By Jack Engelhard
Those of us who tuned in for a slugfest were disappointed and went back to cutting the lawn. This was no Ali versus Frazier. There were no thrills. Even Fox News abruptly turned off, literally, and returned to regular programming so that Shepard Smith could get himself excited about the Murder of the Day. Only one person gave it some spice, on Fox, and it wasn’t a senator; it was anchorwoman Megyn Kelly. I’m nuts about this lady.
Yes, I know the howls at the mention of Fox News, but come on, Roger Ailes knows how to pick the right people (except for Geraldo) and how to keep stories moving.
Obviously, ratings were taking a dive. CNN took the hint from Fox and began easing off those hearings as well. News – especially on television – needs a plot, needs a narrative, needs good guys and bad guys, needs to entertain, needs drama and this simply wasn’t good television, never mind good theater.
There’s nothing to say about Democrat questioning since those guys are already sold on Sonia Sotomayor. (Amazingly, Al Franken was best of the rest.)
But just for the fun of it, we wanted some action from the Republicans.
When a hockey game gets dull, there is always someone from the stands who yells – “Hit somebody!”
Well, nobody got hit in this panel’s deliberations on whether Sotomayor qualifies for the Supreme Court. The GOP went limp. One reason: the fix is in. They’re without numbers, these Republicans, and they’re without clout. So, except perhaps for Jeff Sessions, they gave up. The surrender began when they picked a sure loser to take on Barack Obama and so it continues.
Here in microcosm, what we saw was a Republican Party really down in the dumps. This country is operating under a one Party system. I don’t think that’s smart. This wouldn’t work even if it were all Republicans. I already said all this in a piece I wrote titled “Kremlin America,” which is about the dangers facing America when we lose the charms of checks and balances. Without that we are Russia.
Given the defeatism, despair and malaise that we saw from the GOP at these hearings, we’re in for another eight to 80 years of single Party Democrat dominance.
Anyway, I don’t think Sotomayor meant what she said about “a wise Latina woman” being more capable than white men. What she meant, I think, was that the high court ought to be a portrait of America. We’re not all men in this country, certainly not all white men, therefore we need different points of views while maintaining the spirit and the letter of the law as established by our Constitution. I’m on her side on this.
Does she really have the cajones for the Supreme Court? Well, she certainly proved herself capable under some (not much) — but some fire. What she did was, well, she gave such longwinded and convoluted and legalistic responses to each question that she withered and wore out the competition – and us. She answered her enemies and even her friends into submission.
As for me, I did not find her sharp or brilliant and maybe that’s good. Maybe, to be a good judge, you need to be slow and deliberative. Maybe she is brilliant.
She was on her best behavior as is any person applying for a job. The real person comes later.
Yes, I said the fix is in but I didn’t mean it the way it sounded. Like the double jeopardy business, once a person has been acquitted, it’s over! In this case, once Sotomayor has been approved, she can thumb her nose at Congress. She can say, “So long, suckers.” She can say, “Oh by the way, I didn’t mean anything I said at those stupid hearings. I’m a Supreme Court Justice and you’re not.”
She can add – “I just proved, didn’t I, that a Latina woman is wiser than a roomful of white men.”
Jack Engelhard’s latest thriller, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” centers on media deceit against America and Israel and is available in paperback at Amazon. Engelhard wrote the international bestselling novel “Indecent Proposal” that was translated into more than 22 languages and turned into a Paramount motion picture starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore. He can be reached, and his Works can be viewed, at www.jackengelhard.com