It's too bad there's now a firewall in place on the computer system used by the Senate Judiciary Committee's Democratic staff. We'd love to take a peek at the internal memos reacting to Tuesday's Washington Post story headlined "Roberts Unlikely to Face Big Fight; Many Democrats See Battle as Futile."
If the staff memos that were leaked on President Bush's appeals-court nominees in 2003 are any guide, Democrats once again are taking dictation from liberal interest groups--this time on how to oppose Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. We expect Tuesday's e-chatter went along the lines of: "Ralph Neas called . . ." and "Nan Aron wants . . ." In case you doubt us, we refer you to Wednesday's follow-up story in the Post, headlined "Democrats Feel Heat From Left on Roberts; Groups Say Fight Should Be Stronger."
It's no news flash that organizations like the Alliance for Justice, People for the American Way and MoveOn.org are influencing Democrats' attack on Judge Roberts. But the rapidity with which Senators Pat Leahy and Ted Kennedy jumped this week to follow the groups' orders is nonetheless remarkable, and politically revealing.
Within hours of publication of the first Post story, Mr. Leahy hit the barricades with a statement calling Judge Roberts "an eager and aggressive advocate" of policies "deeply tinged with the ideology of the far right wing of his party." During the Reagan years, the Senator added, the nominee held views "that were among the most radical being offered by a cadre intent on reversing decades of policies on civil rights, voting rights, women's rights, privacy, and access to justice." At least he didn't call Judge Roberts a member of the Taliban.
As for Senator Kennedy, he sent a letter to colleagues claiming the Reagan documents show that Judge Roberts "was on or beyond the outer fringe of that extreme group eager to take our law and society back in time on a wide range of issues of individual rights and liberties."
As noted by in an earlier post, the Democratic party is becoming increasingly dominated by its Moveon.Org wing. How long can they remain a viable national party with that albatross around their neck?