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Hannity Pushes "Nuclear Option" On John McCain Re Alito Nomination

Reported by Ellen - October 31, 2005

John McCain was a guest on Hannity & Colmes tonight, discussing today's nomination of Samuel A. Alito. Sean Hannity used the occasion to try to push McCain into agreeing to the so-called "nuclear option" of trying to eliminate the filibuster if the Democrats try to block Alito's confirmation. McCain, who is part of the so-called Gang of 14 which crafted a compromise to fend off a Senate meltdown over the issue, repeatedly rebuffed Hannity's aggressiive attempts to promote his agenda by demonizing Democrats. Each time, McCain refused to bite, and insisted that all the opinions of his colleagues must be honored and taken into consideration. His high road was in stark contrast to Hannity's low road.

Alan Colmes made a number of excellent points during his part of the interview, including mentioning that Clinton's Supreme Court nominees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were consensus nominees, unlike Alito.

Why can't Sean Hannity ever make an argument without using lies and distortions? It speaks volumes for his level of arrogance and/or ignorance, especially when you consider that he repeats the same falsehoods ad nauseum.

Ignoring what McCain and Colmes had just discussed, Hannity tried to make Ginsburg into an extremist appointment who McCain (and the rest of the Republicans) only voted for out of respect for Clinton. "You knew very extreme positions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg but you gave the benefit of the doubt to President Clinton."

In fact, Ginsburg is far from extreme, as this post from Media Matters explains, complete with an analysis of her voting record.

Whenever Hannity mentions Ginsburg, it's a safe bet he's going to dust off a few of his favorite untruths and he didn't disappoint last night. (Comment: Maybe we should start a reader's pool to count how many times we are going to hear them during the confirmation process.) When McCain stymied Hannity by saying that he respects the views of his colleagues and saying that he hadn't made up his own mind whether Alito should be confirmed, Hannity obviously couldn't contain himself any more. Sounding frustrated, he said, "I guess where I am on this - if you look at Ruth Bader Ginsburg and she - the Ginsburg rule - she doesn't have to answer specific questions... thinks there may even be a constitutional right to polygamy, has a controversial view we should lower the age of consent to 12, supports legalized prostitution. Very left wing." Once AGAIN ignoring that she was a consensus nominee, he said that McCain gave her the benefit of the doubt, unlike Chuck Schumer.

This is a gross mischaracterization of Ginsburg's record but Hannity persists in repeating the smear.

McCain agreed to some extent with Hannity's characterization of Ginsburg but kept repeating that he must respect the views of all his colleagues and the process. Hannity kept pushing, saying that filibusters should only occur in extraordinary circumstances and that Alito's nomination is not an extraordinary circumstance. He asked McCain if he thought the nomination was an extraordinary circumstance. McCain answered "Not yet," but that Alito had only been nominated that morning. "I can not dictate to my colleagues their position... I want to consider all their views."

Finally, Hannity told McCain that if any of the 14 define the nomination as extraordinary, "we must have a showdown at that point."

"Maybe so but you ought to be real careful because you may not win the showdown... It was a real question as to whether the votes were there the last time."

Hannity's time was up for that segment but, referring to the next, he said, "Democrats already gearing up for their smear campaign."

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