The Bush administration will be desperate to frame the fight in terms of Roberts's ample qualifications, his bipartisan group of friends, his fine education and his lovely family.
Roberts's opponents need to lift the argument to the level of principle. It doesn't matter how nice or smart Roberts may be. What matters is that on a court where so many cases have been decided by 5-to-4 votes, Roberts's convictions and philosophy matter far more than his biography. If you doubt this, consider that no one disputes Justice Antonin Scalia's intelligence or sense of humor. Many of us would welcome the chance to have Scalia as a professor. But outside the ranks of the right wing, few Americans want their country defined consistently by Scalia's choices. In shifting the balance on the court, Roberts could give Scalia the power to impose his worldview.
Yes. And I think that last bit is particularly well said. Who except the most lunatic right-wing fringe wants to be ruled by Scalia's choices?
Now what are the chances that the Dem leadership will make this kind of argument? Not good, given that they can't even get the "moderates" to keep their mouths shut. But I sure hope Harry Reid is reading Dionne's columns.