CBS News's legal analyst Andrew Cohen let loose a label-laced column on CBSNews.com today on President Bush's rendition of trick-or-treat (to liberals and conservatives respectively) in naming Samuel Alito to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court.
Alito was painted as "a rock-ribbed conservative jurist who is not afraid to get out in front of the curve when it comes to" the "social issues" which get "the president's base foaming at the mouth."
Cohen finds himself gun-shy with a label for partial-birth abortion however, using an uncomfortable syntactical jumble to hint that Alito may have an impact on the Court's rulings on abortion:
If he gets to the Court in time, he might even have a say in the pending abortion rights case this term that will determine whether Congress can ban a certain type of late-term abortion procedure.
Colorfully illustrating the happiness of conservatives with Bush's pick of Alito, Cohen, notes that if "right-wing interest groups were to offer to their constituents a pin-up poster for 'Most Promising Justice,' Judge Alito's glamour shot would be a best-seller."
Later Cohen compares and contrasts Alito to Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, a "nasty jurist" whom "everyone thinks of when they think of Alito." Cohen kindly offers that Alito is, in contrast to Scalia, "affable and likely to charm" the jury of 100 set to either confirm or reject his nomination.
But when it comes to labeling Alito critics, the labels are non-existent. Democrats who oppose Alito are untagged by their liberal ideology, and left-leaning (Lifetime ACU of 44) Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) and is tagged as pro-choice and Maine's Republican duo, Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe (ACU ratings of 57 and 51 lifetime, respectively) , are labeled "moderates."