The conservative media is going to smear President Obama's Supreme Court nominee -- no matter who that nominee turns out to be.
They did it with Sonia Sotomayor, and they'll do it again.
How can we be so sure?
Just ask the National Review.
This morning, National Review Online news editor Daniel Foster wrote a post on The Corner (NRO's main blog) running down the list of likely nominees. Foster wrote that Solicitor General Elena Kagan -- one of several reported front-runners for the nomination -- “is well-respected by just about everybody on both sides”:
Elena Kagan - The first-female Solicitor General and probably first-runner-up for the Sotomayor seat, Kagan has a record of the kind of cagey jurisprudence that is ideal for a tough confirmation battle. She is well-respected by just about everybody on both sides, but lacks the paper trail that would reveal just how far to the left she'd sit.
Barely an hour later, NRO published an editorial with this sub-headline: “The question for conservatives will be not whether but how to oppose Obama's nominee.” According to the editorial:
We know that President Obama will nominate a replacement who is also committed to imposing liberal policy outcomes over the objections of legislatures and without constitutional warrant. We know because Obama told us so, pledging during the campaign to nominate only justices who would support constitutionalized abortion. A justice willing to ignore the text, history, structure, and logic of the Constitution on abortion to get a nomination cannot be trusted on other issues.
No doubt some Republicans will say that it is unimportant to fight the nominee because Obama will merely be replacing one liberal with another rather than changing the balance of the Court. But the choice before any Republican senator is whether to acquiesce to several more decades of liberal activism on the bench. Unless Obama provides evidence of having dropped his litmus tests, the question for conservatives will be not whether but how to oppose Obama's nominee.
So just to recap ... according to NRO's news editor, at least one of the reported front-runners for the Supreme Court nomination “is well-respected by just about everybody on both sides.” Nonelessless, NRO still wants to make sure that Republicans understand that the “question for conservatives will be not whether but how to oppose Obama's nominee.”