…is unanimous. The Democrats’ chief media outlets, the New York Tmes and Washington Post, agree that the Dems barely landed a glove on Judge Sam Alito. The Post‘s article by Marcia Davis attributes this in part to the Democratic Senators’ civility:
It was beginning to look as if the Democrats had shown up to a knife fight without a knife yesterday.***
In fact, most of the day was so quiet that by mid-afternoon you had Republicans such as Texas’s John Cornyn going before reporters and essentially declaring victory.
The Times’ piece, by Adam Liptak and Adam Nagourney, is headlined “Judge Alito Proves a Powerful Match for Senate Questioners”:
If Senate Democrats had set out to portray Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. as extreme on issues ranging from abortion to government surveillance of citizens, they ran up against an elusive target on Tuesday: Samuel A. Alito Jr. For nearly eight hours, Judge Alito was placid, monochromatic and, it seemed, mostly untouchable.
The Times is openly disappointed in the Democrat Senators’ performance:
For the most part, his handling of questions from Democrats had the effect of leaving his questioner shuffling through papers in search of the next question.***
To a large extent, Judge Alito’s success at skating though a good deal of the day reflected the quality of the questioning. The senators frequently did not follow up on their own queries, and Mr. Biden in particular devoted most of his 30 minutes to talking, leaving little time for the nominee to speak.
Sounds like Liptak and Nagourney have been listening to Hugh Hewitt. As Hugh keeps pointing out, the Dems need for Alito to make a mistake, and it’s hard for him to make a mistake when they’re talking. The Times did find some encouragement in Chuck Schumer’s efforts at the end of the day:
Mr. Schumer, whose questioning left Judge Alito looking wobbly and pale, was an exception….
I think it would be more accurate to say that by the close of Schumer’s questioning, Judge Alito was looking “tired at the end of the day.” In any event, the bottom line is clear: the Democrats accomplished nothing yesterday, and unless something unexpected happens today, Alito is cruising toward confirmation.