Recently, Sen. Mazie Hirono claimed that Democrats have a hard time connecting with voters because they (Democrats) are so “smart” and “know so much.” If Democrats are smart and knowledgeable, you can’t prove it by Hirono. She embarrasses herself routinely on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she almost invariably finds herself in over her head.
The latest embarrassment is her attack, along with Sen. Kamala Harris, on a judicial nominee for belonging to the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic social and charitable organization founded in 1882 that, in the words of Ramesh Ponnuru, has heretofore been roughly as controversial as the Rotary Club.. Hirono and Harris are insisting that Brian Buescher, nominated for a U.S. district court judgeship, drop his membership in that organization and recuse himself from cases in which it has taken a position.
Hirono claims that the Knights have taken “a number of extreme positions.” She cites its support for Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative that defined marriage in state law as the union of a man and a woman. As Ponnuru points out, a majority of California voters agreed with this “extreme position.”
Ponnuru also notes that Buescher belongs to two other organizations that consider marriage to be the union of a man and woman (and that also are anti-abortion, another position Hirono deems “extreme”). The two organizations are the Catholic Church and the Republican Party.
To be consistent, Hirono and Harris should demand that Buescher quit the Catholic Church and the Republican Party, and recuse himself from cases in which they have taken a position. As Ponnuru puts it:
If Harris and Hirono want to maintain that all judicial nominees must support abortion, beyond just saying that they will respect existing law, then they should just say that there are scores of millions of Christians they would never allow on the federal bench on account of their beliefs. There is no need to launch an attack on the Knights.
Hirono and Harris don’t want to ban all Catholics; just the ones who take the Church’s teachings seriously. They subscribe to the left’s view that it’s okay (for now at least) to be a Catholic, as long as you don’t subscribe to any Church doctrine that’s inconsistent with modern left-liberalism. That’s toleration, lefty style.
Steve Cortes at Real Clear Politics wonders whether Hirono and Harris would make demands similar to those they present to Buescher of an observant Muslim nominee. After all, that faith also believes in traditional marriage. I think we know the answer to this question.
Cortes reminds us that both Hirono and Harris howled in horror when President Trump enacted travel restrictions upon troubled countries, which they incorrectly assailed as a “Muslim ban.” Hirono described that policy as “a dark day for our country,” adding that “every time our country has singled out a minority group for discriminatory treatment, we have been proven very, very wrong.”
But singling out orthodox-thinking Christians for discriminatory treatment when they seek important government positions is fine, even necessary, according to the oh-so smart Mazie Hirono.
Hirono and Harris are not the only Senate bigots. Cortes recalls that last year, during confirmation hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein noted the devotion of Judge Amy Coney Barrett and her family to the Catholic Church and admonished that “the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s a concern.” Sen. Dick Durbin was similarly concerned.
The real concern for anyone who believes in freedom and the Constitution is the trend within the Democratic Party to exclude faith from the public square and people of faith from positions of power.