It was during the second day of questioning that Sam Alito's wife broke down, wept and left the room after hearing Sen. Kennedy imply that her husband was a bigot.
What was Kennedy's evidence?
In 1985, Sam Alito belonged to Concerned Alumni of Princeton. He had joined to protest the ouster of ROTC from campus. Alito was neither an officer nor active, but like future Sen. Bill Bradley, he joined.
What were CAP's sins? Headed by National Review publisher William Rusher, CAP had a magazine called Prospect that carried an essay opposing affirmative action and regretting that Princeton had ever gone co-ed.
Yet support for single-sex education, as practiced at Smith and dozens of women's colleges, is hardly a mark of bigotry. And opposition to affirmative action and quotas is core conservative dogma.
So, what is going on here? Answer: a smear. Because Judge Alito belonged to an alumni group that had a magazine which had an offensive article, he must share those views. Therefore, he is a bigot and the Senate must reject him as morally unqualified to sit on the Supreme Court.
This is a textbook example of what liberals used to call McCarthyism.
Why are the Democrats disgracing themselves and disgusting decent people with such tactics? Why are they desperate to kill the nomination of Sam Alito?
The answer, in a word, is abortion. By the end of the third day of hearings, analysts had toted up the questions. The subject that had been brought up in more questions than any other was abortion.
Why? Because, as Sen. Chuck Schumer fears, Judge Alito may just vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
For Alito has said that while he respects precedents and has an "open mind," Roe v. Wade is not some "super-duper precedent" or "inexorable command." And Sam's mom, in her 90s, when asked where her son stands on abortion, replied, "Of course, he's against it."
Why has the Democratic Party become a party of fanatics on abortion? Because the feminists of NARAL and NOW regard abortion as a sacrament and will cut dead any Democrat who fails to protect a woman's "right to choose" to kill her unborn baby.
Which brings us to the unspoken issue here. Judge Alito is Catholic. If confirmed, he will join three other Catholics on the bench: Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, who have already voted to overturn Roe.
On the Senate Judiciary Committee sit four Catholic Democrats: Leahy, Kennedy, Biden and Durbin. All have 100 percent pro-abortion voting records. All have attacked Alito out of fear he may overturn Roe.
Query: Why is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops so deathly silent in this war of Catholics to decide if abortion on demand is to remain the law of the land forever in God's Country?
Where are the Catholic echoes of John Paul II's condemnations of the Culture of Death?
Where is Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, who was designated to address the moral obligations of Catholic politicians? When John Kerry ran as the Democratic nominee, McCarrick's task force refused to tell priests to deny him Communion. Suddenly, pro-abortion Kerry was seen at the altar rail and won half the Catholic vote.
Said McCarrick, "Our task force does not advocate the denial of Communion for Catholic politicians," for, otherwise, the "sacred nature of the Eucharist could be trivialized and might be turned into a partisan political battleground."
What should bishops do when Catholic politicians fight to uphold a decision that has caused the slaughter of thousands of times as many Holy Innocents as were massacred by King Herod?
Cardinal McCarrick urged "new efforts to teach clearly, advocate effectively, organize and mobilize Catholic laity, and to engage, persuade and challenge Catholic politicians to act on the moral teaching of our church."
Fair enough, Your Eminence.
Sixty-six years ago, Bishop Clemens von Galen took to the pulpit of Munster Cathedral to damn Hitler's regime at the peak of its power for "plain murder" in its euthanasia program and to direct Catholics to "withdraw ourselves and our faithful from their (Nazi) influence so that we may not be contaminated by their ... ungodly behavior."
Cardinal von Galen is headed for sainthood.
What is asked of you, Cardinal McCarrick, and your fellow bishops is less heroic. Just issue a statement before the 32nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, 2006, declaring:
"We pray to God that Roe v. Wade is overturned. We commend all Catholics and fellow citizens working toward that goal. We condemn any Catholic politician who would deny a seat on the Supreme Court to a fellow Catholic -- on the grounds that he might vote to overturn this abomination."
That too much to ask, Your Eminence? As Dante said, there is a special place in hell for those who, in times of moral crisis, fail to take a stand. By the way, Dante put a lot of bishops in there.
- Mr. Buchanan is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of The Death of the West, The Great Betrayal, and A Republic, Not an Empire.