Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Pickering talks

Charles Pickering is well-qualified to have a point of view on the process of confirming judicial nominees.

(Remember Pickering? He's the federal judge who stepped aside last year rather than endure a second set of Senate hearings where he would be subject to unfounded charges of racism and the like. This was part of his statement at the time:
The bitter fight over judicial confirmations threatens the quality and the independence of the judiciary. The mean-spiritedness and lack of civility reduces the pool of nominees willing to offer themselves for service on the bench.
He was right.)

Here he is on Hannity & Colmes last night (link via via RCP) making mincemeat of the charges against him (dutifully parroted by Alan Colmes):
COLMES: You were accused of writing a paper against miscegenation, and when asked in 1990 about the article, you said you had no opinion about — at the time whether interracial marriage should be illegal.

Is that mainstream?

PICKERING: Alan, I told the Senate in 1990, and I told them again in 2001 when I was before them, that I thought who one married was a personal choice, and that I did not believe that laws outlawing interracial marriage were appropriate, that they were unconstitutional. And the Supreme Court said the same.

Here, you're going back and taking things out of context, just as they did. Listen, I had a record in 1967. When the Ku Klux Klan was bombing, burning and shooting into homes, I testified against the imperial wizard, the white knight of the Ku Klux Klan.

I sent my children to integrated schools, 70 percent integrated schools. Mike Wallace on "60 Minutes" saw the hypocrisy of what they were doing to me, and "60 Minutes" had a great program showing that the charges you're talking about were bogus charges.

You know, you can paint and tar anybody if you want to take a few statements out of opinions they've written and distort them and mischaracterize them. And that's what happened.

...That's what happened to these nominees as well.