Much of the same has been occurring up on Capital Hill in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearing.
The most offensive part of the event is her denial of her role in subverting a statement of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to make them appear to have decided in favor of partial birth abortion, when in fact they had stated they saw no reason why the procedure should ever be performed. As domestic policy aide to the Clinton administration Ms. Kagan read their statement and characterized it as being a disaster to her pro-abortion cause.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, pressed Kagan about a note she wrote saying it would be "a disaster" if the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a statement saying there was no case in which the procedure was necessary, and about her intervention to prevent the group from doing so.
She responded that the disaster would have been if the organization's statement didn't reflect its full view that in some instances, the procedure was "medically best."
But in point of fact she re-wrote a statement and sent it to ACOG. Her revised version replaced the original, and was used as the basis for the court deciding to allow the procedure. He involvement was a little hard to conceal when the original copy of the ACOG statement showed up... written in Elena Kagan's handwriting.
"This was all done in order to present ... both to the president and to Congress the most accurate understanding of what this important organization of doctors believed," Kagan said.
Nope. It was done to obscure what the group had previously asserted, and to mischaracterize their actual position.
Later, responding to Graham, Kagan denied that she had tried to allow the broadest possible practice of the procedure, in line with her own views on abortion.
"It's not true. I had no agenda with respect to this issue," Kagan said.
Questioned by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on guns, Kagan said she accepts a recent ruling upholding individuals' rights to possess firearms, but she would not say whether she believed there was a "fundamental right" — meaning one that applies to states as well as the federal government — to bear arms.
She would not say. That was the general theme for the festivities.
The Second Amendment is pretty clear. It was placed there as one of the promised inclusions to allow ratification of the constitution. It and the other first ten amendments are discussed at length in the Federalist Papers, and are a corner stone of the nation's founding. Collectively they are referred to as our Bill of Rights, and they constrain the powers of the Federal government and clearly place the government in the hands of the people.
You could have got more information out of one of the moai's of Easter Island than we did from one Elena Kagan.
The farce that this hearing was could not be better illustrated than by Democratic Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who was thwarted several times in his attempts to get Kagan to say whether she would recommend that the Supreme Court hear specific cases, or weigh in on standards for deciding a case. The senator wondered aloud whether there was any way short of opposing her confirmation to get a straight answer.
"It would be my hope that we could find some place between voting no and having some sort of substantive answers," Specter said, "but I don't know that it would be useful to pursue these questions any further."
How strange that it was this same Elena Kagan that called the Bork hearings a great good, for they allowed an open exchange between the potential judge and the Senators looking to confirm the selection. Apparently the openness that Judge Bork brought to the Senate chamber was a very good thing, but not anything that Elena Kagan could take a position on in respect to herself.
How very dishonest of her. Is that the caliber of character that recommends one for the United States Supreme Court?
I think not.