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Senator Kennedy’s Harangue

If I didn’t have papers due on Thursday for my graduate program, I might sit here at the computer all day while watching the Alito hearings live on TV and “live-blog” my thoughts. As I was beginning the day, I had the misfortune to flip on the news while Senator Kennedy was haranguing the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Whenever the Senator twisted his angry words into a question and paused to catch a breath long enough to give Judge Alito a chance to respond, that good started to reply, offering an encyclopedic knowledge of relevant case law as he clarified the facts of the case which the Massachusetts Senator had distorted.

Before Alito could complete his remarks, however, this doddering Democrat would start up again. It doesn’t seem that he’s as interested in learning Alito’s opinions as he is in posturing for the press and his liberal base. That said, Ed Whelan (at National Review Online’s Bench Memos) thinks Alito is “easily” handling some of Kennedy’s questions.

I’m not quite sure who Senator Kennedy thinks his audience is. Maybe he’s trying to relive the glory days of the Bork hearings when he smeared that sage jurist before even meeting him and asking for clarification of his past statements and judicial opinions. Maybe he thinks his words would find resonance with the American people today as they did then.

Then, as now, Kennedy prefers left-wing slogans to actual facts. Today, he misrepresented Judge Alito’s record and distorted President Bush’s as well, claiming that the president circumvented Congress to sanction torture. That notion comes from left-wing web-sites and others afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome since every bi-partisan study (including the Independent Panel to Review DOD Detention Operations AKA the Schlesinger Commission) has cleared the Administration of authorizing torture.

In the end, Senator Kennedy’s harangue is just another example of a liberal not letting facts get in the way of his attacks on a conservative. So, I guess I won’t miss all that much in missing the hearings to write about how the West African trickster god Legba became crippled in Haitian Vodoun.

INTERESTING UPDATE: Conservative blogress diva nominee Tammy Bruce informs us that I picked the right day to work on a paper about a Vodoun deity as it’s Voodoo Day in Benin.

Increasingly Irrelevant, Schumer Holds Alito to a Higher Standard

Yesterday morning, while preparing for the gym, I flipped on Fox and subjected myself to a few minutes of New York’s Other Senator’s (Charles Schumer) Opening Statement in the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito, Jr. Perhaps it’s not even worthwhile to comment on the remarks of this irrelevant blowhard. As Ed Whelan noted in National Review Online’s Bench Memos, given that this New Yorker “voted against Roberts and has repeatedly distorted Alito’s record, there’s no point in trying to clear the Schumer hurdle.

This Democrat seemed particularly crabby when reading his remarks, almost like a sullen child complaining to his parents that they won’t let him watch TV (even though he didn’t get the grades they required of him so he could watch TV on a school night). (Ethan thought he “looked like a baby who had a toy taken away.”) That is, Schumer seemed particularly peeved that because President Bush won re-election in 2004 and the Republicans have a majority in Congress, a Republican president gets to appoint Supreme Court justices and the Democratic minority has little chance of blocking them.

While conservatives were upset that President Clinton was elected in 1992, as far as I can recall, no Republican Senator expressed a similar attitude when that Democrat nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a judge with a very liberal record, to the Supreme Court. And this well-known advocate of “abortion rights” was tapped to fill the seat of one of the two Justices to dissent Roe v. Wade a Supreme Court decision the left treats as gospel.

In his unhappy remarks, Schumer said that:

Even under the so-called “Ginsburg precedent” – which was endorsed by Judge Roberts, Republican Senators, and the White House – you have an obligation to answer questions on topics that you have written about.

Schumer thinks that because this good judge had made “blanket statements,” supporting the overturning of Roe, he “cannot use that as a basis for not answering.” Back in 1993 when then-Judge Ginsburg (unbeknownst to her) established her eponymous precedent by not answering questions about cases on which she, as a Supreme Court Justice would be required to rule, no Republican faulted her for not answering despite her previous clearly-expressed views in favor on abortion.

Upset that they are in the minority, Democratic Senators are holding Judge Alito to a higher standard than Republican Senators held President Clinton’s nominees in the 1990s. And although they’re holding the president’s well-qualified nominee to a higher standard, they have repeatedly distorted his record. Powerline and Michelle Malkin, respectively detail how Schumer and Kennedy, two of the loudest critics of this good man, have done so. Peter Kirsanow offers a more comprehensive rebuttal of the standard Democratic mispresentation of the judge’s record (via Confirm Them).)