While he ultimately triumphed, the questions posed in the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee John Ashcroft were insulting.
I say, it's time to turn the tables on Teddy Kennedy and the gang.
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Here is a list of legitimate questions to determine whether Ashcroft is of sound mind and character and fit to serve in office. Maybe, just maybe, this list will give the inquisitors something to think about:
- Have you ever had sex with an intern, or has an intern ever had sex with you, in either your role as a state or federal official?
- Do you have a "love child" that you supported with taxpayer dollars or tax-exempt donations?
- Have you ever taken a bribe to grant pardons or other favors while a state or federal official?
- Have you ever spent taxpayer money to fly members of your family around the world?
- Have you ever committed perjury before a federal court?
- Have you ever lied to the American people on national TV?
- Have you ever tried to reward your friends with travel commissions on travel by government employees or members of the press?
- Have you ever sexually harassed female employees?
- Have you ever raised financial support from a Buddhist Temple or some other religious organization, or a foreign power, to advance your political ambition?
- Have you ever put the armed forces at risk to distract news coverage of a grand jury inquiry into your own inappropriate sexual affairs?
- Have you ever crashed your car into a river and fled the scene to avoid political scandal and personal responsibility for your own drunkenness, even when it resulted in the death of an innocent young woman?
- Have you ever interfered in the domestic political affairs of a sovereign foreign country for the sake of your own legacy?
- Have you ever used the Internal Revenue Service or powerful police agencies to target your political enemies?
- Have you ever used your high office to stonewall official investigations?
- Have you ever burned down a church full of men, women and children?
- Have you ever kidnapped a child at gunpoint and forced him to return to a totalitarian police state to curry favor with a tin-pot dictator?
- Have you ever presided over the defacement of government offices when your term expired?
- When faced with a defeat at the polls, did you bow out of office gracefully or did you demean your opponent and suggest the electoral process was rigged?
- Do you believe the Constitution actually means what it says, or is it a "living document" subject to interpretation by judge-legislators who use their elite positions to advance the power of the state?
- Have you ever suggested that an appointee is unfit for office because of his or her religious beliefs?
I'm sure there are many more possibilities. This is a quick list -- off the top of my head. But it seems to me they are far more penetrating and far more relevant than most of the questions being thrown at Ashcroft thus far by political opponents determined -- at all costs -- to derail his nomination.
It's time to stop this witch-hunt dead in its tracks. It's time to flood the Senate offices with angry e-mails and letters. It's time, as we've heard so often in the last eight years, to "move forward -- and get on with the people's business."
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Too many of those involved in grilling Ashcroft have learned, over the years, that there are no consequences to their actions. It should be no surprise, I guess, that they are now acting as if there are no consequences to losing the presidential election.
Only an avalanche of angry reaction to this charade will stop the desperate search for another chink in John Ashcroft's political armor.
So, let's turn the tables on these clowns. Let's give them a taste of their own medicine.
Editor's note: If you'd like to take part in a massive senatorial fax campaign on behalf of John Ashcroft, Linda Chavez recommends clicking here. This site will allow you to fax every Democrat for $15.