I have been trying, with little success, to hold my own little news blackout this summer. Summers, for those of you who don’t know, in upstate New York tend to be short so I want to get out and enjoy this one as much as I can. Unfortunately, the Senate is holding confirmation hearings on a Supreme Court Justice and the news geek in me cannot ignore this circus – for lack of a better description.
I have tuned in occasionally to the committee confirmation hearing. I was less than impressed by the opening statements of any of the senators. I found out, via Twitter, that the junior senator from NY had remarks that were too long for her introduction. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is an intelligent woman. Did she really, despite being the third most junior democrat in the senate (in front of only Arlen Specter – PA who is truly an old guard but recently changed parties and Al Franken – MN who was just recently seated), believe she could prepare remarks that may go longer than the alloted time.
As I tune in to the various questioning sessions, I am truly amazed. Maybe it is because I am not a white male but I do not understand some of the lines of questioning. If a white male were sitting at the table across from the senate committee, would Senator John Cornyn, R-TX, have said during recess that the nominee was “very charming?”
I found Senator Arlen Specter’s, D-PA, questioning on cameras in the Supreme Court to be tedious. Not only did Specter posture too long in posing the final question, he posed the question several times during his posturing. Nothing is going to endear him to the Republican base he had in Pennsylvania when he turned tail and ran to the Democrats. Also, Democrats in PA have a long memory and will most likely not fall in line behind him just because he has joined the party or because the president says so. His questioning was not to help himself or other senators determine how to vote on sending the nominee to the full Senate but campaigning for free.