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Real Corruption in Washington

Would Samuel Alito even be considered for a seat on the Supreme Court if he had committed an act of plagiarism? Would he be considered for the highest court in the land if he had let a woman die in his submerged car? Welcome to the Alito Senate confirmation hearings, featuring Joseph Biden, the Delaware Senator bounced from the 1988 presidential race for plagiarism, and Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, a notorious womanizer responsible for the drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Of course, our media don’t want to talk about any of that. They would prefer to talk about Pat Robertson’s latest controversial comment. But Robertson is not in any position to defeat the nominee.

The media the other day ran several stories about Biden filibustering during an occasion when he was supposed to be asking questions of the nominee. It was funny, and Biden later joked about it. But why would he do such a stupid thing? What was he trying to prove? My theory is that Biden is trying to make up for the 1988 case, which is still on the public record for those in the media with any interest in pursuing it, in which he was caught plagiarizing from a speech made by a British politician. Biden seems determined to prove that he really can think for himself, and that he doesn’t need to crib from what others are writing or saying. It’s amusing when Biden appears on various TV programs and is introduced as a foreign policy expert. It’s hard to know with any certainty, except when he’s talking extemporaneously, who is putting the words is his mouth. That is why, I believe, he talks too much.

As for Kennedy, who suggests Alito is anti-woman, here is a Senator who was directly responsible for the death of a young woman, riding from a party with him in a car that went off a bridge and into a pond. Kennedy swam to shore, pondering his political future, while she struggled for her life in the bottom of that submerged car. It’s probable that she breathed for a period of time in an air pocket before her lungs filled with water and she died a horrible death.

This column is not meant to be a political attack on leading Democrats on the Judiciary Committee disguised as media criticism. I really want to know why the major media permit these characters to launch personal attacks on Alito when their own personal lives are scarred by scandals. The media like to talk about Washington corruption these days, but in my mind the hearings are a corrupt spectacle, in which Senators who are lacking in personal integrity are passing judgment on a religious family man who, by all accounts, has led an exemplary life and treated his associates in accordance with the highest standards of civilized behavior.  

Mrs. Alito’s tears came when Senator Lindsey Graham referred to Alito as a good man who had been unfairly attacked as a bigot for being associated with a group which published some controversial articles. Graham’s voice was itself cracking as he described the testimonies of all of those who have worked with Alito over the years and have described him as a man with the highest level of personal integrity. As for the articles, Alito never wrote or read them. But Kennedy wanted to subpoena the records of that Princeton alumni group that Alito joined to see if he could dig up some dirt on the nominee. It was classic guilt by association, when the Senators raising the questions were guilty of egregious conduct that would disqualify them from even being considered for the federal bench. Yet here they were as sitting Senators. That’s about as hypocritical as anything I’ve seen in Washington. But it’s not a story for the Washington media.

Instead, taking its lead from another liberal Democrat, Richard Durbin, the Washington Post has today run a front-page story about Alito leaving open the possibility that he could rule against the Supreme Court pro-abortion decision, Roe v. Wade. This is depicted as an alarming development. The story is based on some misleading questions asked by Durbin, who himself used to be pro-life. The Post alluded to this, noting that Senator Tom Coburn “suggested that Durbin is ill-suited to challenge Alito’s views on abortion because Durbin once opposed abortion rights and changed his mind.”

Notice the phrase “abortion rights.” This is how the Post changes the terms of the debate in order to favor those who are pro-abortion. The phrase, popular in the liberal media these days, eliminates the need to consider the possibility that the unborn child may have a legitimate and valid right to life. That possibility has been ruled out of order by the liberals, in and out of the media, and not fit to print.  

The implication of the Post story is that Alito has an open mind on an issue on which Durbin changed and has now apparently closed his mind. It only makes sense if you share Durbin’s current view that unborn children have no rights. This is what passes for fair and objective news coverage of Alito’s confirmation hearing. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.