The question isn’t terribly relevant, but I can’t help wondering whether the Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee enjoy smearing an outstanding public servant like Samuel Alito. Do they get pleasure from suggesting that Alito is dishonest and crooked because he once forgot to recuse himself from a case involving Vanguard but corrected the mistake which, in any case, would have resulted in no ethical violation? Do they enjoy implying that Alito is a racist and sexist because he once belonged to an organization that was hostile to co-education (or some aspects of it) and to granting racial preferences, even though they are aware that Alito has a track record of hiring women and minorities and has the support of African-American and female colleagues on his court?
My guess, for what it’s worth, is that Senators Schumer, Durbin, and Kennedy do enjoy smearing Judge Alito and others. Schumer and Durbin seem very comfortable doing so. Kennedy, I think, gets satisfaction from moralistic attacks on others because of his own history of immoral behavior.
On the other hand, Senators Leahy, Kohl, Feingold, and Feinstein don’t seem to get off on smears. Leahy, for example, looked very uncomfortable throughout the proceedings.
Biden is a special case. He is happy when he’s talking, whether he’s reading the phone book or unfairly attacking someone. On the other hand, some of his verbal excursions mitigate the sting of his attacks. I take this as a sign that he’d rather not smear good men like Alito, and takes no pleasure in doing so beyond the inherent pleasure of hearing the sound of his own voice.
As I said, this is pure speculation on my part, and speculation that doesn’t matter much. What matters is that Alito seems well on his way to being confirmed and that we won’t be subjected to the disgraceful behavior of these Dems for a while, at least in this context.
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