This image released by Progress for America shows a frame of one of four television ads for Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito sponsored by the conservative interest group Progress for America Inc. The ads call for the confirmation of President Bush's Supreme Court nominee. (AP/Progress for America)
Members of the Senate left Washington for the long Thanksgiving holiday, but many of them could not escape the rising tension surrounding the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. It is one of the pivotal moments of the Bush presidency, and pressure groups on both sides have taken the fight to television -- using commercials to target districts where there are senators who may not have made up their minds.
"Some of Alito's opponents, particularly on the left, think that the only way they are going to beat him is if they go on the air right now and influence the senators, because he had a very good launch at the start of his nomination. The lesson that a lot of conservatives learned from the Robert Bork defeat in the late 1980s was you can't let them define the terms of the debate."
"The big picture that I see here is this is all evidence of the left trying to push their agenda through the courts, because they've been unable to do so to the legislature, because they can't win elections. If the left really has a problem with who Bush is nominating, they should start winning elections."
"Let the revels begin. They TV things up like it was the Super Bowl or a heavyweight boxing match. This is telling me that the process is validating the opposition that some of us set up to Harriet Miers, and we ended up with Judge Alito in his stead. It also validates the process that we have described on this program before, of the conservative movement over the past 15 years trying to develop a bench, literally, of justices and judges who understand what the Constitution means, and what the basis for their reasoning is."