Friday, January 13, 2006

No Girls Allowed

Most of this week, the Democrat members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have been interrogating Judge Alito on potentially scandalous skeletons from his past. At least a day's worth of haranguing has been spent on the subject of Alito's one-time membership in CAP, the Concerned Alumni of Princeton.

Sen. Ted Kennedy led the committee Democrats in their attacks over Judge Alito's former association with CAP, which he labeled an "elitist" organization with a "repulsive anti-woman, anti-black, anti-disability, anti-gay" agenda.

However, ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper interviewed conservative author Dinesh D'Souza, an immigrant to the United States, who along with radio talk show host Laura Ingraham is a former editor of "CAP's controversial Prospect magazine."
He said a number of the Democratic attacks on Samuel Alito were based on falsehoods.

First off, D'Souza says, one of the two stories from Prospect that Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, read this week at the confirmation hearings was intended as a satire.

The 183 essay "In Defense of Elitism" by Harry Crocker III included this line, read dramatically by Kennedy: "People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and Hispanic..."

The essay may not have been funny, D'Souza acknowledges, but Kennedy read from it as if it had been serious instead of an attempt at humor.

"I think left-wing groups have been feeding Senator Kennedy snippets and he has been mindlessly reciting them," D'Souza said. "It was a satire."
More to the point, Alito's actual involvement in the organization seems to have been vastly overstated as well. In his opening statements before the Judicial Committee this morning, committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter stole the foundation from under Kennedy's assertions.
Specter said committee staff members and representatives of Kennedy finished examining the files at 2 a.m. today, reviewing more than four boxes of documents concerning CAP.

"Judge Alito's name never appeared in any document," Specter said. It was not mentioned in any letters to or from the group's founder or executive director, did not appear on any canceled checks for subscriptions, was nowhere to be found on any articles, lists of board members or contributors, and was not in any minutes or attendance records from CAP meetings," Specter said.

He quoted CAP founder William Rusher as saying: "I have no recollection of Samuel Alito at all. He certainly was not very heavily involved in CAP, if at all."
Conservative blogger TigerHawk has even more details of the CAP documents review here. The whole episode kept radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt laughing throughout his Thursday interview with columnist Mark Steyn.
...[I]t became apparent that Ted Kennedy has, in fact, launched the Senate equivalent of the opening of the safe of Al Capone, when Geraldo presided over that in 1986. And yet, he made no reference to it, Kennedy did, when his questions came. It is as though his entire day yesterday had been deleted.
In light of the Democrats' concerns over extracurricular activities, though, it seems only fair to bring up a few (more) examples of hypocrisy on the issue. As Charles Hurt of the Washington Times reports, Judge Alito was not the only participant in that interrogation with a questionable club membership.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy belongs to a social club for Harvard students and alumni that was evicted from campus nearly 20 years ago after refusing to allow female members.

According to the online membership directory of the Owl Club, the Massachusetts Democrat updated his personal information ... on Sept. 7.

The club has long been reviled on campus as "sexist" and "elitist" and, in 1984, was booted from the university for violating federal anti-discrimination laws, authored by Mr. Kennedy.
And fellow blogger Fausta reminds us that even the Owl Club seems rather pedestrian when compared with the former membership of another of Kennedy's fellow Democrats:
Alito is to be hung over CAP but Robert Byrd, the senior senator from West Virginia, after being not only a member of the Ku Klux Klan, not just a Klan organizer and advocate, but the "Exalted Cyclops," the top officer in the local Klan unit, who, as a senator, opposed with other southern Democrats the Civil Rights Act of 1964, is referred to by the Washington Post as "a pillar of the Senate".

UPDATE: As reported by The Boston Herald, Sen. Kennedy announced last night that, while he is still a dues-paying member of the Owl Club, he will now be quitting the discriminating club "as fast as I can." He also admitted to the reporter "that he himself probably couldn't pass Judiciary Committee muster." (Hat-tip to Pat of Brainster's Blog for pointing out this article.) -- 01/17/2006, Songbird


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