The Democrats' orgy over retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is just one fraudulent component of their grand con game in preparation for war over her successor.
Oh, sure, they approve of O'Connor's steadfast protection of the Court's pro-abortion precedent. And they appreciate other positions she took in furtherance of their policy agenda, but she's hardly their ideal jurist. After all, she sided with the majority in "selecting" George W. Bush president.
Their recent, unified celebration of O'Connor is part of their cynical calculation to position themselves as mainstream and Republicans as extremists. They see this as an essential foundation in their quest to garner the requisite public support to condone their imminent filibuster of the person President Bush nominates to replace O'Connor. This is one of the many reasons we can dismiss as disingenuous their denials that public interest groups and public opinion will matter in this process.
But do not dismiss the magnitude of the deception they are orchestrating here. They are hoping to convince the people that any nominee who is reputed to be an originalist is an extremist -- "outside the broad mainstream." Because they view the Court as a co-equal policy-making branch of government, they are treating the confirmation process as another national election.
Their bogus praise for O'Connor is simply the first step in their ruse. By lauding her as a "mainstream conservative," they lay the groundwork for labeling anyone less activist than her an extremist.
But of course we already know they will vilify and pillory with fierce intensity any nominee who opposes legislating from the bench, or has a conservative pedigree, especially on abortion and other social issues.
The maddening thing about this is that these liberals are the ones so outside the political mainstream. Their ideology has been soundly rejected in successive national elections. President Bush campaigned on a clearly articulated promise to appoint appellate judges in the mold of justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, and it is reasonable to infer the public, in re-electing him, had no major objections to his promise. Thus, any nomination he makes in fulfillment of it, by definition should not be regarded as outside the mainstream.