Some Democrats think they have found Judge Samuel Alito’s Achilles’ heel. In their opening statements and first day of questioning, Senators Patrick Leahy, Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, and Dick Durbin have tried to portray Alito as a tool of the powerful. They describe him as a man always willing to side with the strong over the weak, the rich against the poor, one who favors whites over blacks and other minorities. They are hoping the theme will resonate in a way that simply attacking him as anti-abortion won’t. It is becoming harder and harder to convince most Americans that an absolute right to abortion through nine months of pregnancy is the sine qua non of American freedom, so Democrats are having to expand their line of assault. And they are hoping that the president’s less-than-stellar poll numbers and the anticipated Republican fallout from the Jack Abramoff investigation will make it easier for Democrats to sustain a filibuster, which is the only way they can defeat Alito.
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