Well, this is it for Judge Samuel Alito. All the hype and speculation will be put to rest as he goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation to a seat on the Supreme Court. A lot of people have a lot of questions — reproductive choice, presidential powers, the rights of the states versus the rights of the feds — all those things that have been discussed within an inch of their lives on all the talk shows and in all the columns, editorials, and op-eds and blogs. The judge will be utterly charming and disarming as he diffidently smiles his way through the questions and as he frames his replies and his non-replies, which will leave pundits and senators dissecting what he said, how he said it, what he meant when he said it, and whether or not — as he has in the past — given an answer that he thought his boss wanted to hear in order to curry favor and get the job. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
The Democrats on the committee will ask some tough questions, especially Joe Biden (how far off is the New Hampshire primary, Joe?), which will keep Ken Mehlman and the RNC faxes churning and chortling with their attacks on the Democrats; he’s tickled to do anything that distracts from Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff. But none of the Democrats will really lay a glove on Judge Alito because he’s been prepped, trained, and mock-grilled by the best bullshit artists in the country, and the press will follow along like a puppy because, y’know, it’s just easier than actually digging into it.
The only surprise that might occur is that we find out what kind of conservative Judge Alito truly is. Since the Bush administration has basically turned the definition of “conservative” inside out and done everything that the radical right used to warn us that the far left loonies would do such as explode the deficit, expand the government, stomp on states rights, spy on its citizens, and decimate the military (by force depletion, though, not by cutting it back), it will be interesting to see if Judge Alito is the kind of conservative that will be the legacy of the twisted logic that put him up for nomination in the first place.