My, how they talk!

Lynne Kiesling

In the little bit of the Roberts confirmation hearings I caught at the airport yesterday, I was struck by how much the Senators were talking. My first thought was that I, apparently erroneously, thought that the hearings were a chance to hear what he thinks. Silly, naive economist.

When I got home, the KP Spouse had them on the radio, and I made my observation to him. His opinion is that the bluster level is not higher than in the hearings we heard together in the ’90s. I don’t know. I can’t believe that my tolerance for their blather has fallen, or that I’ve gotten more impatient than I was in my younger-and-more-anarchist days.

Jim Lindgren’s probably got it right, and it’s the posturing for the cameras and lecturing.

I think I’ll shut up before I get myself in trouble.


13 thoughts on “My, how they talk!

  1. A chance to hear what Roberts thinks? No, not really. Compare the length of the opening statement by Roberts to the opening remarks of just one senator (Schumer):

    Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) made 49 first-person references in a 10-minute statement that was, ostensibly, not about himself.

    … Roberts delivered what may have been the shortest opening statement by a modern Supreme Court nominee — less than seven minutes, including the thank-yous and two baseball metaphors.

    From the September 13 edition of the Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/12/AR2005091200916.html).

    As you noticed, despite being called a “hearing,” the members of Congress were mostly there to do the talking.

  2. Anyone who thinks the 17th Amendment change from having state legislatures select U.S. senators was an unalloyed triumph of democracy hasn’t listened to enough confirmation hearings.

  3. Anyone who thinks the 17th Amendment change from having state legislatures select U.S. senators was an unalloyed triumph of democracy hasn’t listened to enough confirmation hearings.

  4. I think I’ll shut up before I get myself in trouble.

    Get in trouble? Your a blogger. Trouble is our game. 🙂

    Yes, it did seem that bluster level is too high. All of the Senator yappin’ really made me wish we could adopt booing during these procedures.

  5. The hearings have showcased the RCA (rude, crude and abusive) Senators clustered on one side of the aisle. They wanted to see if they could “break” Judge Roberts. (They couldn’t; and, they knew it.) They asked questions they knew would not, could not, be answered multiple times in slightly varying forms, as if hope sprung eternal. They lectured, asked rhetorical questions, then interrupted the answers. They looked like peacocks preening for the cameras. They were Don Quixote, astride Rochinante, supported by their Sancho Panzas, tilting at the Rock of Ages; but totally without honor. They were “the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.”; but, they were good at that.

    In the end, it seemed fitting that their “point person” was the “poster child for late middle aged Irish male dissipation”, especially since much of the proceedings occurred after lunch. To steal a line from James Taranto of the WSJ’s Best of the Web Today: “Mary Jo Kopechne was unavailable for comment.”

    If these senators represent the best the Democratic Party has to offer, the future of the two party system depends on the future strength of Libertarianism!

  6. While I appreciate my esteemed senior colleague’s expression of hope for the future lying in the path of dynamic libertarianism, I must add this caveat to his remarks: there was plenty o’ Republican grandstanding. Not to the same end, of course, but I do recall specifically Senator Brownback from TX going on and on and on … this morning about the honor of the Brown decision, the factual foundations (or lack thereof) of the Doe and Roe abortion decisions, blah blah blah … before asking Judge Roberts a sterile and innocuous question. Disgusting.

    Tyrone: booing? You are a kind and gentle soul. I’ve been wishing for cattle prods. And, to take Axel’s point, a revocation of that particular provision of the 17th Amendment.

    And I say I don’t want to get in trouble because I know there are some people who read here whom I use as my impartial spectator, and I value our repeated interaction. That keeps me tactful when I might incline otherwise …

  7. I agree that there was “excessive bloviation” on both sides. We can all (especially Judge Roberts) consider ourselves fortunate that Senator Byrd does not sit (perform?) on the Judiciary Committee.

    Your “esteemed senior colleague”.

  8. I agree that there was “excessive bloviation” on both sides. We can all (especially Judge Roberts) consider ourselves fortunate that Senator Byrd does not sit (perform?) on the Judiciary Committee.

    Your “esteemed senior colleague”.

  9. Yes, booing is pleasant compared to cattle prods. The dictator side of me, which I try hard to keep in check, prefers rolling all the esteemed Senators in corn meal and threatening a wonderful deep frying.

    Kudos to you for being tactful. As a former college football player and fraternity president, it took my wife to beat being tactful into me.

  10. Yes, booing is pleasant compared to cattle prods. The dictator side of me, which I try hard to keep in check, prefers rolling all the esteemed Senators in corn meal and threatening a wonderful deep frying.

    Kudos to you for being tactful. As a former college football player and fraternity president, it took my wife to beat being tactful into me.

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