Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 19, 2005 / 15 Elul, 5765

Flawless Roberts holding Dems scoreless

By Mark Steyn


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ever since prolonged attendance at "the world's greatest deliberative body" during the Clinton impeachment trial, my general line on the U.S. Senate has been to commend the example of New Zealand: They had a Senate, and they abolished it.

But, until that blessed day, I'd have been quite content for the John Roberts confirmation hearings to go on for another six months, couple of years, half a decade, until the last registered Democrat on the planet expired in embarrassment at the sheer maudlin drivel of it all. It was obvious on the first day about 20 minutes in — i.e., about halfway through Joe Biden's first question — that the Democrats had nothing on Roberts. But they're game guys and, like the fellow in a tight spot in a caper movie, they stuck their right hands in their pockets, pointed them through the material and pretended they had a real gun in there. By the second day, their pants had fallen down, but they bravely stood there waggling their fingers at the nominee and insisting they had enough firepower to blow his head off.

New York's senior senator, Chuck Schumer, began with some observations about Judge Roberts' "troubling" record on "the issue of civil rights." Ah-ha! "Many of us consider racism the nation's poison," he said sternly. And then he dropped the big one: Twenty-five years ago Roberts had inappropriately used the word "amigos" in a memo.

I yield to no one in my disdain for Schumer, but at that moment my heart went out to him. If I'd been president, I'd have declared his mouth a federal disaster area and allocated $200 billion so FEMA could parachute in a reconstruction team to restore his tongue to its previous level of toxicity.

Alas, two days later the watery gush that had transformed Schumer into his own devastated wetland had still not dried up. He'd pretty much abandoned the racism angle of the inappropriate "amigos," though he trotted out some boilerplate about how it reflected the "misguided" and "cramped view of civil rights professed in the early Reagan administration." But by Day Four, he'd moved on to "the question of compassion and humanity," telling the judge that he had grave concerns about "the fullness of your heart.''

And what was Exhibit A for the heartlessness of Roberts? Well, back in the early '80s it seems he wrote this memo containing the word "amigos."

Oh, dear. With enemies like Chuck, who needs amigos? Whatever happened to the party's fearsome forensic skills at "the politics of personal destruction"? Granted, blathering on about how, if the other guy doesn't agree with your views, he must be deficient in "compassion and humanity" is a lot of baloney even by mawkish Dem standards. But, if you're going to twitter about the fullness of somebody's heart, why get Chuck Schumer to play Senator Oprah? He has the shifty air of a mob accountant, even with every intern on his staff holding onions under his eyes. Likewise, sneering at Roberts' life of privilege may be a smart move, but not if you entrust it to Dianne Feinstein, one of the wealthiest women in the galaxy.

But, like Lord Cardigan's 13th Light Dragoons facing the Russian guns at Balaclava, onward they rode into the Valley of Death — or the Valley of Continuous Cable News Coverage, which boils down to flogging your dead horse through a Valley of Living Death. As Lord Tennyson wrote:

"Theirs not to make reply,

Theirs not to reason why,

Theirs but to do & die"'

Well, OK, scrub the "theirs not to make reply" bit. The senators were making reply before Roberts had said anything. Indeed, they seemed reluctant to let him get a word in. Asking 25-minute questions is a sound strategy if you've got chapter and verse — "In 1958, you were dismissed from an old folks' home in Cleveland after the food-poisoning deaths of 11 residents; in 1963, you were fired from a boys' summer camp in the Adirondacks for inappropriate touching; in 1965." — but here the interrogators had nothing. And, in that scenario, your best shot is to ask short questions and give the guy all the time in the world to answer in the hope that he'll wander carelessly into some infelicitous subordinate clause. Hey, he might even use the "a" word again if we get real lucky, amigo. But these guys seemed to be locked into some anything-you-can-bloviate-I-can-bloviate-longer contest of their own, a nightmare reality show of Senatorial Survivor where none of 'em ever gets voted off the island.

The champ, of course, is Delaware's Joe Biden, whose laborious regular-Joe routine — hey, how ya doin', ol' buddy, ol' judge, let's talk baseball — is only marginally undermined by his apparent unfamiliarity with whatever working-stiff metaphor he's employing: Quizzing Roberts on America's national pastime, Clueless Joe managed to get the Strike Zone wrong.

I love the Biden shtick. Remember the Alberto Gonzales confirmation hearings? "We're looking for candor, ol' buddy," scoffed Joe. ''I love ya, but you're not very candid.'' Years back, when he ran for president, Biden was tripped up for plagiarizing the then British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock. Now he's plagiarizing the interrogation routines from ''NYPD Blue.'' I'm sure they'll keep that "I love ya, buddy" line when he and Dianne Feinstein sign on for their new good cop/bad cop routine in the dinner theater revival of Hill Street Blue State. ''C'mon, buddy, you know I love ya, but you don't want me to bring the broad back in, do ya, amigo, hey?''

Meanwhile, despite retinues larger than the average Gulf emir, few senators seemed engaged enough by anything other than their own emoting to order their minions to rustle up some questions on judicial philosophy. We're now told that most Dems will vote for Roberts in order to give themselves some bipartisan cred before they Bork the president's next nominee. That sounds like feeble spin to avoid getting flayed by the Moveon.org types.

But maybe it'll go better for 'em next time. Or maybe it'll just be another rote slog through "troubling" stuff no normal person or his amigo cares about. Or maybe Bush will nominate Marcel Marceau so the bloviators can talk over the nominee to their hearts' content, hammering away with the Gone-With-The-Windy speechifying until they collapse momentarily exhausted and Marceau does three seconds of his man-feeling-his-way-round-the-inside-of-a-box mime before the infuriated Biden interrupts:

''C'mon, ol' buddy, gimme somethin' to work with here. You know we love ya, but buy us some peanuts an' Crackerjack, amigo.''

Better luck with the second nomination, senator. As they say in baseball, two strikes, you're out.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Steyn is North American Editor of The (London) Spectator. Comment by clicking here.

Mark Steyn Archives


STEYN'S LATEST
"The Face of the Tiger and Other Tales from the New War."  

In this collection of essays, Mark Steyn considers the world since September 11th - war and peace, quagmires and root causes, new realities and indestructible myths. Incisive and witty as ever, Steyn takes on "the brutal Afghan winter", the "axels of evil", the death of Osama bin Laden and much more from the first phase of an extraordinary new war. Sales help fund JWR.

© 2005, Mark Steyn

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles