Could the Senate Republicans At Least Pretend To Do Their Job?

by James Glaser
January 12, 2006

I have been watching and listening to Judge Samuel Alito's confirmation hearings going on in Washington this week. They show us why Americans have such a low opinion of Congress.

Samuel Alito is before the Senate Judiciary Committee, having his confirmation hearing, to see if he should given a life time job as a judge on the United States Supreme Court. What he is having is a job interview, but the Republican Senators on the committee seem to not care at all how Sam Alito feels about our Constitution or the Rule of Law. They have decided to vote for the man already.

I am a Republican, but like I have explained in the past, I am not a Bush Republican. I am one of those quaint people on the right of the political spectrum who still believes in small government and fiscal responsibility. I do not believe there are any Republican Senators currently serving, who want a smaller government or even care about being fiscally conservative. The Republican Party in control of the Senate loves to spend and expand the size of government as much as they possibly can. If you look at the increase in our national debt and the increase in the number of federal jobs since the Republicans gained control of the Senate, you will see that I am writing the truth.

It would be nice though if the right side of the aisle at least pretended to do the job we elected them to. The American people have no idea of who Sam Alito is, nor do they know what he believes in. Most Americans, myself included, do not trust the people in Congress, so for them to say Alito is all right does not wash. We want to hear why the man is qualified for a life time appointment. We want him to answer questions about why he feels he should get the job. That is what a job interview is all about. We want him to elaborate on his resume.

Now I am not saying that the Democrats are doing a bang up job, but at least they are questioning this job applicant. One Republican, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was honest enough to say to Mr. Alito, "It's possible you could talk me out of voting for you, but I doubt it. So I won't even try to challenge you along those lines."

Senator Graham works for us, and his job on the Judiciary Committee is to interview Samuel Alito, to see if he is qualified, but Graham has prejudged this man and won't ask any question for the American people. That seemed so strange until it was reported that Senator Graham coached Alito for this interview behind-the-scenes at the White House.

Tell me, it that a stacked deck or what? And Congress wonders why the American people have no respect for them. Something seems unethical about this whole hearing. The Democrats are pitching fast balls, and the Republicans are lobbing soft balls when they question this man. One side heaps praise on the man and the other treats him like he is a racist. Nobody is in the middle asking practical questions.

After watching a hearing like this one, you can understand why Washington no longer works. The right distrusts the left and the left distrusts the right. These Senators started arguing with each other and the press made a bid deal about Alito's wife leaving in tears. You ever bring your wife to a job interview? The whole thing is a show. What we need is Adults working for us, and we sure don't have them now.

Both parties, the Republican and Democrat are grandstanding. Every one of them is playing to one base or the other, and each and every one of them seems to be on the campaign trail. The American people are the losers here. We have no idea if Samuel Alito is the best man for the job, or if he was chosen to appease the radical right. He won't answer any questions that would mean anything to us, and half of the committee won't even ask questions, but will only sing this man's praises.

The whole process stinks!

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