fairness is impossible. It only means we have to keep plugging along and working harder to achieve it. We don’t get it by devising schemes to screw the over-dog half the time and screw the under-dog the rest of the time.
But I digress . . . the long and short of it is that I wonder if it is even possible sometimes to engage in conversation with these folks because we’re not speaking the same language or coming at the conversation with anything like the same assumptions about politics. We say one thing and they hear another--and vice versa. Maybe the hearings are a waste of time on some level. We can only hope they were useful to those watching/listening to them (especially the young). One thing is certain, it will not be to the Democrats’ benefit to keep this thing on the front page another week! That’s what I mean about being beholden to interests--they have to try this in order to satisfy their way-left base of donors. It will fail and they will be exposed even more.