Thursday, January 12, 2006


Peggy Noonan: "Let's cause some senators distress. The great thing about Joe Biden during the Alito hearings, the reason he is, to me, actually endearing, is that as he speaks, as he goes on and on and spins his long statements, hypotheticals, and free associations--as he demonstrates yet again, as he did in the Roberts hearings and even the Thomas hearings, that he is incapable of staying on the river of a thought, and is constantly lured down tributaries from which he can never quite work his way back--you can see him batting the little paddles of his mind against the weeds, trying desperately to return to the river but not remembering where it is, or where it was going. I love him. He's human, like a garrulous uncle after a drink.

In this, in the hearings, he is unlike Ted Kennedy in that he doesn't seem driven by some obscure malice--Uh, I, uh, cannot, uh, remembuh why I hate you, Judge Alioto, but there, uh, must be a good reason and I will, um, damn well find it. When he peers over his glasses at Judge Alito he is like an old woman who's unfortunately senile and quite sure the teapot on the stove is plotting against her. Mr. Biden is also unlike Chuck Schumer in that he doesn't ask questions with an air of, With this one I'm going to trap you and leave you flailing like a bug in a bug zapper--we're going to hear your last little crackling buzz any minute now!"

Robert George: "We all know why they are opposed to Samuel Alito. It has nothing to do with Vanguard Mutual Funds or a defunct conservative alumni group at Princeton. They oppose Alito because they believe it is the duty of Supreme Court justices to strike down legislation that liberals happen to regard as illiberal, irrespective of whether any basis for invalidating the legislation can be identified in the text, logic, structure, or historical understanding of the Constitution. Above all, they want justices who will preserve, defend, and expand the "right" to abortion that was manufactured by the Supreme Court in the 1973 cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton."

Susan Sullivan: "I consider myself a social progressive. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU and a liberal pro-choice advocate who supports abortion rights. I favor gun control, support gay marriage and oppose the death penalty. I also don't have a problem if you want to take "God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance. In short, no one is likely to mistake me for a conservative any time soon. Yet, I support the nomination of Judge Alito, because I know from having worked closely with him, that he is not a political ideologue and is not intent on advancing a conservative political agenda."

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