THE BLOG
08/15/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Sotomayor Circus: An Ode To Obsolete Thinking

If ever there was a sterling example of what is wrong with the way Congress operates, it's the pointless process surrounding the Sotomayor hearings. What are these people doing? And why are they taking so long to do it? It's a perfect microcosm of the inefficiency of government.

As Lindsey Graham confessed, "Unless you have a total meltdown, you will be confirmed." No kidding. So why couldn't he just forgo all the preamble ramble? And why is the Senate in general wasting time with this ponderous, endless, blathering?

As I sat listening to all the senseless babble yesterday (well, not all of it - I'm only human), I felt as if I were observing one of those award show speeches where the recipient somehow got the egocentric notion that the entire night was based around the audience anxiously awaiting what they had to say. No one cares. Move it along folks.

Both sides are guilty. The Dems showered Sotomayer with praise as if it were a coronation. The Republicans keep harping on a quote she made concerning a one time, out of context, off the cuff remark about Latina women's superior decision making. Feinstein praised her "warmth." One Republican after the next kept pushing Sotomayer to somehow prove to them that she would be impartial. (I guess if they couldn't get Harriet Meyers, they're going to stall this as long as they can get away with it) . Chuck Schumer all but pulled the race card, as to suggest if she isn't voted in it's because they hate Hispanics. Now it looks like there might be a filibuster in an effort to draw attention the conservative's displeasure of her nomination. For what?

It's all so petulant and petty. But it's really no surprise, is it? And in a way, it allows the public to see exactly how ineffectual and feckless these groups of clowns really are.

Where I come from, we had a name for this type of behavior. It was called, "making a pain in the ass out of yourself." In other words, it's behavior that accomplishes nothing other than to annoy who you want to annoy. This is the game our hired officials are playing. And they're doing it with our money.

I must say, I don't believe Sotomayor is the best possible choice. Shocked? Don't be. I'm not a team player. I have this radical perspective of using logic over allegiance. And I see this as an obviously token nomination. I also believe Pat Buchanan was right on this one. As far away as I may be with some of Pat Buchanan's philosophies, I realize he is one of the most knowledgeable Washington insiders. He brought up the point that in essence, it may be admirable to have learned English in college and graduated with honors, but there is something askew with someone who is reading comic books as a freshman who winds up graduating summa cum laude. As far as her ruling of the New Haven Firefighters test I can't understand how it's anything but flat out favoritism. Spin it any way you like, wrong is wrong. And altering ability to fit a quota is wrong. But naturally, the left isn't going to question her. And the right isn't going to give her any breathing room. Even when they have a good point they drown it in partisan nitpicking. Welcome to politics 101.

This entire spectacle is eerily reminiscent of the Clarence Thomas /Anita Hill comedy show from 1991. Remember that one? As a young man I sat confounded that nobody could figure out what was going on. Of course, he did and said those things she claimed. Of course it wasn't really sexual harassment. She just waited until the opportune time to bring them up. They were both wrong. It was a farce. But Thomas had the all-powerful "catch phrase" -- the veritable "have you no sense of decency" line. He called the hearings a "high tech lynching." After that, it was time to bring on the fat lady to sing.

Oliver North pulled the same stunt when he was in the hot seat for setting up the selling of arms to the enemy. Once he started waving around his loyalty to god and country, the group of grillers jumped on the patriotic bandwagon and started a jingoistic jamboree the likes of which no one has ever seen. Once the polls showed the public was behind North, Congress couldn't get in line fast enough to kiss his backside.

So maybe all Sotomayor needs is a good comeback line - something that will sit some senator back down and make headlines in all the papers. I got a few good ones in mind, but I ain't talking. I'm already working too cheap.