It can almost assuredly be said that once Samuel Alito is on the court, the U.S. Supreme Court will nearly resemble the "Lochner Court" of the early 20th Century that struck down New Deal legislation as unconstitutional. I don't think people want to go back to a time when the Supreme Court espoused the interests of business--framed perhaps in a mildly plausible rhetoric of principle--while striking down laws that were popular and beneficial to a large portion of American society.
For this reason, I like the new dialogue of interdependence and civic responsibility that is coming from some Democrats, most particularly John Edwards, who I had the pleasure of seeing earlier tonight at my local district's Democratic political organization's annual dinner. It is also why I appreciate this quote from Hendrik Hertzberg from a year or so ago, which I will leave you with tonight:
Social Security--like the public-school system, the progressive income tax, the neighborhood public library, the subways and buses, food stamps, and a host of other socialistic schemes--runs counter to the narrow economic interests of the rich...It does benefit them as citizens, however, assuming that they prefer to live in a society of civic peace, civic order, and civic decency--a society of trust.