How Dare You!
Now that the inquiries into the racist attitudes and bigoted thoughts of Judge Samuel Alito (in another era called "confirmation hearings") are mercifully over, the besty way to describe their tone is "How Dare You!"
Certainly a well-deserved "how dare you" can be leveled at the Democrats for their singularly inexcusable behavior towards a man whose record is impeccable, whom the ABA finds to be highly qualified for the job for which he was nominated, but who had the misfortune of being nominated by a President whom the Democrats hate with a self-destructive passion unseen in modern politics. How dare they make his wife cry, which will be the defining visual moment of the event, showing the cruel length to which the Democrats are willing to go in order to subordinate judicial fitness, to judicial reliability.
But rebukes for bad behavior aside, it is rather the Democrats who could very appropriately issue a "How Dare You!" from their own lips.
And that admonition could very properly be the title to their playbook for these hearings. How dare you accept a nomination to be on the Supreme Court! How dare you question abortion! How dare you approve restrictions on abortion! How dare you fail to pledge to uphold abortion!How dare you associate yourself with Bush! How dare you, Mr. President, work to leave us in the minority! How dare you, try to shift the balance of the Supreme Court--the only hope we have at changing the law! How dare you appoint someone like John Roberts whom we couldn't touch! How dare you appoint another creepy originalist conservative! How dare you win re-election! How dare you whittle down our numbers in the Senate in two successive elections! How dare you not roll over and let Al Gore steal the election in 2000!
Is any of this becoming clearer? These hearings were the Democrats' means of unconsciously confirming that their relevancy is in jeopardy as a national party. As ineffective as as their attacks were on Alito, they wasted quite a bit of political capital in prosecuting their assault with a series of accusations that were predictable, petty, and far-fetched. And unfortunately for the Democrats, it was abundantly clear that their opposition to Judge Alito had nothing to do with his qualifications, but only with the politics of their special interest financiers, most specifically the abortion and race industry lobbies.
That the Democrats will seek to label any Republican appointee a racist or some other form of bigot should by now be a forgone conclusion. But objecting to character witnesses on the basis that they are colleagues whose testimony may later sway Justice Alito when he reviews opinions of theirs on appeal is the pinnacle of desperation. Which means that the only appropriate character witnesses would be members of the ACLU, Larry Tribe, NARAL members, and some waitress he shorted on a tip last year.
So if anyone thinks that the Democrats sought to test this judge's fitness in these hearings, they are sorely mistaken. When the hearings are more about the Senators themselves than the nominee in question, the hearing has little function. He knows enough about the law and has the experience and temperament to be confirmed.
But tell that to these unscrupulous party who spent a week asking America to sympathize with them and to be angry that their birthright--majority control--has been stripped from their hands by a bunch of voters with the audacity to make their own choices.
And how dare they!