The Alito Hearings
I have been trying (as best as I can given a work schedule) to follow the Alito hearings over the last three days. Thanks to the Internet, I can catch up on a lot that I have missed. For those who, like me, have to work during the hearings, this website has been a godsend. I plan to write about some of these transcripts as time allows, but following the transcripts is a great way to see what is going on.
You know things are bad (for the Dems) when even your most stalwart supporter, the New York Times, is admitting that you’re not getting the job done.
“Judge Alito's default impulse frequently seemed to be to try to give a direct response to the senators' often rambling questions.”
Rambling is an understatement. For the most part, when the Democratic Senators had their 30 minutes to “ask questions” they spent the majority of that time bloviating! Senator Leahy spent 18 of his 30 minutes talking, Senator Kennedy spent 24 of his 30 minutes speaking (he ended up needing an extension of his time because he was rambling so much) – as did Senator Biden,. All of which made Senator Leahy’s comments (at the beginning of his time) even more ironic;
“So glad you survived yesterday listening to us. Now we have a chance to hear you.”
While the Senators asked a number of questions that were based on actual decisions (they mentioned Doe v. Groody and Baker v. Monroe Township) but when they realized that they could not get him on the issues, the attacks turned personal! During the questioning this afternoon, Mrs. Alito left the chamber in tears after listening to Senator Graham gallantly apologize to the nominee for his compatriots horrible behavior!
Prior to that, Senator Kennedy (momentarily forgetting that he was not even the ranking DEMOCRAT much less the ranking member of the committee) threatened to hijack the committee in order to hold up the meetings in order to get yet MORE documentation. Senator Kyl (speaking on Hugh Hewitt’s program moments ago) seemed to think that this breach of decorum was mostly to play to the TV camera’s and have his recorded moment for the base at People for the American Way.
I used to think (naively) that when it came to doing “the people’s business” that partisan politics would somehow get put aside….that the “world’s greatest deliberative body” would not stoop to such lows (as personal attacks on nominees) but as I saw today, I was sadly mistaken. Senator Schumer, in his haranguing remarks late this afternoon, made it decided clear that the Democratic partisans have no interests in doing what is best for this country. While I am sad that my naïve views of the Senate have been so brutally crushed, I am glad to see that it happened now, in the build up to the 2006 elections. The people of the country have got to be horrified at this turn of developments in DC. Hopefully they will do the right thing come next November!
UPDATE: Captain Ed has a great post today about the McCarthyesque tone that Senator Kennedy's line of questioning took. It is a must read!