Better question: Did anyone stay awake long enough in the hearing to notice anything other than Ben Sasse’s civics lesson? And will anyone tune in to a hearing today that became more of a confirmation debate on the 2020 election? Amy Coney Barrett returned to the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning at 9 am ET to answer questions rather than just listen to speeches from the members, but there seems to be less interest in her than in flogging Donald Trump — or supporting him, depending on the member.
At times, as the editors of the Washington Examiner observe today, it seemed like Senate Democrats wanted to talk about “everything except Amy Coney Barrett”:
Evidently, polling showed Democrats that their scorched-earth tactics against Brett Kavanaugh backfired in the 2018 Senate races. And they got the memo that the attacks on Barrett’s religious beliefs that they deployed during her appellate court confirmation hearings were likely to go over about as well as a Yankees parade in South Boston. Furthermore, they cannot question the credentials of Barrett, who is widely respected by lawyers regardless of their ideology and earned the American Bar Association’s highest “well qualified” rating.
As a result, Democrats have decided to use the hearings as another platform for their 2020 campaign. Their opening statements were treated simply as another forum for peddling predictable attacks on President Trump and on his administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But more than anything, Democrats talked about threats to Obamacare and individuals with preexisting conditions. …
Democrats clearly see Barrett’s confirmation as a fait accompli. Without the ability to stop it or make a compelling argument for why she lacks the qualifications to be on the Supreme Court, they are clearly attempting to turn the hearings into a campaign rally.