What is interesting is that Alito, Roberts (and Thomas) were all quite more extreme than Sotamayor. But, as Bob Somerby notes in the piece linked to below, one wouldn't necessarily know this from our mainstream media -- here represented by the Washington Post, chastising Obama for voting against Bush's rather far right appointees.
Here is the money line from the "unbiased" sources at the Washington Post editorial page:
[S.C. Senator Lindsey] Graham may yet vote against confirmation for Judge Sotomayor. But if he does, it seems likely to be on the merits as he views them and not as a ploy for political gain.
Yes, on the merits, no doubt, even though Graham himself, as the Post points out, noted that Sotamayor's record is more moderate than "critics" have contended.
But clearly, Obama, with respect to less moderate appointees -- who, despite solid qualifications, objectively presented less qualifaction than Sotamayor -- could not have done so. Or at least as so pronounced according to the Post's "unbiased" crystal Ball. Only Graham, voting against the most moderate of all of these nominees, and also perhaps the most objectively qualified, could be nevertheless voting "nay" on the "merits as he sees them" and "not as a ploy for political gain."
Wow president Obama, does the Washington Post ever have your number, huh. I'm probably solidly to the right of you, politically, and yet, with all due respect to the Post's idea of "deference," as an elected Senator who would represent his constituents and country first and foremost and not the President, I would have assuredly voted against Alito, and likely Roberts, on the merits, as well. Yet I guess the Post would have seen right through that -- just as they somehow were so cleverly able to in the case of President Obama -- and somehow known, unlike in the case of the honorable Lindsey Graham, who is allowed to vote against the moderate, well qualified, pulled herself up by her own bootstraps Sotamayor, "on the merits" -- that I would have only done so for "political gain" as well, huh.
Quite a work of art, that Post editorial page. Oh yes, of course, this gem of profound ignorance just yesterday, from this savant of energy policy. And yet the far right has managed to convince the country that this paper is "liberal"? We are living in wondrous times.