Confirmation process: Confirming your worst suspicions
“Mr. Chairman, and my fellow members of this committee: I’ll keep my statement brief today, so that we’ll all have an opportunity to engage in the kind of detailed questioning of the nominee that has been this committee’s trademark, and not just on this side of the room.
“In fact, Mr. Chairman, it’s my firm belief that only through our ability to confront the nominee with constitutional theories we barely understand, with speeches that our staff has written for us, and with random comments chock full of insinuation and innuendo, that we can say that we’re truly fulfilling our sacred constitutional duties.
“Now, Mr. Chairman, you know that I’ve been willing to keep an open mind on this nominee to the Supreme Court, just as I always do. But I have to admit, what I’ve heard in the weeks leading up to this hearing troubles me. It troubles me greatly.
“Because the last thing this country needs right now is more archivist judges.
“Archivist judges are the reason America is off on the wrong track these days, and why people have so little respect for our institutions. I’ve been in institutions, Mr. Chairman, so I know what I’m talking about. And I’m talking about archivist judges like our current nominee will certainly turn out to be if we confirm her.
“Archivist judges keep documents, Mr. Chairman—all kinds of documents, and not just the ones with great historical significance, but also documents with the kinds of private information the government just shouldn’t have. It’s like the census, Mr. Chairman, only worse because archivist judges can hide some of the worst documents right under their robes!
“They also have these ‘filing systems’—that’s what they call them, Mr. Chairman: ‘filing systems’—where they keep ‘data.’ And not just current ‘data,’ Mr. Chairman, but ‘data’ that goes back years, and even decades! What about our liberties, Mr. Chairman? What becomes of our liberties when you have all these archivist judges with their hard drives and their file boxes?
“Our Founding Fathers would be rolling over in their graves, Mr. Chairman. And if I were in a grave, I’d be rolling over, too, right alongside them.
“That’s what’s so scary, Mr. Chairman. Because it’s perfectly clear from the record that this nominee has associated with plenty of archivist judges in the past, including some very prominent archivist judges. And while we don’t know for sure, Mr. Chairman, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out that a nominee with such strong leanings toward archivists also associates with known librarians!
“That’s right, Mr. Chairman: librarians. And it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Chairman—which I’m proud to say I’m not—to notice what other word ‘librarian’ so closely resembles.
“‘Librarian.’ ‘Liberal.’ ‘Liberal.’ ‘Librarian.’ That’s no coincidence, Mr. Chairman. I’m sure the president was well aware of that fact when he decided to send us this particular nominee. I’m sure he and his advisers are having a good laugh over at the White House right now, thinking that they’ve put one over on us, and that we won’t notice what the first three letters of ‘librarian’ are.
“Think again, Mr. President! You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool this side of the room—and it’s already the middle of the afternoon!
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to hearing from this deeply flawed and dangerous nominee.”
Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.