Tuesday, January 31

Death to Moby Dick, Part II

AHAB: “Drink, ye harpooneers! drink and swear, ye men that man the deathful whaleboat's bow -- Death to Moby Dick!”

Watching the so-called senate confirmation hearings, which as always was like watching a pack of cranky miniature poodles fight over a funky sock, I almost had the feeling that I might have been wrong about something. It is my thesis that Roe V. Wade has poisoned constitutional law, damaged the Supreme Court, and completely destroyed the process of senate judicial confirmation. It must therefore be destroyed: chased around perdition’s flames and harpooned until it spouts black blood and rolls fin out.

But things were going to be a little different this time, the scuttlebutt went. The real issue of the Alito confirmation, scuttlebutt said, would be executive authority. And indeed there was much hue and cry and Biden-blither on this subject. But every single word of it was meaningless, with no more lasting relevance than an episode of General Hospital. And with no more credibility than the usual Democratic attempt to equate judicial conservatism (or even suspected judicial conservatism) with racism. After all, any grownup knows that Democrats have no problem with executive authority, especially when it must be employed against such dire existential threats as Brent Bozell or Elizabeth Ward Gracen. Show me a five year-old who would abolish chocolate cake just because somebody else got a bigger piece.

No, all the bluff and bluster about executive authority was just the usual Democratic habit of venting their current frustrations on an individual who must sit still and take it. If you talk back, they accuse you of lacking “judicial temperament”. There is, by the way, no such thing as “senatorial temperament” – at least, not among the higher vertebrate species.

Now that the fight is over and the fur is settling, Planned Parenthood rushes to assure me that I was right all along:
“Today's vote is a crushing blow to the protections for women's health and safety that American women and families have relied on for more than 33 years … the American public should be outraged that a majority of the Senate was willing to jeopardize our basic reproductive rights by voting for Judge Alito.”
You’d think Alito had shaken his fist in Kennedy’s square face and vowed: “The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents' beds, unerringly I rush! Naught's an obstacle, naught's an angle to the iron way! God hunt us all, if we do not hunt Roe to its death!” That’s what I would have said.

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