The only way for Democrats to reverse the slow rightward drift in constitutional law is by winning elections. Within the present political context, it is fair to insist that President Bush recognize that he lacks a popular mandate for revolutionary constitutional change. In nominating Roberts, he has indeed made this crucial concession. Rather than oppose the choice, Democrats should use it as a benchmark for the next nominee. Though Roberts might be an appropriate replacement for the right-wing William Rehnquist, the Democrats should insist on a more centrist justice to occupy Sandra Day O'Connor's swing seat.That sounds like exactly the right position for the Democrats. Here's what I said on the subject, by the way, last Friday:
I'd say [the Democrats] should express their deep reservations, invoking issues that matter to their constituents, but still vote for him, and say that it's because of the agile mind their astute questioning enabled him to display at the hearings. This should be combined with a warning to Bush that he needs to nominate someone more moderate to replace O'Connor.