Steve just posted a pair of columns. In the first of them, he looks back on the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings and wonders whether Democrats would be have been better off if they'd tried to Bork him. He notes that after the defeat of Bork, Reagan nominated Anthony Kennedy, obviously a more moderate choice. "What if Democrats had stuck together – as they did with Bork – and held out for a second, or third nominee from President Bush? Would there be another Kennedy on the court right now?" he asks.
It's an interesting counterfactual, though I must note one big difference: the Democrats had taken back the Senate in 1986, the year before Bork's nomination, and Reagan was in the midst of Iran-Contra and other late-term scandals. The real analogy would be if Stevens or another justice died or stepped down unexpectedly this year–and does anyone doubt that the Democrats of 2007 would put up a fight in that case?
On a lighter note, Steve also debuts the Observer's inaugural edition of the Also-Ran Dead Pool, a tongue-in-cheek assessment of which presidential "contenders" are likely to drop out of the race first, and why. Your wisecracks are welcome, as always, in the comments section.
By the way, the Polticker is still trying to put together a list of July 4 events, and I'm sure we'd all like to knock off as early as possible today, so please email anything you've got to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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