Where did everybody go?

When the Judiciary Committee finished slanderingquestioning Justice Alito it convened for an executive session and then returned to hear testimony from other witnesses – many of them fellow judges significantly more liberal than Sam Alito – testify on behalf of their colleague. At least, some of the Committee returned. Diane Feinstein was the only Democrat in attendance once the cameras were pointed toward the witnesses. Given the time her missing cohorts spent regurgitating MoveOn and NARAL accusations (see post below), one might surmise that the Democratic senators were tidying up in the Senate washroom, or visiting the dry-cleaners. Or perhaps trying to figure out how they were going to explain this fiasco to George Soros.

You’d think, however, as John Hinderaker at Powerline pointed out, that they’d take advantage or their last, best opportunity to really find out what kind of judge Alito might be.

This is truly extraordinary. Extraordinary that Judge Alito’s colleagues have turned out to defend him against the Democrats’ smears; extraordinary that the Democrats themselves couldn’t be bothered to stick around to hear what this distinguished group of judges had to say. After all, if the Democrats were actually interested in what kind of judge Sam Alito is, these are precisely the witnesses who could tell them. If the Democrats really thought that Alito’s judicial opinions reflect poorly on him, these are exactly the people who could answer their questions, and, if they are correct, confirm their fears. But the Democrats apparently knew that wasn’t going to happen. The only conclusion one can draw is that the Democrats knew they were smearing a fine man and a fine judge. But the fact that they didn’t even have the decency or respect to stay and listen to Alito’s colleagues is disgusting.

Call me paranoid, but I’m struck by the fact that none of the news services seem to have taken a picture of the Senate panel, denuded of Democrats during the judges’ testimony. When Alito was testifying, there were countless shots of Kennedy, Schumer, Leahy, et al.; now, mysteriously, there are no pictures of the Senators.

On a related note, Sisyphus at Nihilist in Golf Pants has his final verbosity index scorecard, compiled from hearing transcripts published in the Washington Post, showing how many words each Committee member used in “questioning” Justice Alito and comparing it to the number of words the nominee used to respond. Check it out.

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