Who is Amy Coney Barrett?

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2020

All in all, nobody asked: Who the heck is Amy Coney Barrett?

We have no idea. We thought Democratic questioning of Barrett was stunningly ineffectual these past two days Today, we're running into commentaries that seem to make little sense.

Concerning the questioning:

Much of the time was devoted to the repetitive presentation of questions the nominee wasn't going to answer. We refer to questions about various issues which might conceivably come before the Court.

This refusal to answer didn't seem especially new to us. Indeed, Barrett kept quoting bromides from Justices Kagan and Ginsburg designed to convey the impression that she was following past practice in refusing to answer.

On the front page of yesterday's New York Times, Adam Liptak placed Barrett's reticence within the historical context we ourselves would vaguely remember: 

As a nominee for the Court, Robert Bork talked about everything under the sun, and he got voted down. From that date forward, nominees have generally clammed up. That includes Kagan and Ginsburg.

You'd never know that any such history exists judging from Susan Matthews' unfavorable critique of Barrett at Slate. Matthews seemed to want to tell readers that Barrett was refusing to answer because she's a very bad person, as "others" typically are.

Matthews isn't a legal reporter. She doesn't seem to understand the concept of a "super-precedent" as it arose in these hearings, even though Barrett explained it rather clearly on several occasions. 

Meanwhile, at New York magazine, Charlotte Klein offered this near the start of a snarky review:

KLEIN (10/14/20): A judge on the D.C. appeals court, Barrett was noncommittal when asked if she would weigh in on possible election disputes. “I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,” she told Senator Patrick Leahy. While Supreme Court nominees have historically given vague responses to hypothetical questions or ones about potential cases, Barrett’s dodges are particularly concerning because Trump has made it clear that his rush to confirm her has everything to do with the election he plans to contest.

"A judge on the D.C. appeals court?" Even now, one day later, the passage hasn't been corrected. Truly, our tribe is less than impressive.

Over and over, again and again, Democratic senators asked the kinds of questions that haven't been answered for decades. As usual, Kamala Harris was slickest of all, drawing praise from the liberal faithful in the process.

Other types of questions never got asked. How were this person's values formed? Is she now, or has she ever been, a member of an organized political party? 

Questions about Barrett's basic person and basic values were basically never asked. Not that any of that was going to matter, of course.

Is everything artifice now? At hearings of this type, we start with the questions which won't be answered, then proceed directly to reviews which place the subject on the wrong court and assail her for performing like the earlier nominees we regard as saints.

Who the heck is Amy Coney Barrett? We watched for two solid days and we don't have  the slightest idea.

We can't really say that was Barrett's doing. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our failing, flailing tribe is extremely lazy and soft and more than a little bit faux.

Full disclosure: The liberal world lost this seat when it stared into air, for twenty-five years, as Hillary Clinton was accused of multiple murders and was called every misogynist name in the book by high-profile media stars on our own corporate side. 

In the end, this trashing let Donald J. Trump squeeze into the White House. To this day, you aren't even encouraged to know that this trashing ever occurred!

That's the way we lost three seats. Barrett didn't do that.


23 comments:

  1. May we suggest, dear Bob, that not a single normal human being on this planet is watching your zombie politicians dancing their brain-dead zombie dance?

    In the end, Madam Barrett will be confirmed, and that's all there is to it, dear Bob.

    And of course your liberal cult's politicians will continue, on other occasions, to perform their brain-dead rituals. For the time being, anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for filling us in on the Establishment's take. You can go away now.

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  2. I was hoping the Democrats could make a deal with McConnell, whereby the Dems promise to not increase the Supreme Court to 15 judges in exchange for McConnell waiting until after January 20th to confirm Barrett, then the Democrats expand the Supreme Court to 15 judges anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  3. “In the end, this trashing [of Hillary] let Donald J. Trump squeeze into the White House. To this day, you aren't even encouraged to know that this trashing ever occurred!
    That's the way we lost three seats. Barrett didn't do that.”

    Just to refresh Somerby’s memory, the seat filled by Gorsuch became vacant during Obama’s presidency. What that has to do with Hillary Clinton, only Somerby knows.

    At any rate, no one is blaming Barrett for liberals “losing three seats.”

    The senators and the pundits are trying to show the hypocrisy and cynicism involved in Barrett’s nomination.

    She has publicly stated her opposition to Roe and to the ACA, and to pretend otherwise now is hypocritical. It is important that the public knows this, especially those low-information voters who may not pay attention or are susceptible to being bamboozled by the GOP.

    Somerby claimed yesterday that even though he supports abortion, he could see how Roe might not be well-founded constitutionally. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if Barrett said something similar, like “I oppose abortion, but I will still use my independent judgment to rule on an abortion case.” But her opposition to Roe was the litmus test for her nomination. Again, the public needs to know this.

    When she claims not to know whether voter intimidation is legal, she shows a breathtaking lack of legal knowledge. The Dem senators are also trying to emphasize the problematical position she is in, being nominated in part, according to Trump, to “decide the election.” It smacks of corruption, and she perhaps ought to recuse from any such decision.

    As far as “Questions about Barrett's basic person and basic values were basically never asked. Not that any of that was going to matter, of course”

    How likely is it that any Democrat wanted to get into her weird cultlike background? They would have been accused of denigrating her religion. Somerby would have helpfully joined in on the accusations.

    Ultimately, I reject Somerby’s oh-so-wise “none of this matters.” Informing the public matters a lot. Somerby is just repeating a tired phrase here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent comment, more informative than the last several TDH posts.

      Delete
  4. Apparently Trump has more contagious maladies than covid. Somerby seems to have caught the Trumpian propensity to blame Hillary for everything.

    Asking Barrett the kind of questions you would ask a woman on a blind date is double useless. The Senators aren't asking her questions to find out "who the heck" she is. They are creating a record to hold Barrett and each other accountable. We already know who Barrett is judicially speaking. That's why Trump nominated her.

    I don't understand why liberals are being blamed when it was Republicans who trashed Hillary for all those years. This is a kind of victim-blaming. Barrett may not have lost us three seats, but neither did the Democrats, especially not Hillary.

    When will Somerby call for Biden's election? I predict never.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I don't understand why liberals are being blamed when it was Republicans who trashed Hillary for all those years."

      He's mainly referring to Chris Matthews and Maureen Dowd trashing the Clintons and Gore, which they did. But to say that it was a major factor in the Dems electoral failures is not convincing. It is his dominant fixation/obsession. He brings it up weekly, if not daily.

      Delete
    2. The many months and eight or nine Republican Benghazi hearings that exonerated Clinton of responsibility for the deaths of four people in a war zone are hardly worth mentioning by Somerby. The fact that Obama’s Supreme Court nominee and now this one were two dishonest and hypocritical Republican power moves is hardly worth mentioning by Somerby. Blame for the current situation is clearly laid at the feet of a couple of media personalities. Makes perfect sense.

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  6. The question that she should be asked: "Presidents must fill judicial vacancies. Does this mean that the senate has an obligation to vote on his appointments?".

    The fact of the matter is, if RGB has resigned in, say, 2014, McConnell still would have allowed Obama's nominee to be voted on. In fact, if Biden wins and the Republicans hold the senate, and should a SCOTUS vacancy occur -- say, Thomas is crushed by a stack of porn magazines in his closet -- McConnell will not allow a vote on his replacement until after the next election; and should the scenario repeat, McConnell will still stall the nomination. That's how GOP is going to play this game. Democrats should take notice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it much more likely that Thomas choke on a pubic hair on his coke can.

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