Carol Platt Liebau: No Standing to Criticize

Sunday, July 30, 2006

No Standing to Criticize

In a stunning displays of irony, hypocrisy and all-around incoherence, Teddy Kennedy takes to the pages of The Washington Post to complain that he and other Democrats were "misled" by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito during Judiciary Committee hearings. He bases this on the fact that he disagrees with the results the justices have reached on some cases close to his heart.

First, it's laughable that Kennedy would claim to have been misled. He opposed both nominees from beginning to end, putting no stock in anything either of them said. As this piece points out, he opposed the Chief Justice's nomination to the D.C. Circuit and to the Supreme Court (both in Committee and on the floor); he likewise opposed the Alito Supreme Court nomination in both venues, and even threatened a filibuster of it. So he can claim that his opposition has been justified by Roberts' and Alito's jurisprudence, but to claim that he was "misled" is disingenuous, at best.

Even more significantly, it's hypocritical for Teddy Kennedy -- more than for any other American -- to object to Judiciary Committee hearings that fail fully to illuminate a judicial nominee's views. That's because he's the one who, through his over-the-top treatment of Robert Bork -- and the campaign he led to defeat him -- is responsible for the devolution of Supreme Court hearings.

After the smear job Kennedy engineered on Bork, Republican nominees learned they couldn't expect fair treatment from the left and adopted a strategy of saying as little as possible, lest it be twisted, purveyed and ultimately used against them in a misleading campaign. Indeed, Democratic nominees, particularly Ruth Bader Ginsburg, have been something less than totally forthcoming -- but in contrast to Republican nominees, she and Stephen Breyer were treated courteously by Republican senators on the Judiciary Committee.

Teddy Kennedy may not (does not!) agree with Chief Justice Roberts' and Justice Alito's philosophy. He (and we) have known that from the beginning. But to the extent that he's trying to argue that the process itself failed in fully revealing and explaining the nominees' views, he's got only himself to thank. Of any American, he, absolutely, is the last with any standing to criticize what Supreme Court hearings have become.

8 Comments:

Blogger stackja1945 said...

Will Teddy drink to this too?

5:22 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

He already did, stack. That's why he feels misled. It's no fair using big words when he's drunk.

8:52 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

WE could solve a lot of our energy problems if we could tap the energy expended each time JFK rolls in his grave when li'l brother open his mouth.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

With all these Democrats claiming to be mislead, are they too incompetent to hold office? Oh, I know...they LIED to the American people!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

"...but to claim that he was "misled" is disingenuous, at best. ..."

Disingenuous: That's what Teddy does best!

8:50 AM  
Blogger wrabkin said...

In other words, Republicans learned since Bork that their true beliefs are so repugnant to the American people that even when they control both houses of congress and the White House, they dare not say what they really believe... and that somehow that's the fault of Democrats.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Democrats are a dying breed!

6:50 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

In other words, Republicans learned since Bork that their true beliefs are so repugnant to the American people that even when they control both houses of congress and the White House, they dare not say what they really believe... and that somehow that's the fault of Democrats.

That's an interesting way to view it. I don't believe it to be true.

Incidentally, how is the Democrats' NEW! TOUGH! SMART! plan coming? Will we, the American people, get to actually see it before election day?

6:25 AM  

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