Anyone who doesn't watch Chris Hayes' show on MSNBC on the weekends is missing out on some of the most intelligent conversation on cable news, and the segment above was no exception. I didn't get a chance to watch the whole show Sunday with the other video monitoring I do for the site, but Digby flagged this segment the other day and I agree with her criticism of Jonathan Alter.
The discussion was over the problems within the judicial nomination and confirmation structure and the fact that the process has been broken ... and it's been broken by the right. Alter seems to think that the left would be behaving "just as badly" as the right if heaven forbid Democrats nominated judges who would be perceived as just as "partisan" as those on the right.
What Alter didn't point out is that the biggest problem with judges like Thomas or Scalia isn't just the fact that they're "partisans." It's the fact that they're corrupt and have huge conflicts of interest and won't recuse themselves from cases where they have no business ruling. And unfortunately as long as we've got members of Congress who are going to defend their actions, we're not going to see them impeached.
Here's more from Digby's post — Partisan (Judicial) Review:
Yep. We can have as many right wing fascists on the court but Democrats should only nominate people who "moderate" and have a "reasonable" judicial temperament.
These Village "liberals" are killing us. He is completely wrong about this. If the people didn't give a shit that a partisan court stole an election, giving them a lecture about the Obamacare mandate isn't going to get the job done.
No, we are living in an ideologically polarized age and this guy wants liberals to stand around tittering politely about how wrong it is that we be so. History shows how well that works out for them when the other side has gone mad.
The left has allowed themselves to be completely outgunned when it comes to whipping up public outrage and getting their base to care about judicial nominations. Guest Nan Aron pointed out what's at risk if the Supreme Court is allowed to move any further to the right than it is already:
ARON: This is going to take a fight. Not just from the White House, but from the Senate, from all of us. This election... the stakes with this election for the future of this Supreme Court are enormous when you think about it. And we now know just how this court and several courts under it make decisions that affect every aspect of our lives and we can't sit back.
I don't know what it will take to get those on the left to pay more attention to this issue but I was glad to see it raised on Hayes' show, regardless of the fact that Alter wants Democrats to bring a knife to a gun fight. The rest of the panel was in complete disagreement with him about the sort of judges the left should be trying to get nominated and what tactics should be used to try to get some better judges through our broken nominating process. The Democrats could take some lessons from Republicans about getting public opinion on their side and with being willing to fight for good nominees.