The conventional wisdom has it Roberts will be confirmed without much of a fight. In Roll Call this week, GOP pollster David Winston says don’t bet on it [sub required]. Two weeks before John Roberts was named, one shrewd conservative laid out the “stages of battle” to come no matter the nominee:
1. Nominee is named. Dems say they will be open-minded and fair but have important questions. (Honeymoon period.)
2. Dems express concern over “issues that have been raised.”
3. There will be a personal accusation, at first anonymous; Dems say the charge must be investigated and taken seriously.
4. First Dem senators will state they cannot support nominee.
5. On substance nominee is labeled “extreme,” with media and Hollywood now in full-throated opposition.
6. Dem senators say they need more time and information.
7. Leftwing groups demand filibuster.
The Left (correctly) sees this confirmation as about not only John Roberts, but about the next nomination, the one after that, the 2006 senate elections, and 2008. No way they step out of the way like good sports.