"Their recent, unified celebration of O'Connor is part of their cynical calculation to position themselves as mainstream and Republicans as extremists. They see this as an essential foundation in their quest to garner the requisite public support to condone their imminent filibuster of the person President Bush nominates to replace O'Connor. This is one of the many reasons we can dismiss as disingenuous their denials that public interest groups and public opinion will matter in this process.
But do not dismiss the magnitude of the deception they are orchestrating here. They are hoping to convince the people that any nominee who is reputed to be an originalist is an extremist -- "outside the broad mainstream." Because they view the Court as a co-equal policy-making branch of government, they are treating the confirmation process as another national election.
Their bogus praise for O'Connor is simply the first step in their ruse. By lauding her as a "mainstream conservative," they lay the groundwork for labeling anyone less activist than her an extremist."
"The dirty little secret is that the liberals are the extremists in this whole process. They are the ones who deny popular sovereignty by using the unelected courts to thwart the will of the people. They refuse to allow state legislatures to set policy when it is not consistent with their superior enlightened vision and they refuse to allow the Senate majority to perform its advice and consent role by their unprecedented partisan filibustering of judicial nominees. They won't even admit their liberalism, which is quite curious if they truly believe their ideas are mainstream.
They are afraid to leave the battles of the Culture War to be waged at the level of the culture and by the duly elected political branches. They insist on using the courts to cram social change down the people's throats -- because they know what's better for them. They are the ones who want the Court -- without any constitutional authority -- to foist customs and laws of foreign countries onto our jurisprudence.
So the next time these lockstep liberals tell us they are in the mainstream, remember that they not only aren't mainstream, they have contempt for those who are and for the expressed will of the people. And, they'll use any means necessary -- including propaganda -- to subvert the will of the people they pretend to honor."