Friday, January 13, 2006

'A Smart, Decent, Small Man'

My observations on the Samuel Alito confirmation hearings:

They were an anticlimactic bore.

The Democrats didn't lay a pinkie on him.

"Borking" is dead. Thank goodness!

A Democratic imposed delay on a committee vote to send the nomination to the full Senate is a dumb tactic.

It's time for Teddy Kennedy to waddle off into the sunset.

Joe Biden doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut.

Alito will be confirmed easily.

Life goes on.

Meanwhile, Michael O'Hare of The Reality-Based Community blog sums things up nicely:

[Alito] doesn't have a screw loose; what he has is a piece missing, conspicuously, radiantly, displaying the absence of any sense of, well, justice. Not a case came up for discussion in which he registered that one or another outcome was just wrong, outrageous to a sense of decency, or to him. He's on record in a memo as believing that to shoot an eighth grader, known not to be armed, who was trying to climb over a fence in escape, is a proper use of deadly force by a policeman. In a discussion of immigration cases that have been regularly occasioning inexcusable, vile, un-American heartbreak on people who missed obscure deadlines or violated arcane requirements, all he could say was that the courts get bad transcripts and it was hard to find translators for some of the plaintiffs, but that was a problem for Congress. It wasn't exactly Pilate washing his hands, but the man appears to be completely comfortable dealing with frightful social wrongs by moving the issue down the hall to another office. Sometimes the Court has to do this, but to Alito it's an especially good day's work, not a disappointment.

A smart, decent, small man. If the US Supreme Court is a good place for a man whose ability to prove "not my job" is unparalleled, Alito should be confirmed. He will focus enormous rational power on issues not central to the cases before him, and solve problems peripheral to the work we need the court to do.

(Hat tip to Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly.)

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