Thursday, January 12, 2006

Embarrassment Continues

They’re baaacck! Remember that cry from the young boy watching television in the movie Poltergeist? Today it’s the much more frightening collection of U.S. Senators conducting the confirmation hearings of Sam Alito. We thought they were dangerous, demented and demonic during the John Roberts hearings just a few weeks ago, but now they are proving conclusively that their venality, ignorance and blatant character assassination knows no bounds.

The scariest aspect of this horror show is that they are so confident in the willingness of the American electorate to accept without discrimination the “facts” that they pontificate upon. There’s Joe Biden showing up wearing a Princeton baseball cap! Is this the level of professional conduct we expect from our most exalted legislators? Pat Leahy is mumbling his way through a long preamble to an irrelevant question. Ted Kennedy is expressing the highest of umbrage that Arlen Spector didn’t get a letter he supposedly sent and he threatens to bring the whole process to a petulant halt. Gimme a break.

Want an example? Take a look at this: Are you now or have you ever been a member...

Here’s the issue and you tell me if it’s a critical shortcoming of Judge Alito. He went to Princeton. He joined an organization in 1972 called Concerned Alumni of Princeton. That organization was composed of alumni who were bothered by the rampant affirmative action programs they were witnessing that were bringing women and minorities into the previously all male halls of the university. Their concern seems to relate (as many concerns regarding equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action do,) to the question of whether standards were being lowered to insure quotas were met for certain categories of students. (It should be noted here that the very Supreme Court which the Senators are vetting Judge Alito for, has since 1972 ruled that quotas are unconstitutional as are arbitrary or unequal qualification standards.)

But, read the article at the link. Notice that the organization (CAP) was established in 1972 and disbanded in 1987. Alito joined in ’72. Might lead us to believe that he possibly didn’t know all there was to know about the organization. Even if he did, that was 34 years ago and a lot has passed over the sociological dam since then.

Now, notice the reference by Senator Kennedy to an article written in a magazine of the organization in 1983 (I’ll do the math and point out that was eleven years after Alito graduated from Princeton). Kennedy infers that Alito is somehow responsible for an article that someone else wrote for a magazine for an organization of which the judge was once a member. That’s like saying every member of every organization ascribes to every position of every author in every publication of those organizations. Ludicrous!—even by Ted Kennedy standards.

Return to the article and notice the comment attributed to a 1975 Princeton alum, Steven Dujack suggesting that, “the most disturbing aspect of CAP was not its members' beliefs, but the methods they used to convey their ideas.” Have I got that right? I don’t disagree with what you say, but I don’t like the medium of the expression? Huh?

The extension of concern regarding the presence of ROTC on campus (Alito’s reason, he says, for joining CAP) to some sort of prejudice against women and minorities is ridiculous. Equating a concern in 1972 by Princeton alumni that their alma mater was being degraded through declining standards of admission to insure proper representation of various demographic groups with some sort of racism is even more ridiculous.

I read in the papers yesterday that someone had been monitoring the hearings with a stop watch. They determined that the questioners exceed the time of the respondent by a ratio of six to one. Does that tell the American people that their Senators are seeking information from Judge Alito or that they are pontificating, bloviating and posturing with little interest in truth, justice or the American Way. (Sorry Superman…)

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