January 12, 2006

The hearings as trench warfare.

That last post talks about the way the newspapers report on the tone of the Alito hearings as if it is weather. Former law dean Ron Cass sees the hearings as warfare -- futile warfare:
Where the Roberts hearings opened with a “history in the making” feel, the Alito hearings are the political equivalent of trench warfare. Battle lines are drawn. Troops are dug in. Both sides are willing to endure the fighting, even though there is little prospect of a change in positions.

The warfare taking place in the Hart Senate Hearing Room, like real trench war, is mostly a low-key, slow moving affair, punctuated by occasional bursts of bombast. It resembles trench warfare, too, in its air of embedded hostility and immovable forces lobbing cannonades at one another. The nominee is almost an afterthought.
Cass skewers the Democrats for misunderstanding (or deliberately distorting) the meaning of the concept of "unitary executive." Despite Alito's patient and accurate explanations of the term, they persist in acting as though it refers to the notion of an all-powerful President.
Perhaps when Senators stop making accusations and speeches, aimed more at interest groups and the media than the nominee himself, confirmations will return to hearings instead of battles.


PD Shaw said...

I have to say I understand the notion of the unitary executive less than I did when these hearings started.

SippicanCottage said...
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