Tuesday, September 27, 2005

George Will On Feinsteins Follies

It happens to the best of 'em. For several weeks George Will made about as much sense, as say a Democrat describing how killing babies makes one a lover of children, and it's with a general sigh of relief that we can report his return to terra firma. He appears to have become acclimated to whatever medications were clouding his thoughts, and there is no greater proof of this than his use of the word 'encomiums'.
Welcome back, George. And we won't even kvetch that Feinsteins Follies are approaching old-news and won't call much attention to the fact that lambasting her is shooting-fish-in-a-barrel, because we sense you're on the road to recovery and everyone needs a ground ball once in a while.

New York Post Online Edition: postopinion

September 27, 2005 -- "DIANNE Feinstein's thoughts on the nomination of John Roberts as chief justice of the United States should be read with a soulful violin solo playing, or perhaps accompanied by the theme song of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Those thoughts are about pinning one's heart on one's sleeve, sharing one's feelings and letting one's inner Oprah come out for a stroll.

Feinstein, like many Democrats, has interesting ideas about what Supreme Court justices do, or should do. In her statement explaining to fellow members of the Judiciary Committee why she opposes confirmation of Roberts, she began with a cascade of encomiums, describing Roberts as "an extraordinary person" with "many stellar qualities," including "a brilliant legal mind," "a love and abiding respect for the law" and "a sense of its scope and complexity as well." Her next word was "but."
She was, she said, disappointed when Roberts was asked by another Democrat whether "he agreed that there is a 'general' right to privacy provided in the Constitution." Roberts replied, "I wouldn't use the phrase 'general,' because I don't know what that means."
Well, what does it mean? Roberts had clearly affirmed his belief that the Constitution protects privacy in various ways that amounts to establishing a right to privacy in various contexts. But what would make such a right a "general" right? Do Americans have, say, a constitutional privacy right to use heroin in the privacy of their homes? No. To sell prostitution services in the privacy of their homes? No, again.

Remarkably, Feinstein was reading her statement. So her mare's nest of inapposite words and unclear thoughts cannot be excused as symptoms of Biden's Disease, that form of logorrhea that causes victims, such as Sen. Joe Biden, to become lost on the syntactical backroads of their extemporaneous rhetoric.
Feinstein should have been more fluent because she was talking, as senators are wont to do, about . . . herself. Some of her "questions" to Roberts were a familiar form of preening, of moral exhibitionism. They were an example of how liberals compete, mostly among themselves, in the sensitivity sweepstakes. She might as well have simply said: Look here, Roberts, are you or are you not in my league as a world-class reacher-outer to, and a stayer-in-touch with, plain people?

Cue the violin."

George, George, George. If the heroin and/or prostitution constituency were a larger voting block you can take it to the bank that privacy would be extended to those areas as well. Remember a time when abortion was a filthy, backroom procedure only available to the dregs of society, or the very rich? Remember a time when sodomites were villified? What changed? Both got themselves organized and turned out to vote.

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