President Trump, if your consternation at Tuesday’s Senate spectacle needs further expression, you might tweet a thank you to Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican, and a Bronx cheer to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat.
Mr. Lee did his bit for good and Mr. Whitehouse his for bad during the hours of taxpayer-financed campaign ads that the TV screens insisted on mislabeling as a Senate confirmation hearing on Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
First, Mr. Lee asked his Judiciary Committee Democratic colleagues not to waste time bashing past Supreme Court decisions by the sometimes coalescence of a conservative 5-4 high court majority.
Don’t denigrate those decisions, Dear Democrats, just by growling your dislike of the outcomes of those decisions, the sainted Mr. Lee said.
Rather, Democrat interrogators should use the time of these nationally televised hearings to explain exactly what about those rulings that the Democrats found fallaciously reasoned.
Judiciary Committee Democrats should say explicitly why, based on Mr. Kavanaugh’s 307 decisions as a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals judge, they think he can be expected to make as a justice the same mistakes in legal reasoning Democrats think he made as a judge.
Next, Mr. Whitehouse took the microphone with the apparent purpose of persuading us he is either suddenly hard of hearing or, despite Mr. Lee’s wise counseling, determined to continue the clown-show tradition (that began in 1950s) of Senate confirmation hearings.
Mr. Whitehouse — no, despite outward appearances, he didn’t change his name from something else to that for political self-promotion purposes — proceeded to determinedly unburden himself of the names of an endless stream of 5-4 decisions he either loathed or simply hated.
As you would expect from his 94.65 percent rating on the Progressive legislative scorecard and 1.4 percent lifetime American Conservative Union surveys, he named the offending impact of each ruling on labor unions and others upon whom Democrats rely on for self-preservation.
Not once did lawyer Mr. Whitehouse mention why he thought the 5-4 majority’s legal reasoning was off.
You could replay any Democrat’s pseudo-interrogation of Judge Kavanaugh — whom Democrats lectured but did not question, not once — and find the same lesson.
That lesson is that Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings aren’t confirmation hearings but partisan exercises in taxpayer-financed polemics, electioneering and base-stroking.
Thank you, Mr. President, for tweeting after the panel wound up for the day: “how mean, angry, and despicable the other side is” at these hearings.
And if you’re tweeting finger is not otherwise disposed, you might also tweet this to Mr. Whitehouse and friends: “You Democrats obviously think the Supremes’ purpose is to undo laws that don’t serve your prejudices and replace them with laws that do. Well, think again.”
• Ralph Z. Hallow, the chief political correspondent of commentary, served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University and resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar.
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