Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Jonah Goldberg elucidates on how we have become so used to political demagoguery that it is no longer news when someone like Senator Kennedy lies about a distinguished judge's record.
We have become so accustomed to distortions and outright lies, you'd think it's patriotic to insinuate decent nominees are racists, sexists or liars. "Oh, that's just par for the course" is no longer an observation; it's a rationalization.

Here's just one of the dozens of deceitful low blows aimed at Samuel Alito. In his opening statement Monday, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said Alito "has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color alleging race discrimination on the job" among the thousands of cases that came before him. Any reasonable person hearing that would assume Kennedy was calling Alito at minimum "insensitive" or, more likely, a racist. But Kennedy was lying — albeit in a very lawyerly way.

Alito has ruled for the plaintiff in many racial discrimination cases, but he wasn't always the guy on the multi-judge appellate panels who wrote the opinions. In fact, Alito has written many opinions siding with plaintiffs "of color." Even so — as appeals court judges are wont to do — he didn't always write to the "merits" of the plaintiff's claim so much as to the relevant legal issues. So by peeling off selective opinions, Kennedy is left with the slimy insinuation that Alito is biased against minorities. But instead of, "Have you no shame, senator?" we get, "It's par for the course."
Of course, the real concern of the Democrats is to convince their supporters that they have put up a good fight so that they can preserve their moonbat cred. If they can maybe beat up Alito a bit in the process, that would be a nice advantage. But they know that they can't stop his confirmation so it doesn't really matter if they give him a chance to answer their questions or not. They're not really interested in what he might say: all they care about are getting their allegations on the record.