Thursday, January 12, 2006

Senatorial Gasbags

There's considerable spin over on the right end of the blogosphere suggesting that tough questioning of a nominee for life is out-of-bounds. That's clearly not true. The Senate's constitutional role is to advise and consent. Tough questions are completely in order. And tough questions do not amount to "torture," as one pathetic blog entry was titled on the suddenly sentimental side of the blogosphere. (Sarcasm warning: Oh, that's right, no one but one of their own deserves even a morsel of respect or the Golden Rule. End sarcasm warning) The right-wing blogs' double standard is the rule of the day.

The problem is, there aren't nearly enough tough questions --from either side. I agree with the Roanoke Times editorial today that the hearings are being used for speech-making and grandstanding by both sides. I suspect many in the right-of-center blogosphere would concur. I probably agree with my blogger opposites on one more thing: That is we don't care what this Senator Windbag or that wants to drone about.

The Republicans don't even present a morsel of Constitutional independence. You'd think they were from a PR firm working to assure the nomination. There so willing to surrender ever last morsel of their responsibility so George W. Bush can have absolute power and wield it absolutely. This is not what Congress is chartered or paid to do. The public should be putting up wanted signs: "Wanted a Few Good Republicans" (who'll do their job).

On the Democratic side, those formerly rubber stamping most of Bush's agenda seem hell-bent on redeeming themselves in the eyes of their base by posturing. Though many centrist and liberal political action groups still seem to believe this nomination can be stopped, Senators know better. Even so, they should ask the necessary questions, tough ones and all. It's their job. The record must show that they did theirs. The appointment will be long enough to change US history. And despite the certainty of Alito's confirmation, they owe Americans proper vetting of life-time appointments. It's that simple.