A modern-day Dante would probably incorporate the Senate gallery into one of his circles of hell. Here the condemned soul would be forced to watch vanity, fatuousness, and bad hair implants for eternity. Normally America's Hundred Most Flatulent bother only those few who are so masochistic as to watch C-Span, but the John Roberts nomination hearings foisted our lawmakers onto the public consciousness.
Dianne Feinstein opened the hearings with references to tragic history
that were completely inapropos:
I recently traveled to Europe where I saw monuments enshrining the tragedies that have occurred in the name of religion. In Budapest along the River Danube there are 60 pairs of shoes covered in copper: women's, men's, small children's.
During World War II, Hungarian fascist and Nazi soldiers forced thousands of Jews including men, women and small children to remove their shoes, as a final humiliation, before shooting them and letting their bodies fall and drift down the river. These shoes represent a powerful symbol of man's inhumanity.
That should be a big help to Roberts if he is ever to obtain jurisdiction over the Hungarian Iron Guard.
Feinstein at least managed to refer to herself only once in two paragraphs. Others were not so restrained
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) made 49 first-person references in a 10-minute statement that was, ostensibly, not about himself.
I don't know if Joe Biden was the most offensive of the Senators who spoke today, but I had to listen to him on the radio and by the time he was done I wanted to smack him, or anyone who looks like him, or anyone with a similar name such as Hiden or Baden. In perhaps the most pathetic instance of false modesty ever recorded, Biden noted
that he wrote the Violence Against Women Act:
But in 1999, you said, in response to a question -- you were on a show, it was 1999, you were talking about a number of things. And you said, and I quote, You know, we've gotten to a point these days where we think the only way we can show we're serious about a problem is if we pass a federal law, whether it's the Violence Against Women Act or anything else.
The fact of the matter is conditions are different in different states. And state laws are more relevant is, I think, exactly the right term. More attuned to different situations in New York as opposed to Minnesota. And that's what the federal system is based upon.
Judge, tell me how a guy beating up his wife in Minnesota is any different condition in New York.
Even if Biden had a point, it's lost in his pissiness over Roberts disagreeing with his legislation. And one wonders whether Biden's self-righteousness will be self-defeating in the long run. Sure, Roberts would probably like to make ten times as many smart remarks as I have -- would you like to petition for the dissolution of the state of Delaware, Senator?
-- but he will bide his time, and smile, and suffer through a few days of inanity in exchange for being Chief Justice of the United States for 20 or 30 years.
During which time Senator Biden's legislation may not get the fair consideration that would be its due. The modern Senator is too dumb even to engage in beneficial ass-kissing.