...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

January 11, 2006

Turning The Process Into A Game

I suppose I should be happy that the "new media" is around to do this kind of thing and keep everybody honest, but the following post at Blogs For Bush horrified me:

As of 3:00pm today, Judge Alito has already answered more questions than Justice Ginsburg did in her entire hearing.

Judge Alito:

441 Questions Asked
431 Answered
Answered 98 %

Justice Ginsburg:

384 Questions Asked
307 Answered
Answered 80%

So much for the Democrats' claims that Alito hasn't been forthcoming.

I'm horrified that the confirmation process has become so insanely partisan that my side is ready to bicker about percentages!

It's reductio ad absurdum.

Posted by annika, Jan. 11, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


I saw this comment on another blog but it was so good that I am repeating it here. A good explanation of why" the confirmation process has become so insanely partisan."

"In the post-moderist influenced vision of the judiciary, such as that articulated by Larwence Tribe, it is the moral responsibility of everyone to use whatever power granted to them by virtue of their office to advance the common good as they see it. This vision makes judges more like philosopher-kings who can make sweeping changes based on their own belief in the best policy.

The simple human desire to have an impact on the world and to do good gradually tempts judges into abandoning their traditional role of "umpires" to become policy makers. Since there are few opportunities to create an impact by upholding traditional interpretations of the law, judges find themselves resorting to the novel legal theories of the Left.

Sadly, this trend is destroying the very institution of the judicary just as post-moderism has destroyed academia and journalism. People no longer view these institutions as impartial or objective but as mere political partisans. Supreme court nominations are such ugly fights now precisely because we assume that judges will rule based on their belief in best policy, not in tenets of the law".

Shannon Love

Posted by: Jake on Jan. 11, 2006

The weird thing is that all this nuttiness just makes Alito look better. Do the Dems realize that this is backfiring badly on them?

Posted by: Pursuit on Jan. 11, 2006

Reductio Ad Absurdum? Isn't he running for Hillary's seat? Or, was it Boxer's?

Posted by: gcotharn on Jan. 11, 2006

As bad as this is its nothing to the disgrace that was heaped upon Justice Thomas. He was pilloried for being a sucessful republican black man. I'm surprised any black person would vote democratic after that. I blame George Bush #1 for that debacle. He didn't anticipate how bad the opposition would be, say what you want about his boy... He doesn't get caught in that kind of situation.


Posted by: Drake Steel on Jan. 12, 2006

I've been watching quite a bit of this and haven't found it as ugly as some---at least not from the Right. The fact is that there is a complete and total ass-kicking going on and it's Democrat ass that is getting kicked. There is not a single Democrat Senator that is within 30 IQ points of Alito. They appear completely incapable of asking a decent follow-up question. From a political point of view, they haven't found the theme or sound-bite that is going to turn the pubic against the nominee. The Democrats look mean and stupid, (which, of course, they are). Alito looks erudite (and, at times, a little bored.)

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 12, 2006

I think everyone in this process is looking bad. I think the Republicans look whiny because they won't support the president unless *all* of the nominees meet a certain criteria, and the Democrats look just plain dumb because they're repeating the same questions that, if they took the time to think about it, aren't calculated to tell them very much that's helpful anyway. And digging up files from an alumni association connected with Alito's school? Just stupid.

This is also part of the problem with thinking that a "record" means very much when you're talking about SCOTUS, at least nowadays. Republicans and Democrats -- liberals and conservatives, if you prefer -- are both now stuck with either arguing to enforce laws they don't like so they don't look like judicial activists, or appearing hypocritical by by arguing for judges to enforce their ideal version of the laws.

I don't think the problem is post-modernism; I think the problem is that we're slowly losing the ability to be respectful of opposing viewpoints. The two-party system has taken on a very "my way or the highway" feel and immaturity has taken hold. I think that has a lot to do with why confirmations -- and just about everything nowadays -- are so contentious.

Posted by: The Law Fairy on Jan. 12, 2006


I don't think Judge Thomas was attacked by the committee for being a successful black republican. That's your revisionist wish. HE was attacked for being a poor rendition of a supreme court nominee. The ABA said he was substandard:qualified but with the lowest rating. Nonetheless Bush 1 sang his praises and said without qualification that "he was the best man he could find and the most qualified". Both lies. Thomas was the most qualified black conservative lackie he could find, no doubt. It is no wonder then that Thomas ran into trouble. The bitter irony is that he rails against affirmative action as a dignity robbing policy that he believes causes blacks to be viewed, no matter how successful, as undeserving because they were "assisted" yet he was Bush Sr's affirmative action nominee: unqualified yet assisted because he was black. How degrading that must have been for him and continues to be. Degrading for our country too. And lets not forget poor Judge Scalia having to walk round all day with Clarence's nose up his ass.

He has also become a greedy bastard. "Thomas has reported accepting much more valuable gifts than his Supreme Court colleagues over the last six years, according to their disclosure forms on file at the court.



Speaking of the mean spirited Democrats, I guess they put on the lambs clothes when they hired that hack David Brock, to pen the fallacious character assination of Anita Hill.

Posted by: strawman on Jan. 12, 2006

Anita Hill is a liar and a political whore.

Anita Hill was never a nominee for the Supreme Court.

David Brock is not a Republican Senator. (He is, in fact, currently a Left-wing pole smoker.)

Edward Kennedy, Pat Leahy, Joe Biden, and Chucky Schumer are Democratic Senators and---with the exception of Schumer---are all dumb. With no exception, they are all mean-spirited.

Too easy..... Frankly, I expect a little more from you. Come on Strawman, Bring It!

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 12, 2006

Yesterday it was The Alito's wife. Today it may be Arlen Specter. The drama, the expectation is thrilling. This is more fun than a massive rat killing at the local landfill. The brain-damaging meltdown from a whiney-ass Republican is always expected when they begin talking about their mamas or their wives or their relationship with the Lord or their dogs. So . . . who will it be today who explodes in a slobbering display of the emotional chaos and psychological shattering that naturally emerges and overwhelms when one realizes one's family values and deeply felt Christian love is really nothing more than a hustler's greed and a pimp's lust for power? These Senate confirmation hearings are a real hoot. Are you people insane? Yes Annika, he did answer all those questions. Keep on mind most of 'em came from republican senators who ask the stupid questions like, "Are you willing to uphold precedents that favor our american values. I mean come on, let us get real! This biggot Alito didn't even asnwer correctly a question in which they asked him if the president can declare war! We all know the answer is no. How stupid can you be, this man scares me.

Strawman, stay away from this blog. It seems like you are the only one with sense here.

Posted by: Gavin M on Jan. 12, 2006


How does a person manage to take up so much space and say absolutely nothing of substance?

I spent some time reading Left-Wing blogs yesterday and found much of the same sort of bile. In fact, there were several comments along the lines of yours. Do you people just plagerize each other? One truly telling comment I saw was referenced towards Alito's wife. It said "she should go fuck herself." Ah, the brain power on the Left is truly impressive.

So, Alito is a "bigot." No doubt, you have discerned this from his writings. Correct? Of course not. I suspect like most Lefties, you don't actually read anything. (In fact, have you ever even taken a peep at the Constitution? Federalist Papers? Lots of big words in the Federalist Papers, and multiple authors, so you might want to avoid the challenge.)

You people read off the same script. Throwing words out like bigot without proof only proves my point. You can't win on substance, so you make things up. CAP, by the way, opposed (and continues to oppose) affirmative action, which is, of course, nothing more than institutionalized racism. Only in the Orwellian world of the Left is one a bigot for opposing bigotry.

Both Alito and Roberts are far better qualified and infinitely smarter than both of Clinton's picks. Their command of case law sans notes is a testament to their intellect. They both made Senate Democrats look like the idiots they are. What a contrast, though, between how Republicans treated Clinton's picks and how the Democrat's treat Bush's nominees. Despite being far to the Left of the mainstream, both of Clinton's picks received overwhelming Republican support and were treated with the dignity and respect they were due.

Interesting that Alito "scares" you, when I suspect somebody like Ruthy G., who was the lead attorney for a far-Left, fringe organization, the ACLU, does not.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 13, 2006

The question was not whether the President can declare war (see CNN story at end). The question was whether a US president would have to secure approval from lawmakers in Congress before launching an invasion of Syria or Iran. Making vs declaring.

*NO* President is going to argue as Commander-in-Chief that the President needs congressional approval to initiate "military action" as Biden asked. Did Clinton have for approval before launching tomahawk missiles? Bush 41 before Panama? Since Congress has essentially passed on using its authority to declare war for the last 60 plus years despite numerous instances of major and minor employment of military capabilities, what President is going to cede complete authority for military action to the Congress.

Perhaps Alito could have reminded the committee of John Locke's (whom the framers of the Consitution has read extensively) words regarding executive power - "the power [of the executive] to act according to discretion for the public good, without the prescription of the law and sometimes even against it." Since the fundamental law that the executive ultimately must implement is to preserve society, Locke adds "fit that the laws themselves should in some cases give way to the executive power, or rather to this fundamental law of nature and government, viz. that as much as may be, all members of society are to be preserved."

Or perhaps Senator Biden might have asked an actually relevant question not designed to get Alito to slip up. For example, is Section 3 of Public Law 93-148 that discusses Presidential consultation with Congress before introducing armed forces binding? What does the word "in every possible instance" imply? Does "introduction of armed forces" mean people only (so you can bomb as long as you don't put boots on the ground?)?

You complain about softball questions from the Republicans. The Democrats asked questions designed to trip him up for a soundbite moment as opposed to engaging in any sound debate, especially when all recent nominees make it clear they won't discuss a hypothetical future case.

Ted Kennedy voted against David Souter after Souter's hearing because of a fear Souter would "turn back the clock on the historic progress of recent decades.” - so much for what congressional questioning shows about a nominee.

And, it's bigot, not biggot...as in the line from Porky's - "you're too stupid to even be a good bigot."

From CNN

"The constitution divides the powers related to making war between the president and the Congress. It gives Congress the power to declare war. It gives Congress the power of the purse," Alito said during his Senate confirmation hearing.

However "the president has the power of a commander-in-chief," Alito told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Alito's remarks came in response to a hypothetical question asking if he believed the US president would have to secure approval from lawmakers in Congress before launching an invasion of Syria or Iran.

Democratic US Senator Joseph Biden nevertheless prodded Alito for his position on the issue.

"It's really kind of important whether or not you think the president does not need the authority of the United States Congress to wage a war where there is not an imminent threat against the United States," Biden said.

Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee, said that the Bush administration argues that the president is not constitutionally required to obtain congressional approval for launching military action.

"That's a pretty central question," Biden said.

"That means the president, if that interpretation is taken, can invade ... Syria tomorrow. Or invade Iran tomorrow, without any consultation with the United States Congress.

Posted by: Col Steve on Jan. 13, 2006

Hi GavinM,

Its OK I shower every day.

Posted by: strawman on Jan. 13, 2006


Only you could call the ACLU a fringe, far left organization. You are living in a paranoid dream. WHat is Move-On then? Soviet funded front?You are much idiot, comrade.

Posted by: Strawman on Jan. 13, 2006

What would you call the ACLU? Mainstream? How many Dems will even publicly associate with the group? They are the John Birch society of the Left---except the Birchers are paranoid freaks that do no harm. The ACLU, alternatively, has and continues to do great harm to this country.

Move On is comprised of a bunch idiots....but useful idiots. If their policy views prevail in the Democrat party, I won't have to worry about a Democrat House or Senate anytime soon. They represent the views of about 10% of the country---but unfortunately for Dems a much larger % of their primary voters. So, I salute them. You go Move On!

The fact that you see groups like the ACLU and MoveOn as mainstream and not fringe says a lot about your and other Left-winger's delusions. You people actually think you represent America. Every time America gets a true look at who you people are, it rejects you. Why do you think Clinton ran as far as he could away from you people? He realized what MoveOn can't seem to understand. America has rejected liberalism. The places where a person can admit to being "liberal" and get elected to office can be counted on your fingers.

Well, whatever....if you are happy in your ignorance then so be it. More fun for me.

Posted by: Blu on Jan. 13, 2006

Perhaps, now that the hearing is concluded, someone ought to note that they never laid a glove on him.

I mean, Alito bitch-slapped every one of the liberal Senators that tried to take a cheap shot at him, and in addition, even Arlen Specter bitch-slapped that bloat Senator from Chappaquiddick, the (Dis)Honorable Edward M. Kennedy, (D.).

Of all the people in the world to question Alito's character, especially dredging up events from 25 or more years ago, it is sheer irony that it should be a guy who's character is probably the worst in Congress, and that's saying a lot.

For a criminal whose transgressions have a body count to go the full nine yards on character with a just man like Alito just blows my mind. Which one of them was dismissed from Harvard for cheating? Take a guess.

Is it any wonder that the Democrats have become the permanent minority party in America?

Perhaps Kennedy should stop between his trips from coast to coast and take a look at the fly-over states. America rejects his brand of liberalism, and his performance this week just cost Democrats across the United States millions of votes in the coming elections.

Long Live Ted Kennedy; the best thing that ever happened to the Republican Party.

Posted by: shelly on Jan. 14, 2006