Alito is beatable
Some liberals are grumbling that Alito's confirmation is a "done deal," that come January, Alito will be on the Court. Alito may well end up on the Court, but that result is far from inevitable. This nomination can be defeated, if the Democratic Party has the intestinal fortitude for the battle it will require.
The Republicans are ready and willing to walk into a hornet's nest. They want a fight on this one, because they think they can win. In a speech to the Federalist Society, Karl Rove said this:
"We welcome a vigorous, open, fair-minded, and highminded debate about the purposes and meaning of the courts in our lives. And we will win that debate."
He is wrong, dead wrong, but the fact that he and others on the right believe this gives Democrats an incredible advantage.
If they want this debate, give it to them, because we will win it. Why? Because right-wing dogma on this issue is not only intellectually unfounded, it is also extremely unpopular. Our philosophy regarding the role of the Supreme Court can be summed up in one simple sentence:
"The Supreme Court should protect the fundamental rights of all Americans."
Poll that one and see what the numbers are.
But conservatives reject this. They actually believe (or say they do) that if a fundamental right isn't explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, then the Supreme Court is powerless to protect that right. Again, do an opinion poll on that principle and see how many people agree with it. From reproductive freedom to civil liberties to proportional representation, Alito refuses to use the power of the courts to prevent the violation of these basic rights.
I'm not predicting Alito's defeat; the Democratic leadership has a way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But I can say one thing: the outcome is not predetermined, and shame on the Democratic Party if they don't put up a hell of a fight on this one, because this is one they can win, if they have the will to do so.