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Salazar's Feelings Wounded

Turns out there's no truth to the rumor that Scalia recommended Alito for the Court just to get his hands on the new justice's Italian recipes, featuring the famous Sauce Alito.

OK, if you're still with me, we can get down to business.

Turns out our new junior Senator has a pretty thin skin. According to the Post, Salazar, sulking outside his office like an Achilles heel (although Achilles didn't usually call press conferences to complain),

Speaking with reporters Monday outside his office in Denver, the freshman senator said he was dismayed that "there was no consultation whatsoever with members of the Senate" over the choice, which he said was part of deal the "Gang of 14" senators hashed out.

"That is disrespectful," Salazar said, noting he learned of Bush's latest choice on TV.

Oh, the horror of it all, having to hear about it on television! The shame, the insult, the embarassment, the sheer humiliation! Maybe Salazar is having a flashback to his prom or Sadie Hawkins dance. There must have been some glitch in the system, because as part of the vast right-wing blogospheric conspiracy, my own personal elk came by at about 5:00 AM Mountain Time. Since I haven't heard anyone else complaining about being dissed, maybe Sen. Ken just forgot to set his clock back, although according to Chuck "The Phish" Schumer, if he's confirmed, Alito will be doing that for the whole country. Maybe with the extra sleep, Salazar won't be such a grouch.

Also note how Salazar thinks that the White House is governed by an agreement among Senators concerning their own procedures. And never mind that there was obviously plenty of consultation in advance of the Miers nomination. I'm sure her name wasn't the only one that came up; it's obvious from media reports at the time that Alito was being considered, so obviously there was consultation, whatever that means, about the Judge. The whole thing looks like an Official Senatorial Temper Tantrum, which I understand is part of freshman orientation.

Salazar also complained that Bush did not nominate a woman to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. At least three suitable candidates are available in Colorado alone, Salazar said - including Colorado Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Kourlis, "a Republican well-versed in western water law."

OK, scratch the part about Sadie Hawkins. Salazar's been pushing Kourlis for months now, but really, neither he nor she is all that important, and with all due respect to western water, it's just not that big a deal, either.

Salazar said he hopes to meet with Alito, as he did with then-chief justice nominee John Roberts and with Miers. Salazar voted for Roberts, but said he hadn't decided on Miers before her nomination "was basically killed by the religious right."

Can the Senator name a single leader of a major conservative or evangelical religious group who came out against Miers? I know this is now part of the established mythology, but the National Review Online was the loudest voice complaining about Miers. They're certainly to the right, and some of them are even religious, but somehow I don't think that's was Sen Ken was trying to allude to.

Other Democrats are questioning Alito's past opinions, saying he could tilt court positions against abortion rights. But abortion for Salazar "is not a litmus test," he said.

One of the standards he'll use in evaluating Alito is the extent to which the judge respects legal precedent and has an ideology to impose on Americans.

Of course, "precedent" and "ideology" are the current focus-group-tested liberal code words for "abortion," there being only one precedent that matters (or, if you're Arlen Specter, "super-precedent," or "super-duper-precedent"), and only one ideology that's acceptable. So this is a little like my saying that I won't hold my food to a kosher litmus-test, but I do check to see if it's got a little O-U on it. I'm far from the Catholic or conservative Christian position on abortion, but any legal position that claims that first-term abortion can only be protected by legalizing infanticide has to be classified as an "ideology."

So Salazar is pouting over invented Senatorial privileges (which really takes some imagination at this point), making up political dynamics, and talking in code like a Navajo during WWII. I think our junior Senator needs to grow up.

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