From the Washington Post’s account of the Justice Alito confirmation process:
For Alito, who trudged through meeting after meeting, sometimes with a dazed look, the drill was overwhelming and often alien. One 25-minute meeting, with Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R.I.), a key Republican moderate, took place on the Capitol steps at Chafee’s insistence so they could both be looking and pointing at the Supreme Court when they spoke.
Full of many odd moments from the process, the article’s theme is that People for the American Way’s Ralph Neas is the loser in this contest, having set the Democrats up to win and not being able to deliver a grassroots that was other than angry and off-putting, Neas blew through millions and couldn’t even find the votes necessary to maintain a filibuster and force the Byrd Option upon the GOP majority.
Neas is far from finished as a Washington force, of course, but generals who lose big –indeed decisive– battles can’t expect to find his troops growing in numbers, strength, and enthusiasm.