Is the era of raucous confirmation hearings drawing to a close?
Watching the Alito hearings, you can’t help feeling that what started with Robert Bork is ending with John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
The left’s old stunt (pretend there is a character, not a philosophical, issue at stake and demonize the nominee) no longer works. It’s been tried too many times.
An analysis in today’s Washington Post indicates that may be the case:
“On this nomination, as with Roberts’s, there has been a clear disconnect between the zeal of activists and the detachment of the general public. Tim Hibbits, an Oregon-based pollster, said the Alito nomination falls low on the public’s list of priorities. ‘With the exception of highly energized base voters, it’s not something that’s engaged people,’ he said.
“That could change, depending on how Alito conducts himself when the questioning begins today. But it is also possible that low-voltage confirmation hearings are becoming the norm, not the exception, despite the investment of activists to turn them into surrogate presidential campaigns. Former President Bill Clinton won overwhelming confirmation votes on his two nominees, and Roberts won 78 votes last fall when he was confirmed.”