Biden His Time

In case you didn't watch or listen to the Alito hearings yesterday, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Pluto) used the first 12 minutes of his question time to uncork one of the most bizarre, free-associative stoner rambles I've seen since freshman year. Here's a snippet from the transcript:

So don't read it as this is one of these things where we know where you are. The people I've spoken to on your court -- and it's my circuit -- have a very high regard for you. And I think you're a man of integrity. The question is, sometimes some of the things you have said and done puzzle -- at least, puzzle me.

And one of the things -- this is not part of a line of questioning I wanted to ask -- but I did ask you when you were kind enough to come to my office about the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. Were you aware of some of the other things they were saying that had nothing to do with ROTC? Because there was a great deal of controversy.

I mean, I can remember -- I can remember this. My son was -- well, anyway, he ended up going to that other university, University of Pennsylvania.

But I remember at Princeton, I had spoken on campus in the early '70s. This was a big thing up at Princeton at the Woodrow Wilson School. And I remember -- I didn't remember Bill Frist, but I remember that there was this disavowing, that Bill Bradley, this great basketball star, and now United States senator, was disassociating himself with this outfit, that there was a magazine called Prospect. I remember the magazine. [snip]

And by the way, for the record, I know you know when you stated in your application that you are a member -- you said in '85, "I am a member" -- they had restored ROTC. ROTC was back on the campus.

But again, this is just by way of why some of us are puzzled. Because if I was aware of it, and I didn't even like Princeton...

I mean, I really didn't like Princeton. I was an Irish Catholic kid who thought it had not changed like you concluded it had.

I admit, one of my real dilemmas is I have two kids who went to Ivy League schools. I'm not sure my Grandfather Finnegan will ever forgive me for allowing that to happen.

But all kidding aside, I wasn't a big Princeton fan.

My post-Roberts round-up of Senatorial insanity here.

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  • ||

    That fucker really knows how to bogart a microphone. Shut up, pass that thing around.

  • ||

    If I were Alito, I'd have taken out a book of crossword puzzles after the first minute in. I mean, really, it's not like he's not going to get confirmed.

  • ||

    Perhaps Biden had been out drinking with Kennedy.

  • ||

    I'm sure he plagiarized that speech.

  • Timothy||

    Perhaps Biden had been out drinking with Kennedy.

    And remains alive only because he is not a co-ed.

  • ||

    LOL, Russ2000 :-)

  • ||

    Did Biden mention he wasn't a big Princeton fan?

    Someone mentioned yesterday that when Ted Kennedy was up there yammering about abusive of exectutive power Alito should have said something like,

    "Well Senator, let me give you an example of a real abuse of exectutive power. Are familiar with then Attorney General Robert Kennedy's bugging of Martin Luther King?"

    It would have been great to see the look on Kennedy's face.

  • ||

    Or, better, yet, "Senator, I do believe that there are limits on presidential power. But I have a question for you, sir: Do you believe that there are any limits on Congressional power? If so, what are they? Senator? Is this mike on?"

    Too bad Alito isn't Janice Rogers Brown, who might very well have fired off that sort of question.

  • R C Dean||

    Its too bad we Alito or some other nominee doesn't just tee off on grossly unconstitutional laws, like McCain-Feingold.

    "Senator, what part of 'Congress shall make no law' don't you understand?"

    "Senator, before I answer that question, perhaps you could explain to me how growing and using a plant entirely on your own property is both 'interstate' and 'commerce'."

    It would make great television, his approval ratings would go through the roof so he would be filibuster-proof, and as an added bonus, it would be Right and Good and True.

  • ||

    "Senator, before I answer that question, perhaps you could explain to me how growing and using a plant entirely on your own property is both 'interstate' and 'commerce'."

    R C, if you think he's going to take up that cause, maybe you've been enjoying some interstate commerce.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "(D-Pluto)"

    That is one of the funniest zingers I have ever seen in an article, a barb so tiny that I almost missed it, but explosive-tipped to pop even Biden's Balloon of Bloviation.

    Must quit typing. Still laughing.

  • ||

    I'd like to see a nominee sing his or her responses. In between the responses he or she could sing pop songs, say something like U2's Lemon. :)

  • Stephen Macklin||

    R.C.

    It would be nice to see Alito ask the senator about the first amendment, but he would also have to address that question to most of the SCOTUS too.

    If he did, maybe he could also ask them just what exactly they think is meant by the term "public use." Because the current SCOTUS definition of essentially "whatever the government says it wants to do is public use," really isn't working for me either.

  • ||

    I'd like to see a nominee sing his or her responses.

    I like this idea, as long as they sing actual songs that apply to that situation, and not just singing what they have to say (ie R Kelly's Trapped in the closet).

  • R C Dean||

    A man can dream, thoreau, a man can dream.

  • ||

    Biden did the same stuff at the roberts hearing. He's a spaz.

    One of the many disgusting facts about congress is how they compel other people to testify in such hyper-detailed ways, and hold them to account for the smallest of insinuations, but see no reason why they should make their questions sensible to the person they are speaking to, or whether they should even ask questions at all, choosing often to take their time speechifying at random on anything that floats through their skulls. All of this is considered 'appropriate'. I think it's disrespectful to their mandate, which is to get business done, not use this forum as a platform for personal musings irrelevant to the matter at hand.

  • ||

    I didn't know Neil Kinnock sent his kids to the Ivy League!

  • Timothy||

    A man can dream, thoreau, a man can dream.

    If you've dreams about SCOTUS I think you have some issues.

  • ||

    Huh?!? Every now & then I'll watch C-span for a bit, but I usually get very depressing very quickly. I did see some of Kennedy's rambling and subsequently removed that channel from my remote selection. Uhg! What a self important tool! These people are characatures of themselves, lefties and righties alike! I used to hope that Schwarzenagger would one day crack old Teddy a good one across the chops for some drunken remark at a private Kennedy family gathering, but the earlier post on this page indicates that he has fully assimilated. Too bad. The only way any of this get fixed, is if we (the public/victims) are forced to watch these jackasses for at least three hours a day until the catharsis occurs! What if they had an election and NOBODY came......?

  • ||

    You'd think these preening idiots would have learned some sort of lesson after having been made to look so completely inane by John Roberts.

  • ||

    This blog has amusing statistics about how much the Senators run their mouths v. the nominee's answers.

    I've always said that congressional "hearings" should be called talkings.

    Kevin

  • ||

    Oops.

    http://www.anklebitingpundits.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2936&mode=nested&order=1&thold=0

    Kevin

  • nofrontin||

    To be fair, Princeton is a horrible place.

  • ||

    GILMORE:
    So right. Once in a blue moon I make myself watch some of Greenspan's testimony to Congress. Same thing. "Mr. Greenspan, I have no grasp of basic economic theory, so I'm going to inflict some tepid regurgit-prop on you for the next three-and-a-half minutes. M'kay?"

  • ||

    Hak,

    I think if the nominee is going to respond in song using a U2 song, any response to a Kennedy question should be to the tune of "Drowning Man."

    No Kennedy thread is complete without the cheap Chappaquidic reference.

  • ||

    (involuntary shudder)

    As someone who used to edit court transcripts, I can say that a surprising number of lawyers talk this way. That was one of the most mind-bending jobs I ever had. As a linguist, I can say that most spoken speech is full of weird stuff. But nothing compares to lawyers!

  • Rego Sen||

    hey, it sounds all right if you read it as a filibuster...

  • ||

    Linguist,

    Having been one of those lawyers who no doubt tortured the court reporters who had to trascribe my cases, I will just say one thing in defense of my profession. It is so much harder than it looks and so easy to look foolish in court. The simplest thing is a whole lot more difficult when someone's freedom or a victim depending on you and you are standing in front of a jerk judge and skeptical jury. Everyone, even the best, sound foolish at some point or another.

  • ||

    One trick is to tell 'em stories that don't go anywhere - like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on 'em. Give me five bees for a quarter, you'd say.

    Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

  • ||

    Apparently the "Meth Epidemic" is roaring throughout Delaware.

  • ||

    Must be something in the water in Delaware, I don't understand why they keep re-electing this jackass.

  • ||

    My boss just forwarded us this mildly amusing spoof on Alito (warning, requires Flash). The whole thing kind of pisses me off, though. Every nominee's going to have views. For every view, there's going to be somebody who disagrees with it. Maybe if we stopped treating the Supreme Court as the "legislature of last resort" it wouldn't matter quite so much.

  • ||

    The only thing worse than listening to these idiotic senators do anything except come to the point on C-SPAN is, during the recesses, listening to the idiotic callers do the same thing. You'd think anyone interested in this enough to actually watch the hearings would have some sort of informed opinion, but all I hear is, "I'm a democrat and I think Alito sucks," or, "I'm a Republican and I think Ted Kennedy is pure evil." After hearing from the electorate, its no wonder we have the politicians we do.

  • ||

    Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Pluto)

    If the REPs weren't so fucking stupid, they would call the DEMs on their threat to filibuster. Then we could all enjoy the stream-of-consciouness rabblings the DEMs have to offer.

    Other way too, when the opportunity presents itself. I think the dear leaders really lack a full understanding that EVERYTHING they spooge in public is recorded and dispensed for all to see now.

  • ||

    I thought they weren't filibustering.

  • ||

    Some senators should retire for the good of the nation.

  • ||

    Hey! What do you know? Joe Biden (D-Pluto) himself has said "maybe we ought to get rid of hearings".


    WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominees are so mum about the major legal issues at their Senate confirmation hearings that the hearings serve little purpose and should probably be abandoned, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden said Thursday.
    "The system's kind of broken," said Biden, a member of the Judiciary Committee considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito.


    (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060112/ap_on_go_co/alito_biden_1)

    Maybe we can file him under "crazy but not stupid". The article goes on to note that until 1925, Supreme Court nominees were not expected to testify.

  • ||

    "Do you believe that there are any limits on Congressional power? If so, what are they? Senator? Is this mike on"- Pro Liberate

    You know that is precisely one of the major "concerns" that Democrats have about Alito. The nominee apparently believes that the interstate commerce clause limits Congress to regulate activities that are interstate and commerce, rather than whatever the left wing cause du jour is.

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