As sure as snow on Pepi’s Face | VailDaily.com
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As sure as snow on Pepi’s Face

The odds of Samuel Alito Jr. not being approved for lifetime membership into our judicial branch’s most exclusive club are exactly as high as Kobe jetting to Happy Valley in a few weeks to celebrate Valentine’s Day.Here come da judge.For those of you who are not fortunate enough to have the spare time for watching five straight days of fascinating Q & A’s in a row, allow me to briefly recap the entire nomination hearings for Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito:Republicans – “Yay! We think he’s against abortion!”Democrats – “Boo! We think he’s against abortion!”That’s it. Five amazingly inane stretches of wasted daylight centered around attempts to discover one man’s internal thoughts concerning one single issue, as if that issue alone is what completely separates right vs. wrong, good vs. evil, liberals vs. conservatives, donkeys vs. elephants or even Donkeys vs. Steelers. (Thank you, Pittsburgh!) A more prominent pathetically preposterous potpourri of pompous pontificating political pinheads has never existed. But then again, their prattling piffle is indeed needed, to a degree.Committee members on both sides of the political fence see themselves as having a moral and ethical duty to represent their constituents by questioning any nominee for such an important and lofty position. Alas, many of these members do not seem to know the difference between tax money in their state coffers and cash in their pocket, thus asking pertinent questions that fall between a rock and a hard place are often difficult to articulate.”I understand, Judge, I am the only one standing between you and lunch, so I’ll try to make this painless.”This was said by:A) Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.B) Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.C) Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.D) Bode Miller.If you guessed D, sorry, you are confusing it with Bode’s, “It’s like driving drunk” comment about Olympic slalom racing. However, if you chose B, Joe Biden, that self-described bastion of constitutional scholars, well then, give yourself an extra doughnut this morning.But take abortion forecasting out of the picture, and we endured five days of self-aggrandizing and chest-beating on a King Kong scale.John Cornyn, R-Texas, enthralled the room with a colored chart showing how many questions Judge Alito had been asked (up to that point, I suppose) compared to the number of questions he had actually answered.Surprise! The conservative male was in the 98 percent range. Cornyn then compared his handy dandy chart to a chart constructed during the 1993 nomination hearing for Justice Ruth Ginsburg.Surprise! The liberal female was in the 40 percent range.A few minutes later Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., had “no idea where the man stands on anything. The man simply cannot answer a question.”Go figure.Talking heads on FOX News consistently asked, “What’s wrong with the Democrats? … They’re not asking the hard questions. … They haven’t laid a glove on him.” Meanwhile CNN consistently claimed, “Alito is in a corner now. … He could be tripped up at any moment. … Will he cave in with a show of emotion like his wife?”But the committee’s questions did have a purpose, whether they were asked with sincerity or not. When (not if) Alito is approved, he not only might be responsible for redeciding the incredibly overblown and overused abortion issue, but he will have a say in the truly important issues that will impact the next century of our nation and beyond. If he cracks under pressure, well, we need to know that up front, right?After all, he will join the other eight members of the Supreme Court to continue interpreting the constitutionality of laws and statutes pertaining to such topics as parental rights, children’s rights, animal rights, smokers’ rights (aka, rights for the suicidal), rights to privacy, rights to secretly wiretap, gun control, fun control (legalization of marijuana), separation of church and state, separation of Jack and Jill (straight marriage and divorce), separation of Jack and Jack (gay marriage and divorce), music and video downloading, porn uploading and literally thousands of various others social issues deemed worthy of consideration. In fact, they are pounded with over 8,000 potential cases each year, although they only actually dive into the details of less than 100 or so. If everything is still going as smooth right now as it was Sunday night while I was writing this column, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote today to send the Alito nomination to the Senate floor, where it will certainly be approved next Friday. As sure as mud in May, it’s gonna happen.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.netVail, Colorado


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