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What do you mean, "we"?

Not to wail on Teddy, but to the Cassandras in the blogosphere, Teddy's WaPo OpEd is very old news:

Roberts and Alito Misled Us

Incredible, but true! You can trust a Republican... to be a Republican.

Now that the votes are in from their first term, we can see plainly the agenda that Roberts and Alito sought to conceal from the committee.

What do you mean, "we"? We in the blogosphere saw the agenda from the beginning.

The confirmation process became broken because the Bush administration learned the wrong lesson from the failed Bork nomination and decided it could still nominate extremists as long as their views were hidden. To that end, it insisted that the Senate confine its inquiry largely to its nominees' personal qualities.

And who let them "insist"?

The administration's tactics succeeded in turning the confirmation hearings for Roberts and Alito into a sham. Many Republican senators used their time to praise, rather than probe, the nominees. Coached by the administration, the nominees declined to answer critical questions. When pressed on issues such as civil rights and executive power, Roberts and Alito responded with earnest assurances that they would not bring an ideological agenda to the bench.

After confirmation, we saw an entirely different Roberts and Alito -- both partisans ready and willing to tilt the court away from the mainstream. They voted together in 91 percent of all cases and 88 percent of non-unanimous cases -- more than any other two justices.

If the Republicans get close enough to steal the next election, the next Bush v. Gore--Jebbie vs. Al again?--won't even be close.

Perhaps the biggest winner is the president himself.

Wrong frame. The biggest loser is the Constiution--and the role of the President as the founders concieved it. The "president" is a winner here only in terms of aggrandized personal power.

During Alito's hearing, I asked him about a 1985 job application in which he stated that he believed "very strongly in the supremacy of the elected branches of government." He backpedaled, claiming: "I certainly didn't mean that literally at the time, and I wouldn't say that today."

But he is willing to say it now. In the very recent case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Alito signed on to a dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas that asserts a judicial "duty to accept the Executive's judgment in matters of military operations and foreign affairs" as grounds for allowing the administration to use military commissions of its own design to try detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

This is part of a pattern. When he was in the Reagan Justice Department, Alito wrote in support of signing statements, through which the president has claimed to limit the scope of measures passed by Congress -- including the ban on torture. When questioned about the legal status of such statements, he said it was an open issue that still needed to be "explored and resolved" by the court. But Alito joined a Scalia dissent in the Hamdan case that endorsed the use of signing statements without providing any analysis or legal support.

So much for the rule of law; with signing statements, the the law is what Bush says it is.

Of course, we're just crazed leftwing bloggers. But Lea h called her shot on Alito while live blogging the hearings. The Senate may have been decieved. We were not. And I'm afraid that the country may have learned never, ever to give Bush the benefit of a doubt too late...

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