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Even When They Win, Sean Hannity And Michael Reagan Can't Stop Bashing Democrats

Reported by Ellen - August 17, 2005

Alan Colmes opened last night's Hannity & Colmes discussion on John Roberts by noting that The Washington Post reports that, barring any unforeseen revelations, it is unlikely that Democrats will launch a major offensive against him. But that didn't stop Michael Reagan or Sean Hannity from doing everything they could to bash Democrats anyway.

Noting that Republicans had repeatedly predicted Democratic obstructionism, Colmes' first question was to ask Reagan if he could name one Democrat who has said he won't vote to confirm Roberts.

Reagan, clearly stumped, could not. But he went on the attack anyway. "Listen, they tried and they're going to have a losing battle. They have found that out. It doesn't mean that they're not going to keep on trying to tarnish his image in any way they certainly can... The Democrats don't want to be embarrassed by their left-wing advocacy that seems to lock in with them."

Colmes, who has been on a roll lately, responded that "the real smear here, is against the Democrats who are held up as these evil people... Heaven forbid we should ask tough questions of a nominee."

Colmes then took a page from The Hannity Interrogation Guidebook by asking Reagan to comment on Roberts' 1984 criticism, made when he was Reagan White House counsel, of three Republican Congresswomen "for supporting the radical idea of equal pay for equal work." Colmes asked, "Is that appropriate?"

Reagan was clearly stumped again and ducked the question. He fumbled around for a thought, saying Colmes "could be" taking something out of context (Colmes interrupted to say it wasn't), that it was a remark made in the 80's, while representing the White House. Then, as his final answer, he went back on the offense. "To use that now, in 2005, to find a way to try and tarnish him, I think is ludicrous."

Comment: I'd argue that Colmes was using it as a way to put Reagan on the defensive (which he did) as much as a way to tarnish Roberts (which he also did). Well done!

Then it was Hannity's turn. He started by asking the other guest, Democratic strategist Mary Ann Marsh, if she supports "The Ginsburg Rule," supposedly started by Ted Kennedy, "that no candidate should have to answer specific questions about specific issues that are likely to appear before the court. Should John Roberts have the same standard?"

In fact, according to a July 6, 2005 post on mediamatters.org, Hannity misrepresented (again) Ginsburg's confirmation process because Ginsburg did answer questions from senators about the right to abortion.

Media Matters concluded,

As the confirmation hearings for Roberts approach, conservatives may continue to argue that he can refuse to answer questions aimed at determining his view on abortion rights, because Ginsburg allegedly refused to do so during her hearings. This argument is demonstrably false, and journalists should not allow it to go unchallenged in their reporting.

In fact, Hannity had his own questions about Judge Roberts' record, something he seemed to have conveniently forgotten last night. On his August 5th radio program,

Hannity implored listeners to "look at whatever information becomes available" and stated that he wants to "hear good questions from Republicans, as well as [Sen.] Chuck Schumer [D-NY] and the Democrats.

Marsh started by saying that "there has to be a real reason" for the Democrats to fight John Roberts and that right now, that reason has not emerged. She continued, saying that the difference between Ginsburg and Roberts was that everyone knew Ginbsburg's record while people knew more about what Roberts reads to his kids than his record.

Again forgetting his own flip-flop about Roberts, Hannity accused Marsh of avoiding his question. "Now you liberals, when it's a Republican president, you want to change the rules. Isn't that what this is about - a double standard?"

Marsh said not at all, that Roberts has a record he should be proud of and that he should submit his records.

With dramatic exasperation, Hannity, turned to Reagan to ask why Democrats have a double standard in demanding records from Roberts when nobody else was ever asked to do so.

Again, Hannity "forgot" that conservative James Dobson demanded the same thing on Hannity & Colmes less than a week ago. Media Matters documented that

Dobson stated that "Republicans have an obligation" to find out what Roberts's "judicial philosophy is... We don't want to give him a pass here. I believe he's a good man. I believe the president has made the right choice. But the Republican senators need to vet him also, and I hope they will."

From the August 8 edition of Hannity & Colmes:

DOBSON: I've been listening to it [Hannity's radio show], and you've got the right fix on it. You [Hannity] have been saying that, while the Democrats are going to try to find out what this man's judicial philosophy is, the Republicans have an obligation to do the same thing. We don't want to give him a pass here. I believe he's a good man. I believe the president has made the right choice. But the Republican senators need to vet him also, and I hope they will.

I saw that interview and Hannity never objected when Dobson was the one trying to look at Roberts record.

Why do Republicans have a constant need to attack Democrats? Are they afraid they can't win on the issues?

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