I've been thinking about this as the Alito confirmation hearings approach: given what we know about him already which has given us plenty of reasons to oppose him, what could he say in his hearings that would change the mind of someone like myself?
There are perfectly good questions that Senators could ask him. [update: ironically, of the "30 questions" the NYTimes solicited from six legal scholars, I actually would be most interested to hear the answers to John Yoo's, though I suspect that my and Mr. Yoo's desired answers would be very different) But what could he credibly say in these hearings to overcome a long and distinguished record of partisan and dangerous positions.
Fact is, if his answers are consistent with his previous positions, he should be voted down. If his answers are inconsistent with his previous positions (and I don't mean that people can't change their minds, but he's been doing this stuff for a long time and has been pretty consistent about it), why should we believe him?