Senator Kyl [reads] Obama's empathy statement — you can read it here: In 5% of cases, Obama said, "adherence to precedent and rules of construction and interpretation will only get you through the 25th mile of the marathon," and one must at that point rely on "one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy." Kagan is forthright: "It's law all the way down." She says that several times — and I note that her statement isn't really at odds with what Obama said. A good follow-up question would have been: But do you think that law includes a component that comes from deep values and human empathy? The secret answer is: Yes.If I had a written transcript, I would pick out one thing after another like that and write the text of the missing colloquy.
Why don't the Senators do better? Yeah, they are scripted, but the nominee's answers are predictable enough that the followups could be scripted too, more or less. And that's assuming the Senators are too dumb or timid to think on their feet. (Technically: on their asses. We say "asses" now in polite company, of course, after this and this. It's standard American speech in 2010.)
I think it's more likely, in fact, that Kagan is being given a pass, and that the Senators from both parties have their reasons for giving her a pass. It's related to the unavailability of a transcript, I'm guessing.
Who really has an interest in attacking Kagan? I think that it is the strong ideological progressive who doesn't care much about the political fate of the Democratic Party. Can you see why? I'll try to spell it out later, but, right now, I need to get out in the real world....
And we know where the ripe black raspberries are!