So five of eight Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee were not comforted by John Roberts' artful, and wholly appropriate, dodges of judicial hypotheticals tossed his way like water balloons.
The five Democrats were not happily surprised by his admission early on in the confirmation hearings that, yes, Virginia, there is a right to privacy (even if that fantasy is not actually guaranteed by any specific language in the U.S. Constitution). They were equally unfazed when he assured them that his political leanings and religious convictions do not dictate his judicial actions.
Similarly, the five Democrats were unimpressed with Roberts' unequivocal brilliance, a man who rose to the top of his class at Harvard and later in law school. They were not bamboozled by his good reputation and the apparent dignity with which he has conducted himself in his short time on the appellate bench.
Apparently all that mumbo-jumbo was ephemera, hardly making an imprint when one of the scales of justice was weighted down by reams and reams of legal filings he had written more than 20 years ago when he was a young lawyer paid to represent the interests of an arch-conservative White House administration.
Because, as anyone who has ever revisited an old diary knows, the person you were in your 20s is invariably the same person you are when in your 50s, married and a father. I'm being sarcastic, by the way. Does the U.S. Senate believe that John Roberts is a Peter Pan never-grow-up type simply because he dresses his children as if they're all living in Victorian England?
One of the advantages of being a self-proclaimed moderate is the ability to chime in with a pox-on-both-your-houses schtick when called for. And it's called for now. The five Democratic Senators who voted "no" -- Dianne Feinstein, Ted Kennedy, Charles Schumer, Dick Durbin and Joe Biden -- should be ashamed of such craven partisanship.
While they thankfully did not scuttle Roberts' opportunity to serve as the 17th chief justice to the Supreme Court, they had the chutzpah to vote against him for one breathlessly boorish reason. Not because he is some wild-eyed conservative activist, because he's not one of those -- well, not a wild-eyed activist, at any rate. And they didn't vote against because he isn't qualified or up to the demands of the job, because he clearly is those things.
No, they voted against John Roberts because he is a conservative Republican nominated for the post by a President they hate.
And so what will be their reaction if, as is likely, Dumbya now moves forward and replaces swing-vote Sandra Day O'Connor with another extremist Bork wannabe? What credibility will the Senate Democrats have when the White House really tries to cram an ideologue down their wizened throats and they start pouting like a child who doesn't get to ride the pretty pony on her birthday? George W. Bush is on a major losing streak these days, and rightly so. But Congressional Democrats have never understood the merits of not overplaying their hand.
Think, people. Think.