Thursday, January 12, 2006

Kennedy Smear Attempt Fails

The first topic this morning in the Alito hearings concerned the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP), an organization that Judge Alito one joined because it worked to keep ROTC on campus. Yesterday, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) demanded that the Judiciary Committee subpoena the records of CAP, which he described as an extreme anti-woman, anti-minority organization, and clashed with the chairman of the committee, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), over the matter. Specter reserved a ruling until more was known about whether the records were relevant to the Alito hearings.

Overnight, several staffers reviewed boxes of CAP records. They found NO mention of Alito, because he was not an officer, major contributor of money, or author of any magazine articles. Specter announced the results of the record review at the opening of the hearing this morning. Kennedy did not mention CAP again.

Kennedy's whole effort was an attempt to smear Alito by tying him to statements of others in the organization. Once it was shown that Alito had so little to do with the organization, a fact which Kennedy and the other Democrats already knew, Kennedy pretended it was not that important to him. The effort to smear Alito failed in this instance.

For unknown reasons, the Democrats put Kennedy out front on the ethics issues. Given Kennedy's own ethical lapses, this did not seem a wise choice. Kennedy's efforts to smear Alito may have backfired with voters, too. Perhaps voters recognize Kennedy's tactics for what they are, the politics of personal destruction. Mary Jo Kopechne was not available for comment.

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