“They’ve pushed us over the edge”

So says a distraught Democratic loyalist about Sandra Day O’Connor’s resignation, in this priceless piece — “Call Up the Troops, Then Clean the Grill” — by Hanna Rosin of the Washington Post. But O’Connor’s thoughtlessly provocative act has an upside — parties. That’s because Moveon.org isn’t waiting until President Bush nominates someone to replace O’Connor who might actually push the lefties over the edge (here’s hoping). Instead it has told its troops to renew the “meet-ups.” Rosin reports on two of them. At one,

Guests get to say why they came. One talks about the nature of liberalism, another about being comfortable with yourself. They are drifting. “Folks, we really want to focus on the Supreme Court,” [the host] reminds them for the second time.

But it’s hard to focus on the Court, since Bush has yet to nominate anyone. Without a name, the house parties must seem a bit like Hamlet without the Prince. Outrage cannot be focused on a sentence the nominee wrote in a 1998 opinion about abortion; on a footnote in a 1995 law review article about the meaning of the Establishment Clause; or on the way the nominee looked at her law clerk in 1993. Under these circumstances, there’s little to do other than to call President Bush a fascist, and then move on to the important business of meeting people and talking the real Prince — oneself.
Rosin gets to the heart of the matter here:

In an election, the broad outlines of the strategy are clear: Knock on doors, make phone calls, getting as many people to vote for your guy as possible. But the judicial nomination process does not welcome the activist style of democracy. Only 100 people get to vote. And President Bush gets to decide whom to nominate, period.

But no matter. For these folks, the “activist style” is an end in itself.
UPDATE: Reader Scott Smith calls my attention to these words from Hugh Hewitt that tie-in nicely with my post:

There are two kinds of civilians: Those who know there is a war going on and who appreciate the sacrifices being made on their behalf, and those who, unaware or indifferent to the conflict, imagine themselves “warriors” and their causes consequential.

FURTHER UPDATE: Drudge provides the sub-text to the main house party covered by the Washington Post. Warning his guests that “we don’t want to come across as leftist, liberal activists,” the host advised them, among other things, to discard their ‘Bush is a liar’ t-shirts. It appears, however, that the meet-uppers didn’t succeed in fooling the Post’s Rosin.