Stung by the rejection of his first choice, President Bush on Monday nominated appeals court judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court — mollifying his conservative base but angering Democrats who said Alito could divide the country over abortion and gun rights....So, he's what the base wants, and what the Dems don't want.
On abortion rights, and based on a 1992 case in which he supported spousal notification, Alito favors more restrictions than either the Supreme Court has allowed or retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has supported.
On gun rights, Alito in 1996 was the only appeals judge to vote against upholding Congress’ authority to ban fully automatic machine guns. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence sarcastically described “Machine Gun Sammy” as a “perfect Halloween pick.”
Since the real game in the US right now is (at least, in my opinion) the battle between concessionist Dems and oppositionist Dems, the key question here is whether or not they'll filibuster. The "keeping your powder dry" argument won't work here: "Scalito" is clearly an appeal to the base, and therefore needs to be opposed even by teh "centrists". He is both too conservative and too vital to legitimizing hard-core social conservativism to let slide. They'd be keeping their powder dry while the enemy has them in their sights.
Fortunately, they appear to understand this:
While Alito is expected to win praise from Bush’s allies on the right, Democrats have served notice they will fight it. Reid had warned Sunday that it would “create a lot of problems.”They rolled over on Roberts, and that was wrong. It helped the Republicans to shift the political consensus to the right yet again, by feeding the story that Roberts was a moderate. Were the Dems as active as they should be, Roberts would have been opposed and Alito would have been impossible.
As it is, at the very least they can get rid of "Scalito".