With all the attention that has been paid to the rhetorical blather of DNC Chairman Howard Dean (with such attention being well deserved), a good number of high level Democrats have been able to speak “under the radar,” as it were.
It would seem as though congressional Democrats have caught a strain of whatever rhetorical virus Howard Dean has been suffering from. The primary symptoms appear to be a complete loss of propriety and logic when it comes to managing the words that come out of one’s mouth.
Throughout the course of the recent arduous judicial nomination/filibuster fiasco, many senior Democrats have been given to – and been allowed to get away with – shall we say, rhetorical excess. Concerning the records of many of Bush’s judicial nominees, they have distorted, misrepresented, mischaracterized and in some cases outright lied.
Let’s look at a sampling from some of the leading liberal lights in the US Senate.
California Senator Barbara Boxer accused nominee Janice Rogers Brown of being out of touch and having a “negative view” of America. “As someone who owns property, no one has ever tried to take it away from me. I don't know what [Justice Brown’s] problem is.” And: “What an optimist. Why are we promoting someone who has this negative view of America?”
From Illinois Senator Richard “Gitmo” Durbin, we have suggestions that Brown doesn’t have judicial temperament, saying: “[Justice Brown’s] speeches show she has the temperament and ideology of a rightwing radio talk show host, not of a person we want to serve on the second highest court of the land for a lifetime--a lifetime.” (horrors!) And stated that nominee Judge William Pryor was devoid of any knowledge of the law and suggested he wanted to give guns to wife beaters. “…to think Mr. Pryor believes the Second Amendment right is so absolute that we should give guns to men who batter their wives, I just do not understand it. It does not show common sense, let alone an understanding of the law.”
Senator Teddy “the chauffeur” Kennedy suggested Pryor doesn’t care if innocent people get executed, saying: “[Mr. Pryor] is dismissive of concerns about fairness in capital punishment and the possible execution of persons who are innocent.” And that Brown doesn’t believe in the democratic process; “Perhaps most disturbing is the contempt she has repeatedly expressed for the very idea of democratic self-government.” (Imagine, THIS from a liberal like Kennedy.)