Alito Hearings

I missed them, but understand that Kennedy made an ass out of himself (surprise).

I am not sure why politicians feel it is impossible to oppose someone without resorting to grandiose political theater and engaging in wholesale character assassination. I don’t think I am going to end up liking much of what I hear from Alito (if what I have read in the past few months is accurate), but I see no need to pretend he is racist, has an agenda, or has something against the ‘average individual.’

*** Update ***

Via Rick Moran, this Cheryl Miller question which serves as a sterling example of why conservatives and liberals can’t find common ground regarding judges:

In light of your having been a member of a Princeton alumni group that opposed the university’s admission of women, criticized its affirmative action policies and urged the admission of more alumni children, can you offer two examples of any efforts by you to promote gender or racial equality?






56 replies
  1. 1
    Slide says:

    I see no need to pretend he is racist, has an agenda, or has something against the ‘avergae individual.’

    then you must have been real upset with the Republicans the last ten years because they have perfected that type of attack to an art form.

  2. 2
    Pb says:

    From the little I’ve read of Alito, it seems that he’s more of a maze-cheater* than a textualist. Maybe Kennedy has something there.

    *maze-cheating: starting at the end (desired result), and then (twistily) working backwards to get to the beginning (justification).

  3. 3
    Zifnab says:

    I am not sure why politicians feel it is impossible to oppose someone without resorting to grandiose political theater and engaging in wholesale character assassination.

    Back in high school, I was on the debate team. There was a singular rule that every successful debater was required to follow when running a negative arguement. You must instill in the mind of your judge that to vote in the affirmative will bring about nothing less than the destruction of the American society, the death of freedom and liberty, and the advent of World War III. It doesn’t matter what your opponent argues or where he’s coming from – he can be talking about closing foreign military bases or changing the school bus schedule – but you must instill in your judge that the end result is always clear and undeniable. The end of human civilization.

    Now take a high school student, elect him to Congress and then the Senate, and prove to him that this debating strategy works damn near every time he runs it, and you’ll have the average US Senator when addressing a position he doesn’t like. It’s classic.

  4. 4
    Mark-NC says:

    I just read Kennedy’s statement – sounds like just average political lingo to me.

    “Kennedy made an ass out of himself”. Really? If so, how does this differ from what every politician I’ve ever seen might have said?

    I see little difference in the bloviators on either side, and no reason to say he made an ass of himself.

  5. 5
    James C. says:

    Bill Clinton had the absolute best put down of Kennedy that I’ve ever heard….”Increasingly Ted looks like a manatee dressed up in a suit.”

  6. 6
    Pooh says:

    Aside from mispronouncing the porr guy’s name. Sammy Sooser and Mack Macguire, anyone?

  7. 7
    Sojourner says:

    Oh please. You’re strangely silent about the grotesquely stupid things said by, among others, Orin Hatch.

    If you want the Dems to keep their opening statements low key, how about demanding the same of your beloved Repubs?

    And you’ve been strangely silent about the failure of the Repubs to follow the rules of the judiciary committee. That’s a whole lot more important than an opening statement that rubs you the wrong way.

    The reality is the SC is supposed to represent us all, not just the president. Their allegiance to the law was clearly thrown to the side when they chose to select a president (contrary to the Constitution) so all bets are off now. The stakes are too high, thanks to the dishonest justices already on the court. Anyone who is going to take on the power of selecting the president deserves complete scrutiny.

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    hehe. If you guys think Kennedy is acting a bit full of shit, then I’d say Coburn had a Kennedy Moment.

    http://www.crooksandliars.com/.....html#a6643

    As the guys in Crooks and Liars pointed out, I think he might not be for abortion. Maybe I’m off base. I don’t know.

  9. 9
    Ancient Purple says:

    I missed them, but understand that Kennedy made an ass out of himself (surprise).

    I missed Kennedy’s statement, and will catch it a bit later.

    However, I did catch Tom Coburn’s statement. If ever there was a poster child for what it means to be “insane,” that man is the clear winner.

  10. 10
    Kimmitt says:

    Since we’ve already established that Alito will say anything to get a job he likes, why are we bothering with these hearings?

  11. 11

    I fail to see how you can honestly say Kennedy made an ass of himself without mentioning how absolutely bat-shit insane John Cornyn sounded.

    After already announcing that he will vote to confirm Alito, the man basically pleaded that Alito should turn the country into a Religious Theocracy.

    And no I am not joking.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    And Sojourner rides in to Kennedy’s defense by pointing out I missed the dumb things said by other people. Helluva defense, Sojourner.

    I told you I missed the damned hearings, and I just stumbled upon the Kennedy comments while riding my exercise bike, went to google news, and found them. I imagine I will catch the other comments from other people later. Again, helluva defense of Kennedy.

    BTW- I am well aware Coburn is batshit insane. I have written about him dozens of times.

  13. 13
    John Cole says:

    DEV- Same thing I said above applies to you.

  14. 14
    Zifnab says:

    Well, we’re just saying…

  15. 15
    Pb says:

    John Cole,

    Heh, I like that defense. “Yeah, I already know that all those other guys (who oddly just happen to be in my party, unlike the guy I’m lambasting) are batshit insane, so what?” Anyhow, I agree. In particular, I haven’t seen Cornyn say a sane thing yet. Ever. There are hacks, and then there are robots, and he’s robotic enough that he may as well just be Kay Bailey Hutchison in drag.

  16. 16
    Baron Elmo says:

    John,
    I read the content of Kennedy’s statement, and while the stuff about Alito’s inability to rule in favor of black victims seems a bit like grandstanding, I’m at a loss to understand what about the remainder makes an “ass” of him. Kennedy’s main concern seems to be Alito’s inclination towards absolute executive power… a concern you yourself have expressed more than once.

    And do we really need another justice who favors the corporation and big bucks over the little ten times out of ten? Shit, we already have the White House and Congress for that. I’d say Ted’s reservations are well founded here.

    I’m not saying Kennedy’s statement is a masterpiece of political rhetoric… but your vitriolic response seems a tad excessive.

    Perhaps his comments come across nastier in person than they do on paper…?

  17. 17

    I told you I missed the damned hearings, and I just stumbled upon the Kennedy comments while riding my exercise bike, went to google news, and found them.

    Fair enough.

  18. 18
    Krista says:

    How is that recumbent bike working out for you, John?

  19. 19
    CaseyL says:

    I read Kennedy’s statement, and didn’t see anything ass-ish. He noted there are areas of concern, and referred to Alioto’s decisions in those areas, and said those decisions bothered him.

    I realize that, as a conservative, John disagrees with Kennedy on certain issues. I realize that, for conservatives, Kennedy is a charicature.

    But I really don’t see how Kennedy ‘made an ass out of himself’ – unless, from the conservative pov, the mere fact that he is a liberal mentioning liberal concerns suffices.

  20. 20
    Sojourner says:

    And Sojourner rides in to Kennedy’s defense by pointing out I missed the dumb things said by other people. Helluva defense, Sojourner.

    It’s called balance, John. After all, you’re the guy who complains about the awful things the Repubs do but, invariably, rides to their defense at the earliest opportunity. Why wouldn’t I assume you’re doing the same thing with the Alito hearing?

    It’s just one of those things, kind of like the inevitability of the sun coming up in the morning and John Cole unable to hold his party accountable for longer than five seconds.

    Sorry if the truth hurts.

  21. 21
    The Other Steve says:

    And Sojourner rides in to Kennedy’s defense by pointing out I missed the dumb things said by other people.

    No. You pointed out the dumb things said by Kennedy. Others merely pointed out the Whacked Ass Flying Monkeys Out of Your Butt Weird Shit coming from Republican Senators. Seriously saying you didn’t watch isn’t much of a defense, as you knew these guys were going to speak and they always make asses out of the Republican party.

    Regardless… Shorter Scalito open statements:

    Democrats said they want judge to show compassion and be fair.

    Republcains said they don’t care what the Judge shows, as long as he votes against Roe v Wade.

  22. 22
    John Cole says:

    No. You pointed out the dumb things said by Kennedy. Others merely pointed out the Whacked Ass Flying Monkeys Out of Your Butt Weird Shit coming from Republican Senators

    No, Steve. I pointed out that Kennedy made an ass out of himself. Others did not merely point out that Coburn and others said something stupid, they said Coburn said somerthing stupid and then attacked me for not also noting it. In other words, it was yet another accusation of bad faith.

    Some days I think about just telling you all to go fuck yourselves. Find another site where the author is fairer to the commenters, yet still is daily accused of bad faith and of being nothing more than a shill for the opposition- whoever the opposition may be at the moment.

  23. 23
    Slide says:

    can we all conclude that Cole made an ass of himself by saying Kennedy made an ass of himself?

    There are certain people that produce a Pavlovian response in Republicans. Cindy Sheehan, Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy are three that come to mind. That is why I love them so dearly, they make Republicans look like total partisan assholes when they attack their every utterance.

  24. 24
    Pb says:

    Slide,

    If only John Cole would ridicule, say, Melanie Morgan (yes, another sorry Ann Coulter wannabe) once in a while, now that would make my day. Then again, I guess it’s much more fun to attack an earnest, grieving liberal than the tainted right-wing shill being paid to smear her. And really, John–didn’t you know that you could have been getting paid to feed your Sheehan addiction? The GOP has been holding out on you again…

  25. 25
    Pooh says:

    Wait, Kennedy did make an ass of himself. Come on folks, put the pitch forks down. There’s probaly 13 stories floating around about how Sen. X. said something stupid today, John just happened to see the Kennedy one first (probably because it was the first released since it was written before hand and only needed the money quote to be put inside the quotes.)

    That being said, Cormyn’s was batshit crazy:

    We know that 22 Senators—including 5 on this Committee—voted against Chief Justice Roberts just a few months ago. We therefore know that you do not exactly come here today on a level playing field. I am reluctantly inclined to the view that you and any other nominee of this President for the Supreme Court start with no more than 13 votes in this Committee, and only 78 votes in the full Senate, with a solid, immovable, and unpersuadable block of at least 22 votes against you, no matter what you say, no matter what you do. That is unfortunate for you, but even worse for the Senate and its reputation as the world’s greatest deliberative body.

    Let’s play spot the idiocy with that steaming pile of monkye-myname…

  26. 26
    James C. says:

    I’ve been a way for a time, but I’m shocked at how this site has apparently been taken over by the lowest of the lowest pond scum out there. It appears that every brainless moron out there on the Left fringes of society has moved here. I guess they don’t like posting on a site such as Eschaton where their brain farts don’t get read since there are 5oo or more other fartwads posting blather.

  27. 27
    Pb says:

    James C. Says,

    I’ve been a way for a time, but I’m shocked at how this site has apparently been taken over by the lowest of the lowest pond scum out there.

    So that must be why *you* came back…

    (thanks, folks, I’ll be here all week…)

  28. 28
    Slide says:

    pond scum and proud

  29. 29
    James C. says:

    …and obviously, brainless as well….

  30. 30
    ppGaz says:

    1. Politics is theater
    2. Balloon-Juice is theater

    Write your complaints here: __

    The end

  31. 31
    ppGaz says:

    Some days I think about just telling you all to go fuck yourselves

    Boy, talk about damning us with faint praise!

    Find another site where the author is fairer to the commenters

    There isn’t one. That’s why I’m here.

    Seriously.

  32. 32
    Eural says:

    I’m shocked at how this site has apparently been taken over by the lowest of the lowest pond scum out there. It appears that every brainless moron out there on the Left fringes of society has moved here

    Is that your way of trying to make friends?

    For what its worth I think John should get some credit for having one of the few blogs I check on a regular basis that seems to have real, honest to good engaged discussion and debate (occassionally crass and silly but still….) Is it a venue for one side or the other to loudly echo each other and backslap with plenty of “har, har” all around? No. But thats why the other blogs suck.

    There are certain people that produce a Pavlovian response in Republicans. Cindy Sheehan, Howard Dean and Ted Kennedy are three that come to mind

    True that – I argue with a conservative friend fairly frequently and we’ve noted the same thing. It works for the other side too. Just try having a reasoned discussion with a liberal about Rove, Cheney or Bush. Won’t happen. Our brains melt at the Names of Power.

  33. 33
    Thomas says:

    ‘Via Rick Moran, this Cheryl Miller question which serves as a sterling example of why conservatives and liberals can’t find common ground regarding judges.’

    Alito belonged to a group which supported the return to the good old days of Princeton having quotas on minorities. This was in 1973. The guy grew up in the 60s and came out of it wishing for more of the white racist establishment. Pretty simple, then. He’s a racist. And so when he sits down and listens to an affirmative action case and perverts some precedent concerning equality with the usual blather liberterian blather about brotherhood-for-all, anyone with half a degree of honesty in them will know it’s bullshit, the man is bullshit, and his cause is bullshit. The only people who won’t be saying bullshit, besides the racists, are the conservatives, who will pretend that the judicial philosophy of objectivity and impersonality and partisan independence they adore has produced anything other than completely vile self-interested far-right reactionary bullshit with a twist of respectabilit, just enough it seems to cover up the constant masturbating over fetuses, the flag, heterosexuality, and the American Corporation.

  34. 34
    Slide says:

    to my dear right wing friends who throw around insults like “pond scum” so liberally, let me give you my thoughts on pond scum.

    Pond scum: republican lobbyist that takes millions upon millions of dollars from native americans while deriding the “morons” in his emails.

    Pond scum: corrupt republican leadership of the congress that are either indicted or under investigation.

    Pond scum: republican congressman that is bribed with Rolls Royces and cash to steer defense contracts.

    Pond scum: vice president that wants the USA to be known for torture and secret prisons.

    Pond scum: president the lies directly to all of our faces when he tells us that eavesdropping on americans always requires a warrant.

    Pond scum: right wing “journalists” that were getting paid to spew their “objective” opinions.

    There is a lot of pond scum to go around and most of it is on your side of the ideological fence it would seem.

  35. 35
    James C. says:

    One can only assume that the semi-literate rant by Thomas is intended to provoke, rather than reflect an expression of true belief, since no thinking human being could be so totally devoid of intelligence and knowledge.

  36. 36
    Zifnab says:

    Some days I think about just telling you all to go fuck yourselves. Find another site where the author is fairer to the commenters, yet still is daily accused of bad faith and of being nothing more than a shill for the opposition- whoever the opposition may be at the moment.

    That’s the nature of the beast. “You’re either with us or against us” mentality isn’t exclusive to the Bush Administration and everyone falls prey to it once in a while – some more than others, myself included.

    I think the root problem is that Kennedy opened his mouth. When you’re the posterboy for the Democratic Party in the Senate, everything you say is going to sound tainted. And again, it’s just the nature of the Beast. If Bill Frist opens his mouth, I’m just as quick to call bullshit. Cause some of these guys get so into their agenda, you can’t take anything they say seriously anymore.

  37. 37
    smijer says:

    I still love you, John…

    XOXOX

  38. 38
    Pooh says:

    The rant was fully literate. And apparently you are too. Which is good, no we can all at least comprehend each other’s insults.

  39. 39
    James C. says:

    Slide, you appear to be another one of the moonbats with a limited functioning intellect. Having said that, however, I would encourage you to try a little therapy, such as reading something, almost anything not associated with politics. A few days of such reading therapy might permit the remaining brain cells to recover from the terrible overload you have imposed on them by your constant and relentless reading of bilge and other unsubstantiated nonsense that fools such as yourself are exposed to; lacking any intellectual facility to differentiate the “real” from the “unreal,” poses a severe challenge to you and other like-minded dimwits.

    Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

  40. 40
    smijer says:

    Via Rick Moran, this Cheryl Miller question which serves as a sterling example of why conservatives and liberals can’t find common ground regarding judges:

    “In light of your having been a member of a Princeton alumni group that opposed the university’s admission of women, criticized its affirmative action policies and urged the admission of more alumni children, can you offer two examples of any efforts by you to promote gender or racial equality?”

    I’m not sure what you meant by that, but since the 14th amendment requires equality before the law, I don’t see how this isn’t a valid constitutinal question… During his days with CAP, white male priviledge was something he felt worth preserving… shouldn’t we want assurances that he doesn’t carry that view with him onto the supreme court?

  41. 41
    Slide says:

    Cause some of these guys get so into their agenda, you can’t take anything they say seriously anymore.

    What does “get so into their agenda” mean exactly. You make it sound that having an agenda is a bad thing. Martin Luther King’s “agenda” was racial equality. Agenda is what one belives in. Having an agenda isn’t bad in and of itself, it depends what the agenda is doesn’t it? Why do the Democrats have to apologize for having an opinion on how we see the way we would like government to operate. Isn’t that what everyone does. Yes.. Senator Kennedy has an agenda, to show that Alito would not be good for our country for the reasons he went over. That is his opinion and he has represented the citizens of Mass. for many many years. That is what he is SUPPOSED to do. Isn’t it?

    How woud you have a Senator fill out his “advise and consent” obligation under the Constitution? Just rubber stamp whomever the President sends up there? Why do we all of a sudden seem to hate Democracy? Why do we find the Constitution to be such a burden? I want MORE democracy. MORE debate. MORE AGENDAS. Its much more preferable to be beholded to guys like Abramhof or the highest bidder isn’t it?

  42. 42
    Slide says:

    james C has yet to put forth an argument, an idea, a fact, he just insults. Very illuminating james, but I guess the way things are going for your side you are reduced to your childish schoolyard insults.

  43. 43
    kdaug says:

    Shorter James C:

    “Nuh, uh, dum-dum!”

  44. 44
    Thomas says:

    I’m just happy James C. spelled my name right.

  45. 45
    The Other Steve says:

    In other words, it was yet another accusation of bad faith.

    Yeah, but come on. Which one is more batshit? Coburn, Cornyn or Kennedy? It ain’t the guy from Massachusetts.

    I’ve been a way for a time, but I’m shocked at how this site has apparently been taken over by the lowest of the lowest pond scum out there.

    And here, I thought the quality of the pondscum had improved since you left. :-)

    I’m just happy James C. spelled my name right.

    He get’s a gold star for effort.

  46. 46
    Ancient Purple says:

    I’ve been a way for a time, but I’m shocked at how this site has apparently been taken over by the lowest of the lowest pond scum out there.

    And yet you keep coming back.

    Shorter James C: My GOD! That porn film was vile, disgusting, degenerate, deviant, perverted and sick. Now I have to watch it again to make sure I didn’t miss any of those really perverted parts, especially that hot lesbian scene.

  47. 47

    Shorter James C.
    You liberals are big poopyheads.

  48. 48
    Kimmitt says:

    I’m bored with the hearings already. A more pathetic kabuki show cannot be imagined. C’mon, Dems, roll over already, so I can submit my resignation from the Party and be done with it.

  49. 49
    Baron Elmo says:

    james C has yet to put forth an argument, an idea, a fact, he just insults. Very illuminating james, but I guess the way things are going for your side you are reduced to your childish schoolyard insults.

    Slide beat me to it, but I couldn’t agree more. Even the most rabid of right-wingers usually comes up with some kind of argument to stoke the debate, but oh, joy! here’s good old James C with his content-free, insult-heavy posts that recall nothing so much as a petulant toddler flicking oatmeal at his mama.

  50. 50
    Baron Elmo says:

    James C Metaphor the Second (because I never metaphor I didn’t like):

    If political discourse is like a meal, then James is serving up platters of air sandwiches. Two slices of bread and…

    Back to the kitchen, boyo. We demand protein.

  51. 51
    Slide says:

    I think this sums up the James C’s of the world… as well as Judge Alito. I never agreed more with an opinion:

    The only political aspirants among those three groups who failed to meet the test of their generation were the chickenhawks. And our problem today is that they are the ones in charge of the government as we face a national security threat. These unfulfilled men still have something to prove.

    And, I suspect because their leadership of the “conservative” movement has infected the new generation, we are seeing much of the same pathology among younger warhawks as well. This is why we hear the shrill war cries of inchoate bloodlust from these quarters every time the terrorists strike. It’s a primal scream of inner confusion and self-loathing. These are people whose highest aspirations and deepest longings are wrapped up in their masculinity, and yet they are flaccid failures. They are in a state of arrested development, never having faced their fears, never becoming men, remaining boys standing in the corner of the darkened hallway watching Bill Clinton emerge from a co-ed’s dorm room to lead a rousing all night strategy session — and sitting in the bus station on the way home for Christmas vacation as Chuck Hagel and John Kerry in uniform, looking stalwart and strong, clap each other on the back in brotherly solidarity and prepare to see what they are really made of. They have never been part of anything but an effete political movement in which the stakes go no higher than repeal of the death tax.

    ;

  52. 52

    Why are you guys actually responding to James C.?

    The shit he says makes me think he is a spoof–it is that absurd.

  53. 53
    Zifnab says:

    Yes.. Senator Kennedy has an agenda, to show that Alito would not be good for our country for the reasons he went over. That is his opinion and he has represented the citizens of Mass. for many many years. That is what he is SUPPOSED to do. Isn’t it?

    It is what he is supposed to do. You just don’t need to watch Kennedy to know what he’s going to say.

    When you have an agenda, and everyone else knows you have an agenda, and you know everyone else knows you have an agenda, any speech you give comes out sounding predictable and cliche. Kennedy’s agenda is a strongly liberal agenda and Alito is a strongly conservative judge. No one doubts that they are going to oppose each other. But Alito is running for an appointment. And it’s Kennedy who sounds like he’s got something to prove. That’s all.

    The only Senators that truly interest me are the ones sincerely asking Alito the question, “Why should I allow you to become the next Supreme Court Justice of the United States?” Once Alito has shot his mouth off (or clammed up and refused to answer any questions), then each Senator can get as high-minded and rhetorical as he likes. Until then, I’d like to see each Senator (from Kennedy to Coburn) keep an open mind rather than annointing him or annulling him before he’s opened his mouth. Cause they’re on the Judicial Committee, and that’s their fucking jobs.

  54. 54
    norbizness says:

    I think, overall, I’d be more worried about an unabashed subscriber to the “unitary executive” theory of constitutional government being on the highest court in the land for the next 25-40 years. Kennedy’s one of 100 Senators, and he’ll probably be dead by the end of the decade.

    And his point about Alito’s arbitrarily raising the bar for plaintiff recovery in employment discrimination suits and belonging to an exclusionary club seeking to resegregate Princeton is actually well taken.

  55. 55
    Cyrus says:

    In light of your having been a member of a Princeton alumni group that opposed the university’s admission of women, criticized its affirmative action policies and urged the admission of more alumni children, can you offer two examples of any efforts by you to promote gender or racial equality?

    Er, wow, is that accurate? Opposition to affirmative action is defensible, and the other two are legal, obviously, but moral? Or compatible with an interest in everyone having a fair chance? Assuming it’s true that he belonged to this group, and assuming it’s the main reason for the existence of the group and/or the reason Alito joined, this sounds like a reasonable question to me. Do I want a justice ruling on equal funding for girl’s sports (to choose an example which AFAIK has never made it to the Supreme Court) who thinks their education should end at high school anyway?

    True that – I argue with a conservative friend fairly frequently and we’ve noted the same thing. It works for the other side too. Just try having a reasoned discussion with a liberal about Rove, Cheney or Bush. Won’t happen. Our brains melt at the Names of Power.

    I know, it drives me nuts. I mean, I’m not completely immune to the kneejerk reaction you’re talking about, but I could be a whole lot worse. At family gatherings lately I’ve tried to make left-wing parody comments whenever the discussion turns to politics. DougJ from the other direction, if you will. When they ask me if I’m joking, I reply, “Of course. Aren’t you?”

    Unfortunately, they’ve only asked me that half the time so far.

  56. 56
    fwiffo says:

    The curtain raises, the lights come up, and we see our hero, James C., huddled over a desk at the back of his 9th grade English class. He sits scowling and blackening his fingernails with a sharpie as the teacher walks the class, handing out books. He glances at the cover… “Thesaurus”, it reads.

    He cracks it open and flips to an interesting entry. “With this, I can prove I’m really one of the big kids. They’ll think I’m so smart!”

    As the bell rings, he carefully folds down a corner of the page for “stupid”, slides the book in his gym bag, and shuffles out the door. As the curtain drops, we hear him cry out in pain as an upperclassman gives him a extreme wedgie.

Comments are closed.