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How Are Democrats Going To Convince Americans They’re Up To The Job Of Defending The Country Against Terrorists If They’re Too Chicken To Face Sean Hannity?

Reported by Ellen - January 25, 2006

Tuesday’s (1/24/06) top story on Hannity & Colmes was the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approval of Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. The sole guest was Committee member Republican Orrin Hatch. Sean Hannity announced, “Not a single Democratic member of that committee accepted our invitation to appear.”

I know as well as anyone what an offensive bully Sean Hannity can be and usually is. But hiding from him and FOX News doesn’t make them go away; it only makes their voices seem louder.

Believe it or not, Sean Hannity opened the discussion by suggesting that Republicans have been too kind to Democrats. “Is it time for Republicans that are nice, like yourself, to start taking the gloves off?”

Senator Too-Nice started right in by complaining about the “shabby treatment” Democrats gave Alito. “It’s really pathetic. I’m really concerned about it.” Comment: Funny, I can’t remember Hatch worrying about the shabby treatment given to Harriet Miers, who was not even given a chance to testify.

Hatch decided that the Democrats “hurt themselves” during the hearings because “the arguments against Judge Alito are ridiculous.” The way Hatch described it, the only real concern over Alito is that he might reverse Roe v. Wade. He never mentioned the serious questions about Alito’s record on governmental powers.

FOX News contributor Susan Estrich sat in for Alan Colmes last night. Estrich, a law professor, couldn’t come up with a single question about Alito’s legal record. She started by asking, “Senator, you don’t have any doubt that Judge Alito will be confirmed, do you?”

Hatch didn’t but he added that “it’s pathetic” how the far-left groups control the Democrats.

Estrich didn’t disagree.

Then Hatch repeated the “We didn’t do this with Ginsburg and Breyer” myth, disregarding again that Ginsburg was a consensus nominee suggested by Hatch, himself. In other words, Clinton chose them in a bi-partisan spirit, with the foreknowledge that the Republican senators would follow Hatch’s recommendation.

Estrich didn’t seem to think that worth noting.

“Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed 96-3, even though we knew she was pro-abortion,” Hatch said.

Estrich said, “Yeah.”

Hatch continued, “We treated them fairly and that’s in contrast to the way this really fine man is being treated.”

Estrich replied, “Well, I agree with you but what do you make of Karl Rove turning around and saying that Democrats have a pre 9/11 mentality? …Doesn’t that build on the same sort of animosity that’s going on here?”

Hatch, not surprisingly, said that Democrats “are trying to jump on some of these issues, like the NSA issue. Let’s be honest about it. I think the vast majority of people in this country want the president to do whatever he can to interdict and stop, you know, the Al Qaeda people and to use whatever is at his disposal.” He allowed that there are “legitimate questions as to whether or not the president has complied with the law and whether he has these inherent powers.” He added that he thought the issue would work out favorably for the president.

Wait a minute! Senator Orrin Hatch has just announced on national prime time television that he has at least some concern about whether or not the president of the United States has broken the law! But Susan Estrich didn’t consider that worth exploring further. Her response: “But do you think there’s a role for Congress in there, Senator?”

Comment: While it’s a safe bet that a Democrat would have faced more difficult questions than Hatch, he or she probably would have had the opportunity to raise the troubling questions about Alito’s record that went unmentioned, perhaps also the opportunity to address the issue of consensus nominees and to clarify further the Democrats’ position on NSA spying. Instead, the audience had no Democratic input at all.

Sean Hannity is indeed repugnant but it is not impossible for Democrats and liberals to do well with him. We have documented many such instances. It takes only a bit of study. Hannity, probably the world’s most consistent and unimaginative bully, repeats the same lines and the same tricks ad nauseam. Anyone paying half-attention can catch on quickly.

Isn’t the definition of a leader someone who faces challenges and deals with them? Sadly, there are many more Hannity types in the Republican Party. Are Democrats going to run and hide from them, too, if they take back the House, the Senate or the White House? Or are they going to stick their heads in the sand and just hope that it will all work out?

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